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Kathleen Trotter Weighs in on Weight Loss Resolutions
January is fast approaching and with it comes New Year's resolutions, which are often based on unrealistic goals, fad diets and unhealthy measurement techniques like daily weigh-ins. Don’t fall into the stereotypical cycle of making unrealistic health goals, then within months, weeks or days, losing interest and reverting back to unhealthy habits. This year, move away from short term unrealistic health resolutions. Invest in your health over the long-term. Make small, realistic changes that you can maintain for the rest of your life.
Stick with your goals by abandoning the "good" vs. "bad" binary that often accompanies the quest for weight loss and improved health. Instead, aim to make more healthy choices than non-healthy choices. Losing weight and adopting a healthier lifestyle is an marathon, not a sprint. To make lasting health changes, one has to think long-term. Unhealthy habits are not formed in a day. It is unrealistic to think they can be replaced overnight. Aiming to rapidly lose weight or to be "perfect" everyday sets you up for failure.
Setbacks, like those which might occur at a party, a wedding or after a break-up should be both expected and embraced. The next time you make a health choice that you are not proud of, don't use it as a reason to abandon your goals altogether. Learn from the choice so that you make a better one next time.
We all have days that are healthier than others. What changes is what we consider a 'healthy' day to be. A 'healthy' day is relative to our normal. Have more healthy habits this month then you had last month so that you slowly find a new, healthier "normal."
Try not to weigh yourself daily. Often, when people weigh themselves daily, they start basing how they feel about themselves on if they have gained or lost weight on the scale. We are all more then a number, how we feel day to day should not depend on the reading on the scale.
Further, weekly or monthly weigh-ins are more accurate because they show real weight loss versus what I refer to as " fake weight." The 0.1 or 0.2 pounds one gains or loses day to day is not an indication of true fat loss. It is an indication of hydration levels, the amount of salty foods one ate the day before and whether one has gone to the bathroom yet.
If you want to weigh-in regularly, the most frequently you should do it is weekly. Pick a day of the week and always weigh yourself on that day, at a particular time with the same clothes or lack thereof each time.
We all fluctuate in weight by a few pounds. When trying to lose weight the aim should be to fluctuate downwards. At your heaviest you may fluctuate between 200 and 203. If you lose 40 pounds you may fluctuate between 160 and 162.
Think of losing weight as playing the stock market. The day to day fluctuations are less important then the weekly, monthly or yearly trends. Weighing in daily and obsessing about the small numbers is like focusing on a drop of sand and ignoring the beach.
Kathleen Trotter, MS (Exercise Science), BA (Honours) is an ironman competitor, personal trainer and writer. She is passionate about fitness and health and trains a wide variety of clients ranging from the avid athlete to individuals living with osteoporosis, Parkinson's and scoliosi. For more great articles and fitness tips visit: www.kathleentrotter.com and join Kathleen's newsletter.