Losing weight is a challenge for most of us, however before you charge ahead into a weight loss program, take a moment and assess if you're really ready to begin the journey to better health. Successful weight loss depends on choosing healthy foods and making time to exercise each and every day. Knowing that you need to make changes and actually implementing them on a consistent basis are two different things. Here are some questions to consider.
ARE YOU READY TO...
1. OVERHAUL YOUR DIET by adding fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy to every meal?
2. STRIVE TO EXERCISE for at least 30 minutes each day? It's important to make a plan to include exercise as part of your day, like brushing your teeth. It will help you lose weight and keep it off.
3. FIND YOUR MOTIVATION for losing weight and getting healthy? Focus on your motivational goal. It might be to get in shape for an upcoming event, feel better, improve your appearance or have more energy.
4. ADDRESS THE DISTRACTIONS IN YOUR LIFE? If you are facing financial worries, marital problems, illness or stress on the job, eating healthy can help you face the difficulties in life, however you may need to have your life calm down a bit before you begin your weight loss program.
5. BE REALISTIC WITH YOUR WEIGHT LOSS GOALS? Losing and maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong process. It is best to aim for one to two pounds per week for weight loss. In order to do that, you need to burn 500-1,000 calories more than what you consume each and every day.
6. RESOLVE ANY EMOTIONAL EATING? Boredom, stress, grief and anger can trigger emotional eating any time of day. Identify any emotional issues that are related to eating unhealthy foods and make a plan so you are prepared for a healthy change. Keep healthy emergency foods on hand so you can always make smart choices like apples with almond butter, hummus and vegetables or Greek yogurt and berries.
7. GET SUPPORT? Weight loss support is key, so it's important to have someone in your corner that can offer encouragement. If you want to keep weight-loss efforts to yourself, then journal on FitDay.com, keeping track of your daily caloric intake and exercise.
8. STAY POSITIVE? Developing a positive attitude towards weight loss is necessary if you are going to succeed. Embrace the idea of improving your health, losing weight and how you will feel when you weigh less.
9. CELEBRATE LITTLE VICTORIES? Ordering a grilled chicken salad at lunch with the dressing on the side instead of a burger and French fries is reason to celebrate for a job well done.
If you have answer "yes" to all the issues listed above, then you are ready for a weight-loss regimen. You may want to move forward on your own, creating your healthy eating and exercise plan or perhaps enlist some professional help. It's a great way to educate you and learn what needs to be done to achieve optimum health, wellness and weight loss.
Sherry L. Granader is a Sports Nutritionist, National Speaker and Spokesperson, Author of 2 healthy cookbooks, Writer, Ghost Writer, Nationally Certified Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer. She has shared the stage with such celebrities as Whoopi Goldberg, Suze Orman and the late Governor Ann Richards and served as the On-Air Nutritionist for QVC television in the United States and the UK. She has cooked for her favorite bodybuilder, Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk) and his family, shared her nutrition expertise with Chuck Norris on the set of his movie "Sidekicks" and appeared on 8-time Mr. Olympia, Lee Haney's Championship Workouts on ESPN. Sherry hosted her own "Healthy Living" show on PBS for several years. For more information on Sherry, visit www.sgfit.com or write to Sherry at firstname.lastname@example.org.