8 Ways to Stick to a Lifestyle Change

You know you want to make a change. You want to see what life is like without extra weight on your body. You’re committed to healthy habits. So what’s next?


Plan things out!

Planning can also get you psyched up about new things to try or doing things you enjoy.

1.  Prepare for each destination

Think about what you’ll need to stick to your healthy habits everywhere you go: home, work, school, favorite restaurants and friends’ houses.

2.  Have a motivating kitchen. Have cut up vegetables ready for you in the fridge. Apples and oranges in the fruit basket.  A jar of nuts.

If your church often has potlucks, what would make you feel the best about your choices when it’s over?

  • Bring a healthy dish and only eat it.
  • Ask your congregation to only bring healthier options.
  • Have someone else fill your plate so you don’t have to recommit at every dish.

There are lots of ways to get through the situation without abandoning your goals. Think creatively and ask someone you trust to help.

2.  Plan for the family and friends you’ll see along the way.

 There will be people who are for you — happy to support you in your weight loss. And there will be people against you — not so supportive. You may already know who they are.

You need to be prepared for both types.

Think of each person you spend time with in your daily life, and ask yourself these questions to set up a game plan:

  • How much do you want to share with them about your efforts?
  • What kind of obstacles do you expect from them? What are a few ways you can respond to them?
  • What kind of help do you hope they’ll offer you? Think through the best way to talk with them about what you need. Don’t be afraid to be specific about what helps you and what doesn’t.

3.  Check your readiness to deal with telling people what you want and being able to turn down things that hurt your diet and exercise plan.

Even with help and support, the buck stops with you.

4.  Find ways to assist you in setting yourself up for success.

For instance, are you worried that you can’t meet your goal? Now’s the time to identify and sort out those feelings.  See a therapist or go to Weight Watcher meetings or Overeaters Anonymous.  Go to a medical weight loss program and get the guidance and support that you might need.

To change behavior, experts say you must have the ability to do the required new habits. So, it’s key that you choose habits that you can follow through with.

Let’s say you’ve picked a food plan with foods or styles of eating that you don’t like — say, one that omits all carbs when you love carbs. Or you pick one that’s impossible to stick with, like eating cabbage soup twice a day. If you keep moving forward with that plan instead of adjusting it, you’re crushing your ability to succeed.

As part of your preparation, ask yourself: Why do I want to make changes?

Your reason will be most motivating when it’s linked with a strong emotional state. Instead of simply “wanting to lose weight,” the reason could be “because I want to have more energy” or “not be in pain.”

5.  Focus on the feeling you want to have.

Set up cues to remind you about your motivation. A good cue is one that you’ll be sure to notice and that occurs near the time for your healthy habit. You could open your blinds in the morning to cue you to take your vitamin, or set an alarm.

Even when you take the actions you need, there’s always a risk of relapsing to your old ways. So have a clear sense of what you want — it’s like an energy reserve. It gets you back on track when you need it.

6 Expect Curves Ahead

There are two important truths about change:

  • It happens slowly and over time.
  • The path to change most likely isn’t a straight line.

One day you might be plugging along, committed to living healthfully. Then you have a stressful day or two — at work, or yoga class is canceled — and zap! Your motivation is blown.

At times like this, you have to think about how to adjust your schedule to stay, or get back, on track. You have to map out a new plan.

Tell yourself that it’s normal to hit a few speed bumps on the road to changing your behavior for good.

7.  Count on the fact that you’ll lose your way.

Just like an emergency kit in your car, you need to have tools ready for the unexpected.

Here are a few potential pitfalls that could sway you off track. Reinforce your resolve by thinking through possible solutions ahead of time.

  • What will you do when a coworker brings in homemade cookies?
  • How will you move on if you fall back into your old habits? Like overeat or skip the gym?
  • How will you cope when you feel stressed?
  • Who can you call for help?

8.  Make adjustments to curve balls.

Don’t punish yourself if you fall off track.

Imagine you’re driving somewhere. Let’s say you get off at the wrong exit. What would you do?

Just start again and don’t give up.  Life is a journey.  The idea is the journey and the destination is a goal, but don’t beat yourself up if it takes longer to get there.  Learn how to deal with setbacks and don’t beat yourself up.


11 Ways To Deal With Cravings When On A Diet!

I hear this all of the time and I went through it too. I sometimes still do. How do you get through cravings, especially at home at night. or mid-day?

11 Ways to get you through cravings:
1.  You have to set a goal.

told myself every morning that I was on a MISSION and that mission had to be done, no matter what.  I set a goal to lose a certain amount of weight.

2.  Recognize that cravings mean something and fix the problem before it becomes a problem.

First off, sometimes you will crave things because you are deficient in a vitamin or mineral.  People who crave steak are low in iron, bananas–potassium,chocolate-magnesium, etc.  So, take a MULTIVITAMIN AND MULTIMINERAL all through your diet and after to help with unnecessary cravings.

3.  Go shopping and only buy the foods you are going to eat on the diet.  Do not buy junk.

Royalty-Free Stock<br />
Photography by Rubberball Oh, you have kids?
You want junk for the kids and you are afraid you will eat it too? Well, I have something controversial to say here. Screw that!
That junk hurts your body and mind, and it is not only BAD for your kids (they need white flour and sugar like a hole in the head), but you are also setting them up on a path of weight gain in their future too by allowing them to get hooked on pure sugar crap!  Teach them to enjoy healthy, tasty options for their snacks.  Nuts, fruit, cheese, protein bars.  The Nature Valley Protein Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter bar (for instance) or their other Protein bars or any of the Power Crunch bars are low in carbs, high in protein.  What the heck is wrong with those options?  Cheetos, Doritos, Tortilla chips, candy, cheese balls–are all BAD, BAD options and will only make you sick. Buy low-carb baking books, look it up online, buy low carb food books, buy low-carb options at the market or online at places like netrition.com or low-carb stores online.  Some items are at speciality stores.
low carb 4. Stop baking BAD stuff (look up better low-carb options online.

