Creating a healthy habit to permanent weight loss and lifestyle change*

Tuesday, 21 April 2015, By Alicia Jovcevski

Creating a habit to Permanent Weight Loss and Lifestyle Change

Permanent change is gradual change!

Many people have the desire to lose weight, more specifically, the desire to lose body fat. 
However, most people do not know how to go about it. We see conflicting messages everywhere: social media, TV, online, from one fad diet to another, one person telling you one thing about training and someone else telling you differently..

Those who have not learnt enough on their own journeys, look to those who are successful, and try to emulate their methods. What everyone needs to remember is that everything is  individual. What works for one person may not work for another. You need to create a routine that works for you and your lifestyle that is sustainable and more importantly ENJOYABLE!

"One burger and chips never made anyone fat." 
In other words, strict avoidance of specific foods are roadblocks, not milestones on the path to success. This does not teach you balance, moderation, self-control or how to move away from comfort eating or using food as a reward.

Permanent lifestyle change is a flexible, ongoing process that involves body, mind and spirit. It is a matter of responsible choices and long term effort. Achieving it means not only a healthier, fitter and leaner body but an inner strength that makes it last for longevity.

Do you want to know the secret to long-lasting change? MAKE SOMETHING A HABIT! 
A habit is something that is non-negotiable, that you eventually do automatically, without even thinking!

There are 3 steps to creating a healthy habit, it's called the habit loop:
CUE - Putting on your runners
ROUTINE - Completing 60mins of low-intensity exercise before breakfast, daily
REWARD - Increased energy + hormone levels, clearer head to start your day, extra hour spent with a loved one (if you have a training buddy!) and looser clothes (if you are consuming correct nutrition!)

Repetition is KEY - if you repeat something over and over at the same time each day (I.e. getting out of bed no matter what the weather is like), kick-starting your day with some low-intensity cardio at the Studio or outdoors, and then starting your most important meal of the day off on a good note - you are set up for success for the rest of the day! 

Challenge yourself - There is a myth that says it takes 21 days to create a habit…

So, I challenge you to exercise every day before breakfast for 21 days and see how you feel if you skip that one walk with your partner, or cross training session, or boxing session e.t.c  and see if you regret missing that one session? 
If you feel like you have let yourself down, or taken a backwards step - you've almost created that healthy habit! If you do something enough, the feeling become addictive.

Then, once you have mastered the exercise component and learning not to let tiredness, the weather, or lack of motivation derail you, add into the mix correct NUTRITION! And I promise you will be onto something! "The better I eat, the better I feel".
Why would you want to undo your great start to the day by not eating the correct nutrition?

The bottom line is: stay strong! 
Stick out those 21 days… Yes 21 days is a myth. There is nothing scientifically proven.
Habit formation typically takes longer than that and it is unwise to attempt to assign a number to this process. The duration of habit formation is likely to differ depending on who you are and what you are trying to do. BUT! As long as you continue doing your new healthy behaviour consistently in a given situation, a habit will form. But you will probably have to persevere!

Being self-aware and knowing the pattern of your behaviour is the key to you achieving success!

Gauging your state of change - where is your head at?

Stage 1: Pre-contemplation


I'm not even thinking about changing my behaviour or thinking.

Continue to diet

Stage 2: Contemplation


I'm not doing anything differently but I'm seriously considering making some changes in the next six months.

Frustrated and aware that dieting doesn't work

Stage 3: Preparation


I'm not doing anything different but I plan to in the next 30 days, and I've tried over the past year.

Finding out about alternatives, educate yourself.

Stage 4: Action


I'm doing some things differently but this is new for me, only over the past six months.

Buy resources to help you get off the diet roller coaster; perhaps taking up an exercise program.

Stage 5: Maintenance


I've changed my behaviour and have maintained that change for more than six months.

After educating myself and after completing a 6 month program, a lifestyle without portion control won't work without support. Get support.



I'm having trouble maintaining these changes I have made and feel I'm slipping into old patterns. 
Although discouraging, relapse is a normal aspect of change. 
Most people cycle through stages several times before experiencing maintenance.

It's spring. You went back on another diet. You're feeling discouraged - don't be! It's quite normal to go back to old patterns, especially when you are trying to make a change for the first time. Find out what motivated you to go back once more. Look again at why you decided to stop dieting and reclaim your non-diet attitude. Move to whichever phase will put you back on track.

 Stage 6: Long-term change


Your old behaviour no longer appeals; you've changed your way of thinking and your eating and exercise is just a way of life for you now.

You're no longer a "dieter". When you feel the need to improve your eating or exercise habits, you tune into your body and mind and let it guide you.

 If you are unhappy with yourself and your eating and exercise patterns, get away from your daily grind and put yourself into a safe supportive atmosphere with people who understand. This can be the catalyst that puts you at last on the track to permanent, long-lasting change and the life you really want.

Vision Personal Training are equipped with all the right tools and support to get you to that long-term goal and to educate you to make those responsible choices for longevity!

To find out more, contact our Engadine or Bangor Studios TODAY!

Alicia Jovcevski
Owner - Vision Personal Training Bangor and Engadine

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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