Many people struggle with their weight and maintaining good health. From fad diets to crazy exercise plans – there seems to be a new miracle program every day. Americans spend millions of dollars each year on “fixing” their weight and health, but in reality the steps towards success are much simpler than you may expect. Here are the top 7 tips to reaching your long-term health and weight loss goals.
1) Stop comparing. Health is different for everyone. Some people may have high blood-sugar levels and others may have low iron. Our bodies require different balances to be at their peak level of health. In the same way, our body shapes will always be different. No matter what the “ideal” body shape is at the moment, it’s not necessarily an attainable goal. Focus on what makes you healthy, not how to make your body “ideal” to someone else’s standards. Be sure to consult your healthcare professional to find your own level of health needs, and to how to reach your goals.
2) Learn to cook. Whether it’s by watching Linda Caffee’s cooking videos, checking out a new cookbook from the library, or switching to the Food Network every now and then – anyone can learn how to cook! It will take some trial and error, but learning how to prepare your own meals is a huge step forward to a healthy diet.
Although truck stops have come a long way with healthy food options, there is still a lot of temptation with unhealthy processed foods. Learning to prepare your own meals means you control what ingredients go into your body, which is a fundamental part of weight loss and general health.
3) Move more. Carving just 30 minutes out of your day to go for a walk or use Rolling Strong’s FIT System will go a long way. If you think about it, that’s 23½ hours you aren’t exercising in a day – one teensy little half-hour is definitely manageable! A recent study showed that moderately overweight men who exercised hard enough to sweat for 30 minutes per day, lost an average of 8 pounds over a three-month time span. That’s 32 pounds in a year! Here is a great trucker workout routine to try.
4) It’s not just about the number. Achieving weight loss is not just about seeing the number on the scale drop. It’s also about accepting your successes as well as your failures. Don’t let the little disappointments discourage you! Remind yourself that weight loss is just an added bonus to getting your body healthy. Sometimes when gaining muscle, the number on the scale can go up – but you’re actually losing inches around your waist.
Measure your success on how your clothes fit, how you’re sleeping better at night, or how much more alert you are during the day. These are the elements that truly make your life better – not the number on the scale.
5) Find inspiration. Whether it’s by watching a documentary like Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, or reading the success stories on Rolling Strong, find other people who have reached their goals. You’ll be reminded that everyone has to start somewhere, and that you’re not alone. You can even go the extra mile by finding an online community to talk with people in similar circumstances that are working towards the same goals.
6) Love yourself. Someone once said, “you will never be truly happy with your success until you learn to love yourself”– right now. This may be one of the most difficult steps on your journey, but learning to love yourself and your body the way it is now (yes, with all the good and the bad) will remind you of how special it is to be you. No matter what your weight, remembering that you’re blessed with everything you already have will make success so much sweeter.
7) Give it time. Any change that truly sticks, such as long-term weight loss, will take time. Making small changes may mean it takes a little longer to reach your goals, but it also means you’re developing good, life-long habits. Down the road these habits will make it even easier to maintain the weight you’ve lost, and all the health you’ve gained along the way.
Learning how to apply these tips in your daily life can help get you on the road to a healthier, happier you. Find a health regimen with your healthcare professional that works for you, and learn to accept yourself just as you are. Why not start today?