Thursday, 19 December 2013

Long-Term Behavior Change


By Michelle Burford
WebMD Feature

You know you want to make a change. You want to see what life is like without extra weight on your body -- and your mind. You're committed to healthy habits. So what's next? When you think about your habits like a road trip, your next steps become clear and you start to see your destination ahead.

Map Out Your Route

Just like you'd make a plan for a long road trip, you'll want to take time to think about how to map out healthy habits to take you to your goal. Planning can also get you psyched up about new things to try or doing things you enjoy. Here are tips to help you plan your habits, your support, and your own mindset.

Prepare for each destination. Think about what you’ll need to stick to your healthy habits everywhere you go: home, work, church, favorite restaurants.

For instance, what would your perfect, most motivating kitchen have? Cut-up colorful vegetables ready for you in the fridge? Apples in the fruit basket? Sheer curtains to let the light in?

If your church often has potlucks, what would make you feel the best about your choices when it's over? To bring a healthy dish and only eat it? To 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.

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.

Check your readiness to drive. You've got a long, winding trip ahead. Even with help and support, the buck stops with you. What can you do to set 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.

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.

source : Long-Term Behavior Change

0 comments to “Long-Term Behavior Change”

Post a Comment