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Weight Loss Tips :: Exercise and Weight Loss Programs

Good Habits Equal Good Health

Part 1 - Tips for Healthy Living & Successful
Exercise and Weight Loss Programs

Have you ever had your doctor tell you, "You need to lose weight. You're obese. If you don't lose some weight fast you're just a heart attack waiting to happen. Get involved in exercise and weight loss programs immediately."

Your doctor made the point very clear even if it was rather blunt. And maybe you even tried to lose some weight. But you didn't have the success you wanted. You "fell off" your exercise and weight loss programs after only a week or two.

Or maybe you've put the weight you once lost back on! It doesn't really matter what happened in the past. What does matter is whether you're deeply committed to losing weight right now.

Are you really serious about losing weight?
Do you want to participate in
exercise and weight loss programs?

If the answers to these questions are "yes," then combining some new good habits with whatever exercise and weight loss programs you follow will escalate your success rate.

First, recognize and accept that weight is an emotional subject. And emotional motivators are what drive your success. For example: How do you really want to look? What size dress or trousers do you want to fit into? What fun activities do you wish you could do again? How will you feel when you can wear these clothes again?

Set specific goals. Don't simply focus on losing 10 pounds, or 30 or 50. Include exercise goals: Walk 5 days a week for a total of 30 minutes each day. Notice we did NOT say, "Exercise regularly." This last statement is vague and not effective - it is a very poor goal. Our example was specific because we said what to do, how often and for how long.

A great way to lay out the goals of your exercise and weight loss programs, and to keep track of how great you're doing is with a daily log. We have an example log you can use on our best weight loss plans page.

Recognize too that you'll adjust some of these goals over time. Perhaps you gradually increase how often and how long you exercise. Start at 2 or 3 miles per hour for 10 minutes, three times a day. Do this for two or three weeks (your starting point and rate of progress will depend on how active you've been, how fit you are when you start your new program, and any health risks you may have; always check with your health care provider first) until it really isn't too challenging. Then step it up to 3.5 or more miles per hour for 15 minutes, as an example. There are a multitude of variations.

Set goals you can achieve

Our point is to set goals you can achieve and to move you ahead in small steps. Push yourself, don't set goals that are a breeze and don't cause you to work. But set intermediate goals; reach them; and set a new one. Do this and you'll successfully reach the distant point - your ultimate goal. The level of success you achieve in your exercise and weight loss programs is directly tied to these goals and steps. And it's all tied to this next tip:

Reward yourself as you reach these smaller intermediate goals. DO NOT SKIP THIS. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE HOW POWERFUL THIS IS. And don't reward yourself with food! For example: You've gone two weeks and followed every detail of your weight loss diet program to the letter; you exercised as often and for as long as you said you would; and you kept a daily record of what you did.

Great! Now reward yourself

Go out to a movie. Buy a DVD or a CD. Take the afternoon off from work. Take your kids or grandchildren to the park. Just give yourself a very tangible reward that does not include food.

This is so critical! If you did everything you can control and you did it correctly - reward yourself. Reward yourself even if you didn't lose all the weight you wanted to. Why? Because you did everything right. You followed your program and took responsibility for what you can control.

You don't have precise control over how much weight you lose or how quickly. And that's why you reward yourself for doing correctly what you can control. You did everything right . . . so give yourself the reward. You earned it! And congratulations!

Read more tips on how good habits equal good health as well as success in your exercise and weight loss programs in Part 2 of this article.

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All information on this website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or care which you should always seek. Diet and exercise programs should not be followed without first consulting a health care professional. If you have any special health conditions requiring attention, you should consult with your health care professional regularly regarding possible modification of programs found on this website. Medical and health related information may change quickly and we cannot verify the accuracy or timeliness of any of this information.