Ten Commandments of Weight Loss
Last week, I read a book, The Ten Commandments Of Weight Loss. I was quite impressed with it. It would serve as great motivation for someone who’s on or planning to go on a weight loss program. I have summarized the 10 commandments, so that it can be used as a quick reference. I have also highlighted some important take-home points. So here we go!
1. Believe In Yourself – Close your eyes and take a few minutes to think about what has brought you to this point in your life. Think about the reasons why you want to slim down, not why other people want you to. Write down all the reasons and keep it somewhere you will see it often. This decision to slim down is about making yourself happy, not about making others happy. Real motivation can come only from inside you. Every time you look at your list, reaffirm your decision to lose weight. Congratulate yourself for choosing to be good to yourself. Remember that you are leaving old habits behind and creating a new future for yourself. Once you’ve made this decision to feel better, live a happier and healthier life and to take good care of yourself, you will succeed.
2. Set The Right Goals - Goals can keep you motivated and moving in the right direction – if you set the right ones. But how do you know how to set the right goals and how to make it realistic? The first rule is to start small. Establish daily or weekly mini goals to change some aspect of your behavior that’s standing between you and your weight loss success. It can be as simple as walking to the station instead of taking an auto or snacking on a fruit in the morning instead of biscuits. As you start to feel better, you’ll naturally be inspired to set loftier goals. You may be inspired to give up drinks or chips completely or exercise for one hour instead of half. It’s good to keep updating your goals as you make progress but be sure to keep them doable. The second rule of goal setting is to write down your goals. Seeing them in front of you takes them from the abstract to the real. Keep your goals manageable and visible. Stick with them and watch them work.
3. Eat More - Slimming down does not mean being hungry or skipping meals or living on iceberg lettuce or celery sticks. You not only can eat more but eat more often. Switching from two to three large, heavy meals to five or six healthy mini meals keeps your metabolism revved up and burning calories. It also keeps your energy levels high. Make your meals interesting and enticing. Food is not the enemy when you are trying to lose weight. It’s your ally. Choose wisely and you will become slimmer, healthier and more energized
4. Eat Smart – Eating more can help you realize your weight goals. But you have to be smart about it. The easiest and fastest way to teach yourself to eat intelligently is to keep a food diary. You may be surprised at how your perception of what and how much you eat differs from what really goes into your mouth. Learn to recognize portion sizes. Weigh and measure foods until you know what a serving looks like. And always read food labels. You’ll be amazed at where you will find loads of calories lurking. Eating smart isn’t about boring, tasteless meals – or not eating at all. It’s about eating only when you are hungry, making healthy food choices and controlling your portions. It’s being aware about why you are eating. It’s about feeding your body properly and feeling good about yourself.
5. Get Moving – An active lifestyle is important for everyone; whether you are planning to lose weight or not. And don’t overlook the little things that you can do to enhance your health and fitness, and burn a few extra calories like walking to the supermarket or station instead of driving. Over time, activity and exercise will become a natural, even enjoyable part of your life.
6. Build Muscle – The more muscles you have, more is your metabolism and you burn more calories. Muscles burn more calories round the clock, even when you are curled up on the sofa.
7. Binge-Proof Your Life – if you feel you are heading for a binge or you catch yourself in the middle of one, you can still stop it. Simply walk away – leave everything where it is and go out of the house. A brisk walk will give you time to think about what’s making you want to eat. Once you return home, you will have a new perspective on the situation and you may realize that you are not interested in eating after all. There may be times when you are nursing a craving for something exotic – then you have no choice but to help yourself, but not for a big portion, just one serving mind you. And savour it. When worse comes to worse, and you indulge in an all-night binge-feast, don’t berate yourself afterwards. Accept what happened and move on. There’s no point in kicking yourself because you messed up. Just be sure to add an extra half hour into your workout and be extra careful about what you eat for the next few days.
8. Talk Yourself Thin - If one person on a weight loss program is good, then one person with a partner is better. Trust your instincts and choose someone. Make your needs clear, tell your partner what to expect. Are you looking for moral support? Someone to work out with? Somebody to talk to when the going gets tough? That’s the only way your partner can help.
9 Make Motivation Easy- Get out your list of reasons why you want to lose weight and remind yourself of your purpose. Remember what you weighed when you started and how many kilos you lost. Congratulate yourself on the job you have done so far and adjust your goals to be where you want it to be. Be sure to write them down and put them where you will see them. If you haven’t lost any weight for a while, try to figure out why. Maybe those pastries, chocolates or skipped workouts have something to do with it. But if you’ve been faithful to your diet and exercise plan, then you could be burning fewer calories because you weigh less. You may have to cut your calorie intake further or work out a little longer to make a difference. Keep in mind that everyone hits a plateau while on a weight loss. And lapses in motivation are perfectly normal. The trick is to overcome them and move on. You have come such a long way. Don’t give up now.
10 Reward Yourself - All of us like to be recognized for what we do well. This is true even when we are trying to lose weight. Some of the most memorable rewards will come from others. But even more important are the rewards you give yourself. Remember the 1st commandment – believe in yourself. When you acknowledge each weight loss goal you have achieved, you are honouring the commitment and hard work that you have put into creating a new, healthier life for yourself. You don’t have to wait for the big, ‘I lost 30 kilos’ sort of goal, either. Something as small as adding an extra half hour to your daily workout, or not eating chips for a week, can be cause for celebration. So go ahead and do something you really love to do but don’t make time for. When you reward yourself for a job well done, you reinforce your belief in yourself, and tell yourself that you are proud of what you have accomplished. It makes you want to do more, to see how far you can go. And that’s what living life to the full is all about.