People often think of weight loss in very big steps. For example, committing to making a huge diet change, or committing to exercise four times a week.
While these kinds of huge proclamations can be effective for some, for most people this just doesn’t work in reality. People like to think they have the willpower to just completely turn their life upside down on a whim, but more often than not the changes don’t stick.
If you want to really create a lasting change, the best way to go about it is to do it in small steps.
Small Steps to a Better Diet
Changing your diet isn’t something you should try to do overnight. In fact, people who do try to change their diet overnight rarely manage to stick with their dietary goals. Instead, try to change your diet one food at a time, one week at a time.
For example, make it your goal for this week to eat a salad with two of your meals each day. That’s your only goal. You don’t need to count calories, you don’t need to reduce your food intake and you don’t need to quit fast food. All you need to do is eat a salad.
Then the next week you might make it your goal to stop eating fried foods. Again, if that’s your goal, it should be your only goal for the week. Don’t try to overdo it by implementing too many changes at once.
Taking your dietary changes slowly gives your brain time to adjust and get used to your new habits. It also gives your biochemistry time to adjust to the shifting hormones, calorie levels and nutrition.
Small Steps to a Fat Burning Workout
Much like changing your diet, your workout habits should also be taken slowly. If you try to take on a workout schedule that is too ambitious for you there’s a very good chance you will experience some backlash. Your subconscious mind will start making up excuses for not exercising.
Instead of trying to take on a huge exercise routine start with just one or two days a week. Work out enough that you feel like you are accomplishing your goals, but not so much that your whole body feels like it has gone through a washing machine.
Once you are in the habit of working out regularly, you can turn up the dial on the intensity. In the beginning, however, it makes sense to take things a little bit slower.
The most important thing to internalize is the mindset shift. Instead of thinking “today is the day when I’m going to make a huge change in my life,” start thinking in terms of “I’m going to make a slow and lasting change.” That’s how real change is done.