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Fulfilling Your Weight Loss Resolution
When you make your resolution, you are excited, motivated, and it seems like there is nothing that can stop you from accomplishing your goal to lose weight.
You stick with eating right and exercising for about a month.
However, three months into the year, you have pretty much fallen back into your old habits.
You need to take on a new mentality.
When making resolutions, people tend to make big, bold proclamations of changes they are going to make.
Herein lies the problem. You are setting yourself up for failure by dreaming too big – or, expecting too much.
Take it in baby steps. It is fine to set an ultimate goal. For example, by the end of the year, you will lose 20 pounds. But, once that goal is set, break it down into steps – reasonable levels you can accomplish. Here is a sample guide to follow:
* First, analyze your current diet habits (before the holiday season started is probably more reasonable).
* Identify one or two problem areas such as drinking too many sodas or frequenting the candy bowl at work.
* Make your first priority to conquer that habit. Find better alternative(s) to the problem area(s) you identified. For example, drinking diet sodas or some other sugar-free drink instead of regular soda [water is the healthiest choice!].
* Once you have accomplished that goal, identify another problem area. For example, you may spend a lot of time on the road. As a result, you eat several meals from fast food restaurants.
* Your next priority is to conquer this new problem area while maintaining the first goal. So, if find yourself eating out a lot, make it your goal to make better choices. For example, avoid fried foods or eating hamburgers more than once per week. Instead, choose grilled chicken breast without the white sauce or mayonnaise.
* Again, once you accomplish this second goal, move on to a third.
Continue this way throughout the year each time maintaining the goals set prior to the next. You will find that you are making lifestyle changes that will ultimately get you to your final goal of losing weight. Best of all, you will belosing weight through healthy habits that will stick with you the rest of your life!
Written by Laura S. Garrett, RD, Registered Dietitian, Fitness Trainer, & Owner of www.NutrActive.com – Serving your Complete Nutrition & Active Lifestyle Needs
Licking Sugar Addiction
No doubt about it, we are a nation of addicts & sugar ranks right at the top of the list.
While sugar addiction is the most prevalent, widely practiced & legally accepted addiction in our society, few of us understand it & fewer still know how to manage it on a life-long basis. Several books have been published in recent years addressing this issue, a few even becoming bestsellers, certainly letting us know that people are very concerned about their health & nutrition.
This “coming out of the closet” is certainly a good thing for those addicted to sugar. While many readers have gone on to experience success, just as many have failed & many questions are still left unanswered relating to the long-term health aspects of these eating plans, as well as the most asked question of “how does one go on eating like this forever?”
A reality check tells us that while the idea of “getting in control” is inviting, few are willing to effort or struggle for long, and once life’s stresses begin mounting, the new eating program is quickly thrown out the window in exchange for the ever popular immediate gratification, and then buried along with the other diet books, gym membership cards & plans for self-improvement. The failure cycle is enhanced one more time.
Although many sugar-addicted people are over-weight, just as many are not. Sugar is well known as the underlying addiction to all addictions, and can be seen hiding under alcoholism, caffeine, nicotine & drug addictions of all varieties from recreational to over-the-counter, as well as prescription medications. It is usually a part of any compulsive behavior & is well connected to anxiety, panic disorder, phobia, depression & a host of other emotional imbalances.
On the physical side it plays havoc with many chronic disease states, the most popular being hypoglycemia, hyperinsulinemia or pre-diabetes, diabetes, heart & circulatory disorders, certain cancers, gastro-intestinal disturbances including irritable bowel syndrome, GURD, as well as PMS & menopause. We can also see it rearing it’s head in the area of cognitive functioning, including memory, focus, concentration, mental flexibility & levels of creativity.
It is not uncommon for a golfer or tennis player to have a focus issue & find it related to dietary intake. Another vivid example is a student having test anxiety with memory recall problems.
Sugar addiction and under-nutrition are usually screaming out for attention. While the management of any addiction is certainly challenging, the recovery from the sugar pest is particularly so, as it is so ingrained in our daily lives, as well as the way we socialize.
