Perhaps you’d like to be the same size you were years ago, but that may mean dropping more than 40 pounds. Don’t go there — not yet, at least. Set a smaller goal of losing 5% to 10% of your weight, and give yourself plenty of time and some flexibility to reach that goal, keeping in mind that most people take at least half a year to achieve that amount of weight loss.
2. Monitor yourself.
Keeping a food and exercise log can help you gain awareness of your behaviors and track your changes toward specific goals.
3. Support networks work!
Find at least one fitness partner to help motivate you and hold you accountable. In-person groups, like those offered by Weight Watchers, can serve this purpose; so can online support groups.
4. Think outside the box.
Try a new form of exercise. Swim laps at a local pool; go dancing; play Frisbee. Finding a form of exercise that you really enjoy will make it easier to stick to an exercise routine — and incorporating new types of exercise can keep you challenged and less likely to become bored.
5. The importance of sleep.
Research shows inadequate sleep can lead to weight gain. Most people need about eight hours of sleep a night, but there’s a lot of variability — some people need more, some less. You can tell if you’re getting enough sleep if you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go, rather than groggy and grouchy.
6. Eating breakfast matters.
Many people skip breakfast because they’re too rushed or they aren’t hungry. Try getting up 15 minutes earlier (which means going to bed earlier so you don’t sacrifice sleep time) to make time for breakfast.
7. Limit your screen time.
People often complain that they don’t have enough time to exercise or to shop for and prepare healthy meals. But in fact, most people spend many hours watching TV or using their computer for fun. Keep track of your screen time for a week, then try scaling back the number of hours by a quarter or a third, and devote that time to your weight-loss efforts.
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