The 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 on Losing Weight and Changing Your Lifestyle

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5 THINGS TO FEEL MORE IN CONTROL!

SET A WEEKLY REALISTIC GOAL!  This will help keep you motivated and focused.  Here's an example, "This week I'll walk 10k steps on Friday, Saturday and Sunday." 
CREATE A VISUAL MEAL PLAN!  It's important to SEE your plan; breakfast, lunch, dinner.  Write it out on a dry erase board and snap a pic of it with your phone so you'll have it with you!  
BE ASSERTIVE!  Last-minute lunch dates and food pushers are tough.  Say "NO" when it's necessary and ask to choose the restaurant or to do something other than eating.  
FIND SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILITY!  Changing your lifestyle can feel downright lonely.  Find someone (or a FB group) to  support you and hold you accountable.
NO MORE EXCUSES.  You need to own it.  If it's important to you, you'll make it a priority not an excuse for it.   There's NEVER a good time to change your lifestyle,  so start TODAY!  Yes, start right now with your next meal.  Forget about what you had for breakfast...I like donuts too, but you need to learn to move forward not backward.  It's about tiny changes not flipping your entire world upside down.  I was the EXCUSE QUEEN.  Stop with the excuses.  #toughlove

4 QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT WEIGHT-LOSS PROGRAMS! 

IS IT REALISTIC?  CAN I DO IT LONG-TERM?  The issue is ALL programs work in the short-term but most don't build in a maintenance plan to work for the long haul.  This means once you stop eating certain foods or start eating "realistically" again you run the risk of gaining all the weight back.  This is the #1 reason I joined WW.  It's realistic and no food is off limits.  
DOES IT CUT OUT ENTIRE FOOD GROUPS?  It's super easy to cut entire food groups and it does work, but is it realistic?  Unless you plan on cutting them out for life it doesn't make much sense to cut them at all.  The key is to learn how to eat these foods (and food groups) you love in moderation.  
CAN I AFFORD IT?  Don't financially strain yourself because you're probably an emotional eater (like me).  When you're paying for something you can't afford, you might eat your feelings. 
IS SOMEONE HOLDING ME ACCOUNTABLE?  Be sure someone's holding you accountable for your actions and behaviors.  You're more likely to fall off the wagon if no one's watching.    

3 BEHAVIORS TO STOP!

EATING UNTIL YOU NEED TO UNBUTTON YOUR PANTS!  It's important to find that happy medium between starving and stuffed.  It's called SATISFIED.  Use this 20-minute experiment to figure out how much food you need to feel satisfied.  To do this lessen your portion with your next meal.  Wait 20 minutes after your last bite.  If you're still hungry eat a little more, if not you'll know  what was on your plate was enough! 
NEGATIVE SELF-TALK!  Yeah I know.  You somehow think beating yourself up both mentally and emotionally will somehow motivate you.  It doesn't,  recognize your negative self-talk and start reframing it!  
EMOTIONAL EATING!  This is a tough one since you've likely been emotional your ENTIRE LIFE so it's impossible to just cut it out cold-turkey.  Here's my 3-step process.  Step 1:  Admit you're doing it!  Step 2:  CHANGE what you're eating out of emotions--swap Oreos for grapes or cherries.  Step 3:  Do something else instead of eating.  Go for a walk, go to the gym or call a friend for support.   

2 HABITS TO START! 

MOVE MORE!  I hate to exercise.  Hate it, hate it, hate it!  But I know it's important to move more so that's my goal- don't be sedentary.  You'll ALWAYS eat more calories than you burn but incorporating new behaviors like taking a walk after dinner could eliminate the urge for dessert and save you a lot of unwanted calories.  
SLEEP MORE!  Well rested people are more likely to active and make better food choices.  You need at least 7 hours but no more than 9 hours of sleep each night.  

1 NON-NEGOTIABLE.

DON'T GO ON A FAD DIET!  They don't work!  (well long-term anyways). When was the last time you were on a diet and so excited knowing you'd be on it FOREVER?!?!  #never  Your journey needs to be about changing your lifestyle and it's a hell of a lot harder than a diet (and usually slower) but 100% worth it!