May 8, 2012

Baby Steps to Weight Loss; A Case Study

Of course this could be baby steps to overall lifestyle change but today I met with a woman who was wanting a few tips to help her lose weight. Good question...how do you lose weight? Here's an example that I thought might resonate with a reader or two...

Baby Step One
For me, weight loss coaching is like ER triage; what are the most important changes to make now and what can wait until these said changes stick? For my client today, it was eliminating cola from her diet. Three cans a day can really add up. So her mission (should she accept it) is to slowly decrease the amount she drinks until she eliminates soda from her diet. The impact from this will be a big one; not only because she will feel better, but the chances of her losing a few because of this change are very good.

Here's a tip: if you are creating small goals for yourself, go a little smaller than you have already gone. Underestimating your ability is going to lead to feelings of success; while overestimating what you can do will only lead to disappointment (and feelings of give-upness....I made that one up, but you know what I mean).
Baby Step Two
Once she has accomplished this (and this could take as long as a few months depending upon her own cola dependence and wagon mishaps) we move onto step 2.  To get more bang out of breakfast than currently experienced.  Moving from toast with P and J to oatmeal, nuts, berries, peanut butter, and maybe a little jam swirled through is going to give her enough to go on until lunch.  I would have suggested moving towards eggs with veggies, but she isn't a fan...you gotta go with real life when talking real life health! ...am I right?

Baby Step Three
Again, this may take her a good month or so to accomplish, but when she does she will have changed a ton already.  Finally, step 3 is about eliminating or reducing the amount of refined carbs in her diet; such as pastas.  She has reported eating a lot of it for dinners and we will work towards creating a menu that replaces pasta with some fun and tasteful options. I do feel a certain hesitation and fear in her voice, but in time, I have faith she can do anything she puts her mind to.

The key to eliminating any food from the diet is being sure to replace it with something you enjoy!

Finally, once she has made these changes (I give her 6 months to successfully do it), we will work on adding a bit of resistance training to her schedule. She already walks her dog one full hour a day so her cardiovascular exercise is taken care of (along with her dog).  By adding resistance training she will be not only strengthening her muscles but increasing her lean tissue, reducing her risk of injury, and boosting her metabolism! Way to go client!

If you are looking to make changes to your diet and/or exercise, I highly recommend slow and steady progressions. Choose the change of least resistance to start and once you are able to sustain it, move on to another.  Making the easier changes to one's diet or exercise plan makes it easier to accomplish; more success leads to more confidence in what you can do!

Remember, if you got questions do not hesitate to leave a comment or email me directly. I would be very happy to answer, redirect, or learn from your experiences.

K

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