Fuel Your Motivation And Watch The Scale Drop

Acknowledging the importance of outlining an effective and coherent diet and exercise program is an important first step to health and wellness. Unfortunately, it is not the last step. In fact, consistently maintaining such a plan requires not only physical vigor, but also an impressive degree of systematic thought, mental fortitude and discipline.  

Small Steps, Not Grand Leaps  

Americans are more interested in immediate gratification than perhaps any society in the history of the world. It is therefore of special importance for would-be dieters to internalize a great deal of patience required to consistently taking the small, but essential, steps in transitioning to a life of healthy eating and exercise. Indeed, it is tempting to believe that dramatic results require dramatic feats of rigorous exercise to quickly shed pounds, but this is simply not true.   

Take Baby Steps Toward a Better Lifestyle

Rather than going from couch potato to marathon runner in one fell swoop, try making one or two health changes per week in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed or quickly burnt out or discouraged. For example, during the first week, make sure that you get 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity a day. A week after this, start a low-fat diet and a modest reduction in calories. You will gradually see the pounds dropping off, dramatically decreasing your risk of diabetes, heart attack and stroke.   

Customizing Your Diet Plan  

It is important to make a chart of how many calories you should eat daily based on your weight. For example, if you weight 120-170 pounds, you should eat 1,200 calories a day and 33 grams of fat a day. If you are between 175-215 pounds, you should eat 1,500 calories a day and 42 grams of fat a day. Making a game plan beforehand will help you systematically determine whether or not you are making progress in your goal. It may even help to keep a journal of your successes and setbacks.  

Nipping Bad Habits In The Bud  

Finally, it is important to systematically determine how to ensure you will effectively acquire the food you need to eat healthily. Instead of doing your shopping on a whim when you are hungry, for example, make a list of the specific foods you want to buy beforehand. This will prevent you from eating what you should not be eating. It also helps to look at the nutrition labels in order to determine what to buy in the first place, of course. Take the time to determine whether the combination of foods you are purchasing are in line with your goals concerning caloric intake.  Make sure to take the necessary time to make your own lunch beforehand rather than tempting yourself to purchase unhealthy food items from your work or school vending machine.