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Q and A Session For Everday Health New Year New You Part Two

Posted Feb 04 2011 1:56pm

headerEveryday Healths expert’s answers and my replies.

1 ) We all make New Year’s resolutions, and often these resolutions involve weight loss or fitness goals. But many of us quickly lose traction and don’t achieve our goals.

What are the psychological and emotional reasons behind these failures?

Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN ()

Founder and Owner of Zied Health Communications, author of Nutrition at Your Fingertips

“So many of us fail to achieve our food, fitness, and weight goals simply because we’re often too hard on ourselves, expect perfection, and set hard-to-follow, unsustainable goals (for example, I’m cutting out sweets, or I’m not going to drink alcoholic beverages anymore).

Or perhaps we haven’t been to a gym in a while and instead of saying we’ll try to go twice a week, we set a goal to go five days a week or even every day.

There’s often such a big divide between where we are and where we think we need to be in terms of goals that it makes it tough, if not impossible, to achieve the goals we set for ourselves”.

Mark’s reply

I can totally relate and wholeheartedly agree with what is written here, sometimes when we are trying to do things we don’t even realise that we are sabotaging our own efforts.

Because we live in an instant gratification society sometimes, we set the bar too high which in turn can set us up for failure.

We can expect too much too soon sometimes, which isn’t a recipe for succeeding.

2 ) What is the biggest mistake people make when making a resolution? Are you setting yourself up for failure when you make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight or get fit?

Torey Jones, MS, RD, LDN ()

Clinical dietitian, Chicago, Ill.

The single biggest mistake that people make is trying to change too much, too fast. Achieving a healthy body or fitness level requires permanent lifestyle change. There is no quick fix and no pill to face the challenges of our McDonald’s-loving, TV-centric culture.

Aim to change just one small thing at a time. Focus solely on that change until it becomes a habit, an engrained part of your life. Let’s look at two New Year’s resolutions. One sets you up for failure, the other for success:

  • Resolution No. 1: I want to look good in a bathing suit by summer. Set this goal if you also want to bring pressure and self-criticism into the New Year!

This is too lofty a goal. Furthermore, appearance-oriented goals are often tied to feelings of shame and self-worth.

  • Resolution No. 2: I will add one serving (1 cup) of fruit to every breakfast. Could you achieve that? It would require some planning, but your chances are good. Moreover, it can be done without the culture shock and potential for guilt that comes along with hefty, 180-degree changes. Once this has become a habit, move on to your next attainable goals”.

Mark’s reply

Everything in the above reply is so true we don’t tend to put things into manageable small achievable goals. It tends to be looking at the whole big picture. We get overwhelmed by what we are trying to achieve, which can result in failure.

It’s all about baby steps which Torey emphasises so well, as the saying goes. How do you eat an elephant? A bit at a time.

Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your weight loss be.

3 ) How do you set reasonable, healthy expectations when you resolve to lose weight or shape up at this time of year or any other time of year?

Jennifer Schonborn, AADP ()

Holistic nutrition counselor

“The key is to make small, gradual changes, one baby step at a time. This week, try replacing French fries with green vegetables. Next week, go for a brisk walk a couple of times. And so on.

Break those big goals down into small, doable steps, and before you know it you’ll start to see results.  Patience is important, as is the resolve to make real, lasting changes to your habits.

Diets don’t work. If you lose 15 pounds in two weeks by severely restricting your food intake, that weight will come back once you start eating “normally” again.

What you want to do is reset what normal is for you. And it doesn’t have to be painful. Making small adjustments here and there add up to huge changes over time. Just stick with it”.

Mark’s reply

I do tend to agree that patience is a big key in succeeding long-term if we don’t tend to see results very quickly we can tend to get disillusioned and emotional at the same time.

Which will cause a recipe for disaster, I’m also a great believer in the fact that diets don’t necessarily work so agree with that statement wholeheartedly 100 %.

Diets tend to create a honeymoon type mentality, and once it’s over it can be very easy to slip into old habits and put the weight back on.

4 ) What kind of support should you seek to help you achieve your goals

Lynn Grieger, RD, CDE , cPT ()

Health food and fitness coach

“Not everyone needs support in reaching their goals, but many people find they stay on track if they have someone to be accountable to.

This person is preferably not a friend or family member; you want someone who can objectively help you.

A coach, personal trainer, physician, nurse practitioner, even an online community can work well in this role”.

Marks reply

I do tend to agree that many people may not need some support in attaining their goals, and people can tend to stay on the right track when they have somebody they are accountable to.

I don’t necessarily tend to agree that it doesn’t need to be a friend or a family member, not everybody can afford a personal trainer.

Having said that some people will need a personal trainer, especially, if they are struggling with motivation issues, etc.

I think friends and family can be a great support, and if you have a friend who is already fit and healthy you may be able to learn something from them, and even do your workout together that is just my point of view.

5 ) What are three things you can do to improve your chances of success before you make a healthy lifestyle change?

Roger Gould, MD ( )

“Be honest with yourself. If you are too distraught, scared of attempting to change your eating habits, or just wishing and hoping but secretly sure you are going to fail, don’t do it now just because it is a new year.

But if you are tired of yo-yo dieting, and tired of being obsessed and controlled by food, and are really ready to start a new part of your life, then make a serious commitment to a program that can guide you safely, step-by-step, to that goal.

If you decide to make a commitment, then stick with it by seeing it as a psychological growth adventure, which just happens to give you the added benefit of getting rid of your cravings and compulsive eating.”

Mark’s reply

I tend to agree about doing things because it’s the start of the New Year, we can make a decision to become fit and healthy at any time of the year so why not start now.

