People often go about weight loss with a short-term plan to drop some pounds. They set a goal, achieve it and that’s it. Soon the weight creeps back on. This is commonly referred to as yo-yo dieting (weight up-weight down-weight up).
Sustained weight loss is not a quick weekend trip. It is more like a journey around the globe in a row boat (a long-term effort with physical activity at the helm).
The weight-loss equation on paper sounds quite simple: use more calories than one consumes. The reality is much more complex — physiological, psychological and social factors all impact weight loss success.
Edward Elmhurst Health & Fitness (EEHF) uses a behavior modification approach to weight loss. Someone who needs to lose weight (be it 20 lbs. or 100 lbs.) can have long-term success following our path to weight loss.
Commit to lose
The first step is to commit to losing weight by becoming a member of EEHF and scheduling a complimentary appointment with one of our fitness specialists. The fitness staff will design a program tailored to your current capabilities and advise you how often/how much/what to do when starting.
Generally, this program includes cardiovascular exercise (working toward at least 150 minutes per week) as well as strength training to increase your fat-free mass. The consultation will also help define specific goals. “I will exercise three times a week” is vague. “I will walk for 20 minutes on M-W-F after work for four weeks” is specific.
It is important to remember that you did not gain the weight overnight, so it will take time to lose it. You will likely experience immediate results such as increased mental clarity, elevated mood and increased energy. Once you associate that you are “feeling better” because of the exercise, you will WANT to come back for more. But remember, you wouldn’t watch the same episode of Seinfeld every day. This applies to exercise, too!
Switch it up
You’ll need to try new exercises and formats to stay on track. As your fitness level improves, you’ll be capable of doing different/more challenging movements. This is where EEHF is your best friend! Checking back with the fitness team to tweak your program, pairing up with a buddy during your workouts, or participating in a small-group training program are all ways to prevent boredom.
If you are really in a rut or just cannot seem to make getting here a priority, hiring a personal trainer for an invigorating workout and accountability is a way to stay the course.
Of course, nutrition is part of it, too! It is very important to evaluate what you are eating and when. Meeting with our staff nutritionist or registered dietitian will help you make healthy food choices and guide you about when to eat.
Long term success goes back to the row boat analogy. Rowing gets you port-to-port (steps toward goal accomplishment). You need fuel while in port (eating properly). You row again to get to the next port (next step toward the goal). Once you are around the world (goal achieved) you have realized the journey was possible only with rowing and proper fuel.
This was your lifestyle while on the path and it worked. You have changed. You don’t think of it as dieting any more. You are living your new lifestyle. You must eat well, exercise and have fun along the way.
Learn more about Edward-Elmhurst Health’s weight loss services and Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness.
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