From our children’s day care center asking for freshly baked cookies, to our office party, it is all there greeting us over and over. We cannot sit down and watch a television program or pick up a magazine without some sugar substance staring us in the face. But on the bright side, just as we can be programmed to fail, we can just as easily program ourselves to succeed. We just have to know how to do it..
There are certain keys to addiction management and successful people learn to actively employ all of them.. It is not enough to know what to do as some books would have us believe. Specialized tools are needed to transfer all knowledge into action steps, even under high stress situations.
Just like in the field of competitive sports, one works to gain skills, then works to develop them in practice, then brings them to the competitive arena. As space allows, lets review some key points about these tools.
KEY # 1
Sound knowledge of sugar addiction is a major key to long-term success & all important aspects should be planted in the subconscious mind to reinforce the desired goal images.
As we begin to learn the subtleties of sugar addiction, we can let go of our guilt & confusion. We see it’s physiological connections to our family & personal medical history, past behaviors, addictions & our lifestyle choices in general. We no longer see ourselves as lacking willpower or as a psychological weakling.
As we come to accept our birth-body physiology, our goal is to understand it & provide the highest self- care possible. While we cannot go back & change our past behaviors, we now have the chance for a fresh start, to recover & actually benefit from our past mistakes & indiscretions.
It is important to have a medical professional take a good history, one that encompasses your family background. Some of the points that need review include chronic disease states & conditions, addictions, medications, age, female hormone issues, stress management, diet history behaviors & exercise history. The emotional medical history can also provide important clues & help in the design of the self-management plan.
A medical hypnotist would also be interested in knowing a history of your strengths, weaknesses, success, beliefs and motivational patterns. This allows for designing and setting sensory goals for health and personal development in relation to the addiction.
KEY # 2
A healthy, balanced nutritional eating plan needs to be designed and planted in the library of the mind. This plan must take into consideration the information gleaned from the history taking. The goal is sufficient protein for the lean body mass and exercise levels, sufficient fat to meet the body needs, a balance of low-glycemic and high glycemic carbohydrates to meet the individual needs.
For some this may mean cutting out all refined carbohydrates for awhile, and for others cutting back on specific foods that are triggering sugar addiction and related chronic problems such as yeast and/or IBS. Some common offenders include artificial sweeteners, caffeine, white flour products, rice, corn and potatoes.
After clearance from the M.D., the medical hypnotist will often plant suggestions for enhancing exercise levels, water intake, compulsive and emotional eating patterns including auto-pilot or “walk-by” eating behaviors. Programs for individualized problem solving, including work and home eating issues, as well as inner motivations for change will often be planted.
KEY # 3
Learning the skills of self-hypnosis is a very important key to managing any addiction, and certainly sugar addiction. Many years ago I designed a method of practicing self hypnosis “in the moment.” I call this “interactive self-hypnosis.” The individual learns to utilize the subconscious mind as an “inner coach”, one who is always ready for either diminishing roadblocks or enhancing goals.
The subconscious mind-coach works to wake the individual from “auto-pilot” emotions, thoughts and behaviors that may be working against the goal at hand, in this case sugar-addiction.
New images, motivations and positive thought images are then put in place. Success is built one image or moment at a time. Each of these moments works to enhance the next, building a resilient self. There are many other tools that work to enhance the functioning of the subconscious mind. As the student of high level health comes to learn, staying healthy affects all other goals as well. The more one progresses and works on this path, the more positive outcomes one gets to experience.
On my educational websites http://www.hypnosis-audio.com & http://www.sugar-addiction.com you will find over 400 pages of information focusing on the management of sugar addiction with high level nutrition, carbohydrate management and mindbody tools such as interactive self-hypnosis, awareness meditation & change tools. There are discussion groups & EZboards filled with tools to help you design plans for healthy change.
There are only two roads to travel. One goes towards disease & the other towards health. Which one will you take?
Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, SRN, CPH is President & Program Designer for Sarasota Medical & Sports Hypnosis Institute located in Sarasota, FL & online at the addresses above. She specializes in the food-mood-stress connection & managing sugar addiction in particular.