And I think seeing it is as a way to grow is a really good way to look at it, when we change things within ourselves, it can seem a bit uncomfortable.

However, think about how you feel when you’re how you are now being overweight and unfit this ultimately can lead to feelings of feeling guilty, etc.

6 ) Why is it so hard to keep the weight off after a diet, and what can you do to maintain weight loss?

Judith Beck, PhD ( )

President of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research; Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania

“Most dieters don’t recognize the following: If they’ve been dieting and their weight plateaus, they need to eat exactly the same number of calories to maintain their weight loss.

The moment they start eating more calories, they will start to gain weight back.

Therefore, from the very beginning, they shouldn’t make any changes in their eating that they can’t keep up for life.

Keeping weight off after a diet is also difficult because once dieters become accustomed to the lower number on the scale, they no longer get the thrill of weighing themselves.

They need to continue to motivate themselves daily by reading a long list of reasons they want to maintain their weight loss: “I want to stay thinner, I want to keep feeling better about myself, I want to maintain the health benefits I’ve experienced, I want to continue to have more energy,” and so on”.

Marks reply,

I do tend to agree that they shouldn’t make any changes in their eating that they can’t keep up for life. When you’re trying to lose weight and lose a significant amount.

They can be a tendency to slip back into eating things that got you in there in the first place, and you end up putting it back on.

When you are embarking on a healthy lifestyle, you have to make the hard decision that it has to be for life or not at all, harsh words, I know but that is how it has to be.

In addition, I tend to agree about the thrill of getting on the scales, once you have lost the weight the novelty can wear off. That is why it is important to keep these habits in place to make sure that you don’t stray.

7 ) Can you rearrange your life in any way to make it easier to avoid diet temptations?

Alysa Bajenaru, RD, CPT ()

Dietitian, personal trainer

“Absolutely. The best way to avoid temptations is to be prepared. Take some time on Sunday to plan out meals for the week.

Take time each night to prepare snacks and meals for the next day.

Always keep a healthy snack on hand in your purse or briefcase so that you won’t be tempted to snack from a vending machine”.

Mark’s reply

Preparing meals in advance is a great idea as well as doing it at night time, and having snacks handy in a small plastic tub is great advice. If we have it with us then there is no excuse.

If you have food with you are far less likely to get tempted by eating take-away food, which may be unhealthy. I agree with everything written in the above reply some great advice there.

8 ) What advice do you have for people who just don’t like to exercise or who avoid it for other reasons?

Julie Upton, MS, RD ()

Former national spokesperson, American Dietetic Association .

“Call it something else and get on with it. We have to move our bodies — period. Of all the things there are to do to move, find something you like and do it.

I think people who do a variety of activities tend to be the ones who stick with it, and morning exercise seems to be the best for sticking to a schedule.

Gardening, walking the dog, taking stairs, doing basic strength exercises while watching TV all count. Just do something — every day if you can”.

Marks reply

I don’t exactly know what else you could call it, but I think that is great advice. We do we indeed have to move our bodies because that is what they were designed for in the first place.

And people who do a variety of different exercises are probably far less likely to get bored and stop. We tend to forget that we can incorporate exercise into our lives without even realising it, such as what is mentioned above.

Like gardening, walking the dog, etc.

9 ) When you’re making a resolution to improve your health, who should you recruit to be on your wellness team?

Corinne Dobbas ( )

“Recruit those closest to you and that you spend the most time with, as they have the biggest impact on your day-to-day. For example, tell your spouse, best friends, and those closest to you at work.

Explain to them that you’re on a mission to get healthier and that it’s very important to you because of “x, y, and z.”

They will respect you and be less likely to offer you cookies and muffins, tell you to skip the gym for drinks, and eat Chinese takeout instead of cook at home.

Additionally, if you share a couple of your goals with them, such as eating breakfast and working out four days a week, you may find that they help keep you honest.

You may also find that you inspire them, and that they start to change for the healthier too, giving you more opportunities to succeed”.

Mark’s reply

I think it’s important to recruit people you spend a lot of time with, the reason being is if they have good habits than they are very likely to rub off on to you, especially if they have healthy ones. It’s a well-known fact that we become mostly like the people we are around.

So I agree with the above statement about getting people close to you on board. Having people around you with similar values will help you immensely.

In your long-term goals and it could work both ways you will both become healthier at the same time. Overall, sound advice from Corrine.

10 ) It’s easy to make excuses when you’re juggling work and family responsibilities. How can you make time for your resolutions in a hectic schedule?

Dr. Susan Biali, MD ( )

“Here are four key ways to free up time. Look at your schedule for the next month and ask yourself these questions:

1. Where in your life are you wasting time that you could easily take back for yourself?

2. What unnecessary or unfulfilling commitments, activities or tasks in your life can you simply start saying “no” to?

3. What things are you doing that someone else (your kids, your spouse, an assistant, a student you could hire) could do for you?

It also helps to identify what time of day you are most likely going to keep your promise to yourself (for example, if you know that there’s no way you would ever peel yourself off the couch at night to exercise, plan to fit in your new exercise routine in the morning or during your lunch hour.)

Mark’s reply

I tend to agree that when we say we don’t have time to get fit and healthy, we often waste that time time doing other things which we shouldn’t be doing.

And sometimes it can be hard to say no to other people when we know we should be doing other things. I can relate to number two as I bet other people can.

My grateful thanks for letting everyday health let me participate in this as I have really enjoyed it thank you. I hope everybody has got as much out of this as I have.

If you would like to see all the answers that the experts gave from everyday health, here is the link

Post from: Weight Loss Blog (Lose That Tyre)

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