Are You Ready To Make A Lifestyle Change?

From the YMCA


UPDATED: Wednesday May 23, 2012 11:49 AM

When it comes to weight loss, the buzzwords you might hear are: lifestyle and change...as in, you need to make one to be successful at losing weight. It may seem like losing weight is a simple goal--do some exercise, go on a diet and voila! But, it's just not that simple.

While magazines and infomercials make it seem effortless, losing weight takes hard work and that often means changing different aspects of your life like, how you spend your time, how you schedule your day, and how/what you eat. If the way you live doesn't allow for these changes, how far will you get?

What's Your Lifestyle Like?
The reason lifestyle is so important is because how you live determines your choices and these choices decide how healthy you are and whether you're on the road to weight loss. So what is a healthy lifestyle? The typical components include not smoking, eating healthy foods, exercising and keeping the body at a healthy weight. Where do you fall on the healthy lifestyle continuum?

First, figure out how much time you spend doing the following:

Sitting at a desk
Sitting in front of a TV
Eating out at restaurants
Eating fast food or junk foods
Sitting in a car
Sitting in front of a computer
Drinking alcohol
Staying up late/not getting enough sleep

Now, how much time do you spend:

Being active in general (taking the stairs, walking instead of driving, gardening, cleaning, etc.)
Doing cardio exercise
Strength training for all muscle groups with challenging weights
Preparing your own meals and snacks and eating fruits, veggies and whole grains
Reading food labels
Tracking your calories
Sleeping
Dealing with stress in a healthy way

If you spend more time doing the things in the first list than the second, it's time to reevaluate your priorities and decide what you really want for yourself. Living healthy means spending time and energy on your body--moving it around and paying attention to what you put into it. Staying in an unhealthy lifestyle means you can avoid expending energy, time and effort...but at what cost?

Choosing Health
As humans, we like habits and routines, so much that we often keep doing the same things even when we know they aren't good for us. Changing bad habits takes time and effort and, for a healthy lifestyle, you may be changing a variety of things. The rewards for making these changes are endless, but it's beginning that's so difficult.

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