You have gone through it several times; you decide it is time to lose weight so you jump on the crash diet of the day. You do great at first, you drop five or ten pounds, start to feel better, and then the first plateau hits. This is discouraging and all of a sudden you start craving the foods you aren't allowed to eat. This leads to you cheating a little, then you hop on the scale and you see a pound or two increase. This is when the flood gates open and you go on a eat everything binge. This continues for a few days; even though you know you are on a downward spiral you are helpless to stop it. You keep telling yourself tomorrow you are getting back on track, but tomorrow never comes.
This model for attempted weight loss seems to be the most common, never works, is extremely unhealthy, and completely insane! So what is the answer? The answer is slowly building small habits designed for permanent behavior change. This means that you need to pick one small healthy habit to build into your routine or one bad habit to eliminate from your routine. This is much easier said than done. Building good habits are not easy, if they were you would already have done it by now. I have developed some simple guidelines to help you start new habits today.
Identify a habit you want to develop
Write a behavior change contract with yourself that you will stick to this habit
Come up with a reward that you will give yourself when you maintain the habit for 21 days
Identify barriers to maintaining the habit
Game plan ways to overcome these barriers
Build a ritual around the habit to keep yourself from forgetting about it
Use these steps to start developing your new lifestyle, start slow, start easy, then when you are successful move on to a harder habit. This will cause true lifestyle change and slow permanent results in health and weight!
For a great resource on habit change check out this video by BJ Fogg:
“Forget Big Change”