Weight gain does not happen without cause, and while there are some medical and lifestyle factors that can play a significant role in weight gain – for example, pregnancy, menopause, or reduced mobility – it is ultimately one’s behavioral traits that play the biggest role in an individual’s weight. That is why it is crucial when a person is working to meet his or her weight loss goals that they begin with a proper assessment of their behaviors regarding diet and exercise. Only by taking a closer look at these traits and understanding fully how it affects their ability to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight can someone achieve lasting success in their weight loss plan.
Of course, the biggest and perhaps the most relevant behavioral change an individual can make is simply to eat healthier. However, eating healthier is easier said than done, especially when meals and snacks must fit a hectic daily routine. Unfortunately, it is far too easy to simply pick up a convenient ready-made meal or snack for lunch at the office or to grab dinner from a drive-through window on the way home.
As an individual begins the process of working with a weight loss specialist, they will also receive help in understanding how they can change these habits. This can mean making time to cook a healthy and nutritious meal at home, even in the midst of a busy schedule, or finding ways to scout out healthier options even when one is in a hurry. Doing so can be one of the most important factors in lasting weight loss.
Also important for many individuals is understanding when they are unnecessarily taking in extra calories. Far too many people eat out of stress, or boredom, or use food and drinks as a way of reward themselves. With professional support to help modify these behaviors, they will start to gain a better understanding of how to choose positive, more constructive ways of dealing with such feelings and emotions. Likewise, those who indulge in “sneaky” sources of calories such as alcoholic drinks and coffee drinks must find new ways to treat themselves or gain energy throughout the day.
The behavioral changes that a person must make to achieve permanent weight loss are not strictly relegated to one’s diet, though. We live in a world that not only encourages, but also often rewards sedentary lifestyles, and finding ways to get enough physical activity can be a challenge. By working with an expert in behavior modification as well as an exercise specialist, individuals can put physical activity back into their daily routines. Simply using a pedometer to count the number of steps that one is taking is often enough to encourage physical activity. Taking the stairs instead of the escalator or walking a few blocks to lunch rather than driving to a nearby restaurant can often be enough to start raising one’s energy levels and physicality.
Every individual’s behaviors and routines are different, which is why it is so important to work one-on-one with a specialist in behavior modification as you begin your weight loss journey. Only by having an accurate view of the way that you take care of yourself can you begin to modify your behaviors and start your path towards real and lasting change.