As January rolls around each year, we begin to create grand plans for ourselves for the new year. We set goals of dieting, physical activity, and weight loss. We then go to extreme measures to achieve those goals. For example, going from eating 250g of carbs daily to eating 20g of carbs daily or no physical activity to 1 hour of physical activity daily. These extreme measures take a toll on our body. We become stressed, tired, and unhappy. As January comes to an end, most of us are back to where we started ... or worse off than before.
We have to remember that we did not get to the point that we are now overnight, it took small changes and time to be where we are now. We have to realize that it's going to take small changes and time to be successful in achieving our goals. A baby does not begin running, it repeats small steps over time (crawling and walking) to be able to run.
Small Changes with Physical Activity
- Show Up - “Eighty percent of success is just showing up.” - Woody Allen. It can be as simple as going outside to walk or coming to the YMCA to workout.
- No Step is Too Small - You don’t have to do the most intense workout or workout for multiple hours to achieve your goal. Walking an extra 2,000 steps a day burns an extra 100 calories a day. Over a year, you will have lost 10 pounds just by adding 2,000 steps to your daily routine.
Small Changes with Nutrition
- Trade Up, Don’t Eliminate - Don’t eliminate foods from your diet completely, just replace them with a healthier alternative. Replace a candy bar with a granola bar or replace white bread with wheat bread.
- Avoid the Feeling of Being Overly Hungry or Stuffed - Pay attention to your body, eat when you are hungry and stop when you begin getting full. When we become hungry, we are more likely to overeat and might choose foods that are less nutritious.
Written by: Health & Wellness Director for Downtown St. Louis YMCA at the MX.