In “Weight Loss Tips – Setting Goals for Success” you learned about setting effective short-term and long-term goals using the S-M-A-R-T Principle. That is the first step for anyone seriously wanting to lose weight. Without identifying realistic checkpoints to achieve throughout this journey it is difficult to succeed.
Weight loss is like a very long “road trip”. Here are a few reasons why:
- It’s an adventure that lasts weeks or months with a definite starting point and a final destination.
- There are different ways to get from one destination to the other (the fastest way being in a straight line).
- It’s best to have a map (or GPS) and a travel plan before you start.
- You have to plan your meals very carefully and get quality sleep.
- You end up learning a lot about yourself (and others) along the way.
- You realize you are more resilient than you thought.
- When you finally get to your final destination, it ends up being more beautiful than you expected.
The next step is developing a strategy and plan to get from point “A” to point “B” in a way that ensures you:
- Get to each of your tourist attractions (i.e. short-term goals) along the way.
- Avoid running out of gas along the way.
- Avoid getting lost or veer off track along the way.
- Enjoy the ride and share the view with others!
In order to accomplish this you need to establish a well thought out weight loss strategy and plan to follow to get you to your weight loss goal in the most effective way possible.
Physical Activity & Exercise
To effectively lose weight the number of calories you burn each day needs to exceed the number of calories you consume. By simply existing we all burn calories (basal metabolic rate) but that is only a portion of the calories we consume each day. In order to expend more energy we need to get moving.
Exercise is often times a “four letter word” for most of us and it’s not something that we typically enjoy. Unfortunately, to effectively lose weight and keep it off exercise and physical activity is important. The American College of Sports Medicine (www.acsm.org) general recommendation for most adults is to engage in “at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week”.
As you establish your exercise and physical activity strategy it’s important to ask yourself the following questions:
- Can I find 150 minutes in a typical week to realistically dedicate to physical activity and exercise?
- What physical activities do I enjoy participating in?
- What physical activities would I like to try?
- Can I get access to these activities and are they close to my home, school or work?
- Do I have friends or family members who would be interested in participating with me?
- Would I benefit from the guidance of a certified fitness professional or personal trainer? If so, does this fit into my current budget?
Successfully achieving your weight loss goal and maintaining a healthy weight for life requires a commitment to making physical activity and exercise an important part of your wellness plan. You don’t need to lift weights like Arnold Schwarzenegger or run a four-minute mile. All you need to do is commit to moving an average of 20 to 25 minutes per day (a minimum of 150 minutes/week).
In “Weight Loss Tips – Developing an Effective Strategy (Part Two)” you will learn about establishing an effective strategy for incorporating good nutrition and a healthy diet to your weight loss program.