Behavior Change #1
Most of us go through some sort of weight loss journey in our lifetimes, if lucky. We may be doing it after gaining weight in college, having a baby, or just getting lazy. At one time or another, we turn to quick fix diets, weight loss pills, caffeine, and the media to give us our answer on how to be the next thinnest thing. Something or someone lights a fire under our ass to tell us it’s time to lose a few. Whether it’s to the point of a doctor explaining your cholesterol and triglycerides are high, to an upcoming best friends wedding in a bridesmaids dress we are already regretting- there is a time to lose weight.
Most of us will turn to anything and everything that is low-fat, low-cal, low-anything, to lose a few pounds. Then we realize that all of our efforts on the low-food isn’t working and hit the gym. And after we lose 3 pounds from wearing down our legs on that horribly boring treadmill, we feel elated. Deflated. Utterly discouraged. And give up.
But I’m here to show you it can be easy to be healthy. The hard part is getting sculpted like an Olympic athlete – that takes time.
The main way to lose weight and keep it off is to change our behaviors. We must change our connection to food. Food brings us joy, is there to comfort us, and is there to help us celebrate. But most of the time, that food is unhealthy, packed with calories, and sinfully delicious. And I mean sinfully!
To start, we must disconnect food from emotions, and connect it to what it truly is: fuel.
A calorie is a unit of measure that nutritionists use to determine how much energy a certain piece of food can give us. If we eat too much, it gets stored as fat. If we eat too little, our body feeds off that fat. (Yay!)
Behavior change number one is to start reading labels. Read how many calories a food is, how much each serving is, the amount of fat and sugar in each serving, and so on. Get to know the food you are eating before you eat it. Move on down to the ingredients. Do you recognize them? Could you picture them in your head? If not, chances are the product is full of things you don’t want to be putting in your body. Start with this simple change this week, and next week we’ll add another.
Behavior Change #2
“Eat food, not food-like substances.”
Behavior change number one was to start reading labels. Now let’s move on to something tangible.
Behavior change number two is to add in organic produce. Organic produce doesn’t have pesticides and is not genetically modified like conventional produce. Organic produce will fight diseases; conventional produce will feed them.
By adding in good stuff, your body will start to get used to the amount of vitamins and nutrients you are feeding it, and it will crave more.
Let me tell you a personal story that proves this. When my boyfriend and I moved in together, we had huge differences in our eating habits. He didn’t eat breakfast, ate Boar’s Head sandwiches for lunch, and had a Lean Cuisine for dinner. He was definitely in shape and seemed perfectly healthy, but I slowly showed him the “problems” in his ways.
Instead of banning his types of food from the house, I started cooking for him and offering healthy, organic meals. I would make my healthy french toast or chick’n and waffles for breakfast. Lunch included pita pizzas and hummus wraps. Snacks were chopped veggies and fruit. For dinner, I made salads into meals by adding grilled chicken. Dessert was soy vanilla ice cream in stevia-sweetened root beer. By the first week’s end, he started craving my salads and asked if I could please make them. He wanted to know where the chopped veggies were, and asked for more celery. I never thought I could get that freezer empty from those sodium-filled tiny trays, but I did! And if I’m not home, or feeling too lazy to make dinner, he’ll enjoy a low-cal one by himself that is full of lean proteins and veggies.
The moral of the story here is that, even a manly-man, who played lacrosse throughout high school, can now love a salad for dinner. (As long as I add in a tablespoon of dried cranberries, he’ll devour my grilled protein salads!) So even though he was perfectly healthy before, he now sees food in a different light, knows how to read labels, and has hopped on the organic train with me. We are fighting disease together by eating together. It’s simple additions that lead to an overall lifestyle change. And now we get to bond over meals and feel great together, knowing we are extending our lives and avoiding disease.
Head to the store, fill up your cart with all your favorite seasonal fruits and veggies, and get your weight loss journey off to a great start. It’s the first day of Fall, and a great time to start getting healthy.
If you need any help getting started, you can head on over to check out my meal plan. If you need recipe help, just email me. Give me your ingredients, and I’ll give you a healthy recipe. It’s all included!
Bonus: These changes are not just for weight loss, because you could do that in numerous ways. But this plan is to increase your overall health, fight the top five fatal diseases, and cure your ailments you are currently taking medications for. Say goodbye to that handful of pills once and for all. High blood pressure, cholesterol meds, and heartburn will be a thing of the past. Just follow my blogs, read my daily tips, and sign up for my membership. You will not regret it.
Boars Head: Isn’t it natural? No. Processed meats, lunch meats, cured meats, and sausages are cancer-causing. The way they are processed into their final products means adding in carcinogenic dyes, preservatives, and nitrates. If you like to eat meat, choose local, organic sources. Eat lean meats that are right off the bone, such as boneless, skinless, chicken breast, wild or sustainably farmed salmon, and grass-fed organic beef. Try a farmer’s market, health food store, or Trader Joe’s for these options.
Behavior Change #3
You can guess the behavior change this week by the picture. Behavior change number 3 is to say goodbye to junk food and food-like substances. I admit, this is the hardest step to make. That is why we started with education and adding in good stuff. Now the journey gets harder.
