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How to Effectively Lose Weight and Keep it Off

Weight loss, pants too large nowWeight loss is always a hot topic, and a quick look at Google Trends shows that most people are searching for a diet plan to help lose the weight. While there are a lot of diet plans out there, and many of them will work—for awhile, keeping the weight off has always been the big issue. So many people will try a diet, lose some weight for awhile, and then end up putting on more weight than they lost.

At Kempsville Chiropractic, we want to increase your knowledge and understanding of what to do to effectively lose weight and keep it off throughout your life. Then, we want to help empower you to take the actual steps necessary to successfully achieve your goals.

The first thing to understand is the solution to being able to effectively lose weight and keep it off throughout your entire lifetime is not found in some magic diet or diet pill. Effective weight loss is accomplished by living a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle is something you must chose to do — it is not a 60-day plan to lose 10 pounds. The great news is that once you commit to living a healthy lifestyle, the things you do to lose weight and keep it off will also increase your quality and quantity of life.

The Psychology of Effectively Losing Weight and Keeping it Off

Throughout our lives we make daily choices. What to eat, what to wear, where to live…and the list goes on and on. Some of these choices we regret as soon as we make them, others may even have long term consequences, and then there are the choices we are glad we made. One of the toughest choices for many can be the choice to “live a healthy lifestyle,” especially since we live in a world of fast food where we are constantly burning the candle at both ends.

A common problem we often run into is the difference between “like to” and “want to.” All to often we tell ourselves that we “want” to lose weight, when the truth is we really would just “like” to lose weight. To be successful, we need to learn how to change the “I would like to lose weight,” to “I WANT TO lose weight.”

We all know that to lose weight, we have to burn more calories than we eat. That is not a secret. Yet, according to the CDC website, 35.7% of the adult population in the U.S. are obese.

To help you effectively lose weight and keep it off, you need to understand the psychology behind why we make the choices we do. We choose to do things for these two main reasons:

  • To gain pleasure or comfort
  • To avoid pain or discomfort

So ask yourself these questions. Do you look forward to working out? Does eating a healthy meal make you feel good about yourself? Do you hate eating junk food? What tastes better to you, junk food or healthy food?

If you find you have emotional barriers to eating nutritionally and exercising, if you dread having to workout or eat right, you need to change the way you feel about a healthy lifestyle. Until you find enjoyment and pleasure in exercise and proper nutrition, you will have difficulty in living a healthy lifestyle.

The Quality of Your Health is Dependent Upon the Quality of Your Habits

Let’s just take a second to read that heading again. “The quality of your health is dependent upon the quality of your habits.” What are your habits? Are they good for your health or bad? Instinctively you already know the answer to those questions. So the big question is, “What are you going to do about it?”

Procrastination is by far the greatest psychological barrier to losing weight. And I bet you’re an expert at collaborating with your procrastination! We all are to some extent. When it comes to losing weight or starting an exercise program how many times have we said or heard, “I’ll start on Monday,” as if it would be horribly wrong to start today. We are conditioned in life to put everything off until Monday. School starts on Monday… Your new job will start on Monday… We got a lot done this week, so let’s pick up on Monday where we left off…

Some of us are even more advanced in our procrastination. “I’ll start the beginning of next month.” Or, “the holidays are coming up, so let’s make it our goal to start January 1!” That procrastination can stretch from October all the way to January. If you have ever made a choice about your health like this (yes, procrastination is a choice) and felt relief that you don’t have to start “right now,” be honest with yourself and realize that you don’t really “want to” lose weight. If you can put something off for weeks or months, then it is not that important to you.

Busting Out of Your Rut

Stop and take a good look at the way you are living your life. Is it what you would describe as the ideal way you want your life to be? Were there things you enjoyed doing before that you no longer seem to find the time for?

Woman trainingIt’s time for a change for the better. To do so you need to bust out of the rut you are living in, and escape the “comfort zone” that is holding you back and destroying your life. To have a new, better, and healthier life you need to create new habits — and that’s easier said than done. While no one is exactly sure where the 21-day rule originated, back in the 1970s, a self-help book entitled “Psycho-Cybernetics” espoused the theory that it takes 21-days to break or make a habit. Whether it takes you 21-days or 2-months to break you old habits and create new, healthy habits is not important. What is important is that you make up your mind that you will do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done — whether you want to or not! You need to make a commitment to yourself that you will do this as long as it takes to create the new habits that will lead to a healthier, thinner, fitter you for the rest of your life.

HEALTH TIP: Find a friend or family member to do this with you. Accountability helps create new habits. A workout partner helps you show up for your workouts and enjoy them more. A healthy eating partner will help keep the cheating to a minimum.