No more baking crap white flour nonsense in the house.  Just knock it off. You don’t need it.  Oh, your kid enjoys it?  Well, too bad.  You all need to find a healthier hobby or learn sugar-free options for baking and look at number one (set a goal) and go shopping (rule 3) and get new stuff to bake. Having bad food baking and wafting through the house is torture on a diet.  It will just pull you back into the dark side of bad fattening food. If it is made with white flour–NO! You or your kids have to find recipes using coconut, almond or flax meal and make those things.  Step outside of your fattening comfort zone and learn new tricks.  Teach your loved ones to eat better WITH you.


5.  Tape a picture of yourself looking fat on the refrigerator so that you will be reminded why you are on the diet in the first place.

6. Throw out the bad food or give it away.

If it is there, you are gonna eat it!

7. Drink water and have lots of sugar-free options to drink.

Drink every time you are hungry, to help stop cravings.

8.  If you are desperate and it is in between the time of 3-4 hours from your last protein meal (out of six for the day), then have a protein “hit.”


food-cravings –a piece of low-fat string cheese, a slice of turkey, an egg, a protein drink with few carbs in it–but have a protein “hit”, so you get through the cravings, until your next meal.

9.  Find a distraction.

Read, get online, call a friend, or go exercise.  Exercise or walking the dog helps me. Exercising at least 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week, not only burns calories, it helps reduce cravings. So, move!

10.  Find ways to de-stress.

Meditation, yoga, listening to music.  Anxiety can make people eat.  They have “emotional” eating.  Most emotional eating is from anxiety.  This is why I love yoga–between the exercise and the wind down meditative time, I am pretty chill. Take an L-Theanine 200 mg (a totally natural amino acid that
lowers anxiety like nothing I have ever tried and there are NO side effects.  Look it up.)

11.  Keep a diet journal showing what you ate and the number of carbs per meal and tally it all up daily.  Also, use that journal to write when you are emotional and try to process what is bothering you instead of eating.

Consider therapy or a group like Overeaters Anonymous.  Or, if you must eat, follow rule number 7 and avoid so-called, “comfort” foods.  Those foods will only make you feel UNcomfortable tomorrow when you gained weight!  

Short Walks to Weight Loss

Exercise Doesn’t Have to Be Intense or Long

I have met a lot of people who say that they have NO time to exercise.  They get up really early for work, work hard all day and then by the time they get home (with their long commute), then it is dark out, their kids need help with HW, they need to make dinner, etc.

But, here are my thoughts.  If you don’t exercise at all, you will wear down your immune system, metabolism, your mood, your libido and eventually–this will all affect your relationships with family, spouse and friendships.  You will be out of shape and have medical issues and this will also lead to mental health issues.

If you want to feel happy, feel good, you need to exercise to help with the production of serotonin, but you also have to eat right in order for serotonin to be produced properly.  If you eat bad foods and have a bacterial imbalance in your gut, then your serotonin will be off too!  I have noticed that people who don’t exercise, get sick more often, as well.

According to Livestrong, “Approximately 75 percent of this chemical is located in cells of the gut, where it regulates intestinal movements. The rest is synthesized in neurons of the brain; it’s here that serotonin influences mood. High levels are associated with an elevated mood while low levels are associated with depression. Though many neurotransmitters work in harmony to influence mood, serotonin is one of the most important. Its levels are influenced by external factors, such as sunlight, diet and exercise.”  http://www.livestrong.com/article/22590-effects-exercise-serotonin-levels/

So, if you want to control your intestinal issues, mental health, your heart, blood pressure and more–and live longer and be there for your family (the ones you are killing yourself for), you have to find time, 5 days a week for at LEAST 15 minutes a day.  You don’t have 15 minutes?


Walk For 15 Minutes a Day

Some think to get the full benefit of a good workout, you need to be sweating for a full 30 minutes — or longer. But with so many people struggling to find a spare 30 minutes, researchers have begun to investigate if a shorter sweat session could be just as good.

A 2011 study found when compared to sedentary people, 15 minutes a day of activity, like brisk walking can add 3 years to life expectancy, according to Reuters.


Kick It Up a Notch

Intense aerobic activity may double the years of life expectancy added by moderate exercise, according to a 2005 study.   Five days a week of walking for 30 minutes led to 1.3 to 1.5 additional years, The Washington Post reported, but intense exercise, like running half an hour five days a week, resulted in almost 4 extra years. 

So, instead of eating at your desk or out with people, WALK somewhere.   You can even walk to get your food or coffee, but walk.  If you can’t find this time at all when you are at home, then minimally, take 15 minutes a day for a brisk walk.  Do it at lunch or one of your breaks at work.

My sister-in-law wears a pedometer and she counts her steps in a day.  It is said that in order to be healthy,  you need to step around 12,000 steps a day or more.  This can be counted from just walking to your car, to your desk, to the bathroom, going around your house picking up toys.  It doesn’t have to be counted all at one time, in one place.
Here is a link to a site that will show you how walking helps you lose weight and how to keep track of it for your personal goals.  http://www.pbs.org/americaswalking/health/health20percentboost.html

Keep walking!  In fact, I am ending todays’ blog and going right to my elliptical for an hour.  But, I have done less time on it…..the idea is to do something!