Behavioral modification is very important when it comes to achieving your diet and exercise goals. Taking weight off and achieving a certain fitness level require long-term habits. Planning meals, avoiding certain foods, staying hydrated and exercising regularly are some of the healthy habits that will help you to maintain your ideal weight and stay fit.
One of the simplest habits that you can establish, if you aren’t already practicing it, is to drink enough water each day. This is one habit that many people overlook. Staying hydrated keeps you healthy and helps you to maintain your ideal weight. There are times when you may feel hungry and you are, in reality, thirsty. Drinking eight glasses of water daily, and more if you exercising regularly, will help to carry nutrients to your cells, keep you energized and make you feel more full more often.
Exercise is something that everyone needs, whether young or old, slim or overweight. When you embark on a diet and exercise regime, choose fitness activities that you can implement and maintain long after you have reached your weight loss goals. Your muscles need stretching and strengthening. Your heart needs cardiovascular exercise to stay healthy. Choose enjoyable activities that incorporate these elements. Stretching and a long brisk walk with a friend or partner, cycling daily, hiking in a scenic environment and taking an aerobics class with a workout partner are just a few examples. For best results, be sure to exercise at least three times a week for a minimum of a half hour each time.
Eating Healthy Meals
Eating healthy foods is a given when dieting. You always hear the advice to eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip breakfast. Avoid snacking. When you do snack, choose snacks that are low in fat and calories. Avoid eating fast food because much of it is high in fat and calories and low in nutrition. All of these suggestions require establishing new ways of doing things for some people.
For example, you may be used to snacking while in front of the television at night. Behavior modification in this context would first require being aware of what types of foods you are eating when watching television and in what quantity. Keeping a food journal will help you to track these foods. You can start to slowly replace some of the unhealthier and more fattening foods with healthier snacks that you enjoy.
Skipping meals is another habit that sabotages some people’s weight loss efforts. You may avoid calories in the immediate sense, but many people tend to overeat later in the day when they skip meals. To sustain your dieting efforts long term, you will want to pay attention to this behavior. When you notice that you skip a meal, ask yourself why that is and try to set a healthier pattern in place.
Behavioral modification is essential with dieting and exercise because without it, it is difficult if not impossible to keep the weight off and be fit on a long-term basis. Work to establish one new habit at a time. You will feel good about yourself and enjoy being fit and healthy in the long term.