People react defensively when things are taken away from them. They usually react by doing the exact opposite of what they are supposed to be doing. I say no fast food, you have it for dinner. I say no ice cream, you buy a gallon. It’s human nature. We don’t like to be deprived. In scientific history, deprivation means starvation, means death.
Today, we have access to unlimited food, drink, and food-like substances (which we will define in a minute).
But this isn’t taking anything away from you… except fat, pounds, and inches. This is taking away medications for high cholesterol and triglycerides, clearing your skin, giving you a higher metabolism, taking away headaches, body aches, cramps, and pains. This is taking away plaque from your arteries so your blood and oxygen can flow freely. This is taking away the thought, “Why am I so fat? Can I ever look that good? What is stopping me?”
You are stopping you. Only You can change your lifestyle and You can’t depend on anyone. Not your bestfriend to come with you to the gym, not your mom to cook you the right foods, not an expensive meal plan that ships you the right meals everyday. I’m here to help you get through this, but YOU have to dedicate yourself and decide to change your life right now.
Take out the junk food. Clean out your kitchen. And stop thinking you need it to survive.
You can donate unopened and unspoiled foods to a nearby church.
What is junk food?
Processed, simple carbs, foods with preservatives, sugary snacks, candy:
- white flour
- white bread
- Anything with Enriched Bleached Flour, Enriched Flour, Wheat Flour (Same as white flour)
- sugary cereals
- boxed bars (Poptarts, granola bars, protein bars)
- crackers with any preservatives or sugar
- canned goods that have added ingredients (like Boston Baked Beans, Clam Chowder, Pie filling, etc.)
- ice cream
- sugary yogurts
- whole milk
- milk chocolate (Dark chocolate with min. 70% cacao is O.K)
- sugary condiments (ketchup, bbq sauce, fake maple syrup)
- cheese (unless lite)
- processed meats (lunch meat, frozen chicken fingers, etc)
Basically, if you can’t pick it from the ground, or kill it with a gun, take it out.
If it doesn’t spoil in two weeks, then it probably isn’t good for you, except for things like this:
- dry quinoa
- dry or canned organic beans
- dry legumes
- stone ground whole wheat
- rolled oats
- organic spices (Seasoning salt is not a spice! The first ingredients are salt+sugar.)
- organic canned soups
Now that your kitchen is clean, you are not allowed to bring that crap back in the house. If you feel the need to eat something that is junky, buy a single serving and enjoy it outside of your home. Your kitchen is now a sanctuary and you’re not allowed to taint it!
What is a Food-Like Substance?
A food-like substance is something that pretends to be food, but is just processed, chemically-altered, factory produced, edible substances. Just because it’s edible, doesn’t mean you should eat it. I say:
If it’s a plant: Eat it. If’ it’s made in a plant: Don’t!
All those substances you see on TV are made super cheaply by people who don’t care about your health and only care about money. If it needs to have a label that says its healthy, it’s not. Does an apple have a label that says it’s good for you? No, it doesn’t need it. Does a FiberOne bar have a label that says it good for you? Yes, because it needs it. Isn’t fiber healthy? NOT IF IT COMES FROM A FACTORY! Don’t feed into marketing bullshit. Get real, and get real food. You know what has all the fiber you need in a day? Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Not a sugary, processed, chemically-altered FiberOne bar that will stop up your digestion! Learn this now, and forget all that crap and all those “health-claims.”
ORGANIC PRODUCE DOESN’T NEED A HEALTH CLAIM: YOU KNOW IT IS HEALTHY. Remember this, throw out the crap, and begin your weight loss journey correctly.
Email me if you need help: NicoleDavidsohn AT Gmail.com
Behavior Change #4
Write. It. Down.
Keeping a food and exercise journal has been scientifically proven to aid in weight loss. When you have to measure and see the numbers of exactly what you are putting in your body, you learn that you should be putting less. Less meat, less dairy, less sugar, less salt, and more fiber, more whole grains, and more veggies.
For someone to track every single little bite, they must be dedicated. You can’t skip the banana because you think it’s healthy – it still contributes to daily calories.
Let’s take a step back one second. You might be overwhelmed at this point and thinking you can’t do this. It’s O.K. A life change takes time, which is why I’m giving you behavior changes by the week, not the day. You must get used to doing things. Your mind and body need to adapt slowly. Shocking your body (like doing a fast or cleanse) will make you feel like crap and make you think it is impossible to lose weight and get happy from torturing yourself.
Keeping a journal is not torture. It’s an opportunity for you to learn about yourself, your behaviors, your energy levels, and how food affects all of that. We are all individuals and work best in our own ways, but that way can be healthy and you don’t have to be fat anymore.
I use http://www.livestrong.com/myplate/ to track my calories and macronutrients. There is also a diary section of it where you can write down how you feel: http://www.livestrong.com/thedailyplate/diary/who/. This is a FREE service, which is why I use it personally. You can export your diary, print it out, email it, share it, so your responsibility for your life is 100%…like it should be now.
