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Beyond Pounds: The Rule of Three
Looking at the Big Picture to Overcome Overweight and Obesity
There’s no shortage of information about how to lose weight, but when you choose what to do, don’t forget about YOU. If you’re looking to get to and maintain a healthy weight in 2012, changing your diet, exercise, and sleep habits will help you reach your goal. However, above pounds lost, behavior modification, which allows you to maintain your weight loss long-term, should be your ultimate objective. Before you place too much stock in a new regimen, explore the psychological aspects of why you act the way you do to reduce the risk of falling back into bad habits over time.
Despite knowledge, resources, and the ability to lose weight, many are not able to translate their weight loss to a healthy lifestyle. Many times the reason for weight regain is due to an experiment mentality. We set a time limit, a weight goal, and attempt to create controls of what we will and won’t do, all while obsessing over our jean size. Is this any different than treating yourself like a rat in a maze? You are not only body, but mind and spirit. Yes, you should desire a healthy weight, but seeking overall health is key. Analyze what may be behind bad eating habits and lack of exercise and address those issues as you come up with your weight loss plan. Observe and write down certain circumstances, attitudes and habits in your life that may threaten your maintaining a healthy weight. As you create a diet and exercise plan, consider changing certain variables that may be a hindrance to you, or come up with coping mechanisms for things you can’t control.
Being overweight or obese is a problem in so much that it is a major risk factor for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. Instead of obsessing about getting to an “ideal” weight, let your motivation be to realize the health benefits that can contribute to a longer, more abundant life. Two separate studies, one on diabetes, the other blood pressure, found that a weight loss between 5% and 15% of baseline weight can have significant health benefits. So while 50 and 100 pound success stories are real, don’t let the scale be your only predictor of success. As you lose weight, keep track of every aspect of your health, including body measurements, biological tests such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Consider testing your fitness as well. Last, consider stress and mental health tests. Monitoring each of these will help you see how healthy habits effect the whole you, not just the scale.
While it’s true that you should not have French fries daily, think realistically about your ability to completely cut out certain foods as you lose weight. Too much restriction may cause binge eating later on. You’re a Calorie Count member, so you understand that healthy eating is about monitoring your portions and creating a caloric deficit if you want to lose weight. To that end, change your mindset from what not to eat, to what "size" certain foods play in your lifestyle. Large portions of veggies, medium portions of fruit and whole grains, and small portions of meat, fats and processed foods will generally create a nutritious meal. While the site does give you specific daily calorie counts to stick to, over time, learning to instinctively choose the right portion sizes is what will keep your healthy lifestyle on track.
Share the rules you stick to that are helpful rules that have helped you lose weight initially and/or keep the weight off?