Emotional health

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Realistic resolutions

  • Get real: Before fantasizing about a thinner figure, it's important to begin by being honest. Start with answering the basic questions, such as "What are my biggest weight-loss obstacles and why? Once on the right track, what often distracts and derails me?" With an idea of what blocks your goals, you're better equipped to conquer them. Similarly, it's important to set realistic goals. For instance, if you know you've a sweet tooth, don't eliminate treats altogether. Instead, try cutting your quantity to one small treat a day. With a better understanding of your weight-loss weaknesses, it becomes easier to dodge bad habits and make your goals a reality.
  • Plan and organize: The main reason people avoid exercise is limited time. However, with careful preplanning around your work and home schedule, making time to work out becomes more manageable. One good way to do this is to chart your plan with a large calendar that is easily in view. Preparing a game-plan is important because it forces you to define your goals and take action. Treat every workout like an important appointment that you can't miss.
  • Vary your approach: When outlining the details of diet and exercise routines, remember, variety is the spice of life. Don't make the mistake of eating the same meals with the same ingredients, or doing the same exercises every time you work out. Experiment with different foods and exercises to keep it fun. Don't let good habits get stale.
  • Buddy up: Other than keeping you company, another way for friends to facilitate weight loss is by providing support and coaching. We all know it's hard to keep ourselves on track, and who knows you better than your friend? A partner to provide reminders and keep you motivated can be especially helpful for those with busy schedules or difficulty getting started. If self-motivation isn't your strong suit, find a friend with similar goals who can help keep you on track.
  • Reward and repeat: Rather than waiting for the scale to spin in your favor, remember to reward yourself along the way. There's nothing more grueling than biting off more than you can chew. So keep your milestones reasonable. For example, instead of waiting until the end of your 90-day workout program, reward yourself every two weeks with something small or every four weeks with something bigger. Periodic rewards help keep you motivated and keep your goals within sight.
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