Most of us are overweight because of emotional eating. We eat when were bored, tired, excited, celebrating, happy, sad, and just wandering. We eat because we have an appetite from smells, looks, and commercials. But when do you eat when you’re hungry. Just plain hungry. You know you’re hungry when you tummy is grumbling, you’re feeling tired and weak, and you’ll eat just about anything to fill you up. This is hunger, and the only time when you should be eating.
It’s so important to keep a journal because then when you’re feeling that craving, but your body is not hungry, you can write. You can type. You can talk to your phone so it can keep the message for you. With the high technology we have now, it is simple to keep a journal. When I’m out, I access the MyPlate feature from the net on my phone. Before I take a bite of that salad, I make sure I write it down. If I didn’t make it myself, I ask about the details. I check the calorie menu. And I make sure I’m eating right.
How do you know what to eat and when? I’ll help you with my meal plan. It’s a great start to teach you how to eat simple recipes, and after a week you’ll get the hang of it and will be able to do it for the rest of your life. Soon you won’t have to use measuring cups and spoons because you will know how much a tablespoon and cup is. You’ll know one pear is one serving of fruit, and a dash of vanilla is a teaspoon.
If you believe in yourself, overcome those emotional boundaries, and start measuring today, you can lose weight. You can do this. Now go sign up for a free account on LiveStrong, and start recording now. Don’t wait for tomorrow, don’t wait for Monday, Start Now!
Behavior Change #5
I’m sure you’ve made goals before. A goal to lose 5lbs, a goal to get an A on a test, a goal to graduate. Those are simple goals; let me introduce you to SMART goals. They will help you accomplish your weight loss goal and assist you through your journey so you know what to do, how to do it, and when it should be done.
Specific – A speciﬁc goal is one that is clearly deﬁned in such a way that anyone could understand what the intended outcome is. Goals should contain a detailed description of what is to be accomplished; when you want wants to accomplish it by; and the action(s) that will be taken to accomplish it.
Example: I want to lose 35 pounds by March 1st, 2013 by exercising daily and eating clean and healthy.
Measurable – Your goal needs to be quantiﬁable. Establish a way to assess the progress toward each goal. If a goal cannot be measured, a client cannot manage it. You need: Scale for pounds and body fat %. Measuring tape for inches.
Example, “I want to look better” is not measurable, but “to reduce body fat by 5% in 12 weeks” is measurable.
Attainable – Attainable goals are the right mix of goals that are challenging, but not extreme. Goals that are too easily accomplished do not stretch a client or make him or her grow as a person because they are not challenging enough.
Example: Instead of aiming to lose 20 pounds, try for 7-10lbs, if overweight or obese. Obese means 30+ pounds over the healthy range.
Realistic – To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which an individual is both willing and able to work. A goal is probably realistic if the individual truly believes that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know whether a goal is realistic is to determine whether a client has accomplished anything similar in the past or to ask what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.
Example: I have lost weight before by eating healthy and exercising so I know I can do it again, but make it permanent this time.
Timely – A goal should always have a speciﬁc date of completion. The date should be realistic, but not too distant in the future. For example, set goals that can be achieved tomorrow and in 3 months.
Example: I will lose 35 pounds and 10% of body fat by March 1st, 2013.
Total Goal: I will lose 35 pounds and 10% of body fat by March 1st, 2013 by exercising 60 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of strength training at least 5 days a week. I will also avoid processed foods, sugary foods, and eat clean and healthy. I will lose 5-7 pounds per week and measure this by weighing myself on Sunday morning before breakfast.
Bonus: I will check in with my trainer daily to make sure I am on the right track, and to express how I am feeling. I will post a monthly picture of myself on Facebook or Twitter for social responsibility.
A great way to start your weight loss journey, to start your full commitment is to start with a SMART goal. Write it down and put it somewhere you will see everyday, like the fridge, your desktop, and phone wallpaper. Do not skip this part! If you’ve been following the behavior changes, you should be fully ready to write this goal and begin it now. Today. Tonight. Whatever time you are reading this, start now.
You should make a short term goal and a couple long term goals, one for 3 months, 6 months, and one-year. Write yours in the comment below. Don’t skip any steps! Displaying your goal in public holds you to a higher responsibility, so express your goal everywhere and you will have a higher chance of accomplishing it.
You must make an action plan to meet your goal. Here are the steps. By the way, I’m explaining all the secrets of being a personal trainer FOR FREE! If you want to help me back, please LIKE my facebook, FOLLOW my twitter, and DONATE to my paypal so I can keep helping you for free.
- What is my objective (goal)?
- What is the target date to complete my goal?
- What resources are needed to accomplish my goal (money, time, equipment, people)?
- What do I need to accomplish on a daily basis to reach my goal?
- What is the current status of my goal?
- What are some possible difﬁculties I may have to overcome to reach my objective?
- What is my total goal?
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Thanks for reading and good luck with your Weight Loss Journey.
2 thoughts on “Weight Loss Behavior Changes”
Hi Nicole, great entry! I will try and follow this. your cousin Laurie
Thanks so much!