How To Make Small Changes In Your Lifestyle

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I think the reason that Weight Watchers worked so well for me is because I approached it so slowly. I didn’t dive into it like I usually did with most diets. My sister lost 25 pounds on Weight Watchers and she told me that as long as I stayed within my points, I would lose weight. I believed her and I didn’t pay much attention to the eight good health guidelines.

Guess what? I lost weight. As long as I kept my points within my range and was honest about what I ate as far as portion sizes, I lost weight. As I continued with the program, I slowly added the good health guidelines to my diet. I never suffered from “Fiber Overload” or stressed too much about “Getting My Water In.” I just slowly adopted all the recommendations given to me instead of jumping in and making all those changes at once.

I think that’s why I was able to make the change. Whenever I tried other diets, I jumped in full steam ahead. It was so difficult to make all the changes that needed to be made that I usually gave up within a couple of weeks. So, what does this mean to you?

How To Make Small Changes In Your Lifestyle:

I know you want to lose all the weight in a month. Decide right now that it’s not going to happen. Be happy with one pound a week and make all your calculations based on that.

  • Find your calorie deficit: There are many ways to do this. The Weight Watchers Points System is a method of tracking caloric consumption. It is the easiest way I’ve found to keep track and to know how many calories you need. The typical estimate to maintain is 2000 calories a day for women and 2500 calories a day for men. You would reduce that by 500 calories a day in order to lose one pound a week. This estimate doesn’t take into account physical activity or difference in height, weight or muscular size. Stay within your amount of calories and you will lose weight.

  • Stay within your calorie limits for one month: Don’t worry about nutrition. Don’t worry about exercise. Don’t worry about anything except staying within your calorie amounts.

  • The second month, continue staying within your calorie limits, but add exercise: Add moderate forms of exercise, earning no more than 200 calories a day. If you hurt the next day, you did too much and you need to take it down a notch until you can safely exercise every single day (or maybe six days a week). There are many resources online that will tell you how many calories you will burn doing various exercises. Make sure you eat those extra 200 calories every day. When you exercise, you need to boost up your eating a bit.

  • The third month, continue staying within your calorie limits and exercising every day, but add ONE healthy habit: Choose a healthy habit from Weight Watchers, the Prevention Magazine Eat More, Lose More plan or Marilu Henner’s Diet. Work on incorporating this one healthy habit into your diet during the entire month. Slowly ease into the habit. If the goal is to eat five fruits and vegetables a day, eat two a day for the first week. Move on to three a day for the second week until you can gradually add all five to your diet every day.

  • Each month, keep up with your good habits and work on adding no more than one more habit: That’s enough to last you for the rest of the year.

If you stay within your calorie limits, you will lose weight. It’s physics. There’s no other way around it. If you adopt the healthy habits, then your nutrition will improve. It’s possible to eat within your calorie limits and eat poorly. It’s possible to eat nutritious food and still gain weight if you eat too much. This is what worked for me, so it might work for you.

Good Luck!


2 Responses to “How To Make Small Changes In Your Lifestyle”

  1. Lisa Caplinger Says:

    I agree 100%! I decided to get healthy and in the process lost the extra 15 pounds that I had carried around for two years, but it took changing my lifestyle gradually so that my mind and body had time to allow the changes to become habit. One month I switched to 1% milk. The next couple of weeks I added whole grains to that (not more white bread, bagels, etc.). After that, I started on the fruits and veggies and gradually started incorporating 30 minutes of physical exercise. Slow changes work and are more manageable!

  2. Braidwood Says:

    I’ve noticed for me that it is way more of a mind thing than a lifestyle thing- I’m still working that out for myself. For years now I have gone up and down in a 20 pound range. When I do decide to lose weight I know I can do it because I’ve done it so much. 🙂 If I restrict my calories, I freak out. So while I agree with your idea of going slow, for me, exercise is #1. My order would be: 1.Lift weights regularly, maybe twice a week. 2.Focus on eating healthy foods (think how good they taste, buy some, make some handy healthy food snacks and meals- like soup.) 3.Step up the exercise.

    Wow. I NEVER get to calorie counting. I get mad right away if I calorie count. When I was at my healthiest as an adult, my rule was that I woke up at 7 am and did SOMETHING. If you’re having a hard time exercising, I reccomend that- just get in the habit first- then get particular.

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