By Daphne Baldwin Kornrich, MS, RDN, CDN
I need to lose weight. I have to exercise. I’m so stressed at work I should be meditating.
We have all been there. Sometimes we need to stop, take a breath and think of small changes.
Many of us sabotage ourselves by trying to make too many changes at once. Making sustainable lifestyle changes takes time and effort, and making small changes in our eating behavior and physical activity can help us get there. Changing habits takes a conscious effort, a plan, and time.
Instead of making a global statement that you have to lose weight, focus on one small behavior change at a time that will promote weight loss.
- Try keeping a food record or journal to become more mindful and to assess what you are eating. See if you notice certain patterns or behaviors that prevent you from making permanent changes. Maybe you notice that you only snack while watching TV; just making a change to only eat at a table can help break this habit.
- You frequently skip meals, because you’re not hungry. Making one small change such as eating more regularly or not eating after 7:00 may help prevent dreaded nighttime overeating.
- You may have a Grande Caramel Latte every day from Starbucks, and didn’t realize that you are drinking approximately 400 calories. Just making the change of not going to Starbucks or substituting the latte for green tea can lead to weight loss.
- You feel that there is no time to go to the gym. Just making a small change to track your steps with a fitness tracker or phone app or adding 10 minutes of walking during your lunch break may improve your mood and help with increasing your physical activity.
Once you feel that you have accomplished one small change, it’s time to work on another. Success will build and your confidence with improve. You will soon find that you have developed sustainable healthy lifestyle changes by changing one thing at a time.
It’s important to recognize that slip ups can happen, and it’s how we react to them that make all the difference. Keeping your eye on your goal, continuing forward, and not beating yourself up when slip ups do happen is the key to success. And yes, don’t forget to BREATHE!
As Winston Churchill said….. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP!
Daphne Baldwin Kornrich has been a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for the past 30 years, working in a wide variety of clinical and outpatient settings. Daphne currently specializes in Bariatrics and Weight Management.