Steps to Creating Healthy Habits and Making Lifestyle Changes

  1. Decide what you want to do, and be passionate about it.

  2. Set realistic and reasonable goals.
    You need to set short term and long term goals. Goals should be written down and kept where you can see them daily. Give yourself a realistic timeline to reach them. All too often people sabotage their potential success by setting goals they have no chance of achieving. When it comes to losing weight, 1-2 pounds a week is a good initial goal.
    HEALTH TIP: Many people find that posting their goals on the refrigerator door can be helpful in reminding them to eat right.

  3. Picture yourself achieving your goals.
    We have all heard the motivational saying, “if you can see it, you can achieve it.” There is a lot of truth in this. Take time everyday to picture yourself the way you want to be. See yourself it that new bathing suit. See yourself as a fit, vibrant and healthy individual. Picture yourself enjoying the activities of a healthy lifestyle.

  4. Emotionalize your decision.
    As we discussed before, our decisions are based on emotions. Finding enjoyment and pleasure in exercising and eating nutritionally is vital to your success.

  5. Foot on a scale
  6. Be consistent.
    This point is extremely important. Strive to be consistent with your exercise and nutrition. Long-term results come from consistency.

  7. Keep track of your progress.
    One of the most motivational tools in losing weight is seeing your progress. Ideally you should weigh yourself once a week (same day and time) and take key body measurements such as hips and waist once a week as well. Then at the end of the month you can look back and see how far you have come in reaching your goals.

  8. Reward yourself when you reach your goals.
    Find positive ways to reward yourself as you reach your long- and short-term goals. Do something to celebrate your wins (new clothes in smaller sizes, trips, spa treatments, etc).

Action Steps to Lose Weight and Keep it Off

  1. Exercise (if you don’t currently exercise, start out slowly)
    • Find exercises that you enjoy doing because if you enjoy doing it, you will continue to exercise throughout your life. Remember CONSISTENCY is the key.
    • You should do BOTH cardiovascular exercises (walking, swimming, biking, elliptical machine, etc.) AND strength training exercises (calisthenics, push-ups, sit-ups, weight machines, free weights, etc.)
    • It is best to exercise four times per week for 45 minutes per session.
    • See our video of core exercises.

  2. Nutrition (see our article on nutrition for more information)
    • Increase your intake of water (drink half your body weight in ounces). Example: 120 lb. = 60 oz.
    • Increase your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, optimally seven combined servings each day.
    • Eat 5-6 small meals per day. Remember, you still need to eat less calories than you burn off to lose weight.
    • Consume a minimum amount of fluids when eating to avoid diluting the digestive juices.
    • Avoid processed foods, partially hydrogenated fats (e.g. margarine), artificial sweeteners (e.g. Nutrasweet), high fructose corn syrup and other sugars, and MSG (monosodium glutamate).
    • Avoid eating too many grains. Grains, even whole grains, can turn into sugar in the body it they are not needed immediately for energy.
    • Don’t eat for 3-4 hours before you go to bed.
    • When grocery shopping, make a list of what you need to be healthy and stick to that list. (If it’s not in your house, you won’t eat it.)
      HEALTH TIP: Try to eat foods with only 1 thing in the ingredient list. Foods with multiple items in the ingredient list are processed foods.

  3. Sleep (see our article on sleep for more information)
    Try to go to bed before 11:00 p.m. Most of your body’s systems do the vast majority of their recharging between 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m.
    Lack of sleep could be making you fat. Research by the International Journal of Obesity shows that people were more likely to lose 10 pounds if they sleep between 6-8 hours a night.
    Sleeping in a dark, cool environment leads to a better and deeper sleep. Turn of the TV, and try to eliminate all sources of light, especially light in the blue wave lengths which emanate from computers, TVs, iPads, and smart phones.
    Some of the consequences of too little sleep are: high blood sugar levels (diabetes risk), accelerated aging, hypertension (high blood pressure), and an increased risk of cancer.

Call us at 757.467.5258 to arrange an appointment with Kempsville Chiropractic. Let us help educate and motivate you on your weight loss and health goals. If any of your friends and family can benefit from this article, please recommend this article to them.

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These articles are the property of Kempsville Chiropractic. They may not be reused without permission. You are welcome to link to this article. Kempsville Chiropractic has been proudly serving Virginia Beach, Virginia; Chesapeake, Virginia; and Norfolk, Virginia since 1996.

The contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Lombardozzi. The information on this site is not intended as medical advice. The information contained on this website is a sharing of knowledge based on the experience and research of Dr. Lombardozzi and his staff. Dr. Lombardozzi recommends that patients make their health care decisions after doing their research and consulting with a qualified health care professional.

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