In recent years, weight loss has become a front–and–center issue among the general public. Weight loss is an important issue because excess weight can cause a whole bunch of weight related problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, gall bladder problems, arthritis, cancer, and even problems with lungs and breathing.
Develop Behaviors That Will Assist in Losing Weight
The problem with the typical person attempting to lose weight is that they focus on only one thing –weight loss. There is more to weight loss than just deciding to lose weight. A series of behaviors must be learned and implemented into everyday life. These areas of focus should be the necessary changes in diet and exercise that lead to weight loss.
The folks who are the most successful at long–term weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight are those who have set just a few specific goals related to these changes in behavior. For example, they have determined not to eat a certain type of sugary cereal at breakfast, replacing it with a healthier choice. These small changes made over a long period of time lead to big changes ultimately.
Weight Loss One Step at a Time With Useful Goals
Short–term goals are a key to success in losing weight and keeping it off. The reason these short–term goals work so well is that a person really feels like they’re getting somewhere when a goal is reached. A good short–term goal would be to reduce total fat intake in the diet by five or ten percent, or walking an extra block or two every day.
Useful goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, and leaves room for mistakes. Exercising more is not a specific goal. Doing 15 more minutes on the treadmill or elliptical trainer in the same amount of time is a measurable, specific, attainable goal. Eating less is not a useful goal. Planning meals, measuring exact portions, and cutting total fat intake by five percent is a useful goal.
Shaping Technique for Weight Loss
Simply put, shaping is a technique of modifying behavior by setting a few long–term goals that bring a person closer to the ultimate, larger goal. For example, a goal of reducing food portions by 50 percent is desired. A plan is made for reducing food portion size in ten percent increments over a period of weeks. Smaller, ten percent reduction goals are reached each week successfully, and the ultimate goal of a 50 percent reduction in portion size is reached in just five weeks.
The wisdom in this plan is based in the old adage that a journey of a thousand steps begins with a single step. It’s small, gradual, consecutive changes in behavior over time that move the overall weight loss plan ahead, rewarding each small goal as it is reached. These small rewards keep motivation levels high and overall success of the plan is maintained over a longer period of time.