by Shira Adatto
The weather is getting hotter… are you? I used to dread summer, and not because of the warm weather. Just the thought of having to get into a bathing suit made me cringe. It wasn’t until one summer when I looked at a photo of myself and realized the not-so-slim woman in the picture was myself that I finally got tired of being uncomfortable in my own skin. At that moment, it really clicked for me. As painful as it was, that photo made me realize that I needed to make a change and it was that mental shift that got me started down the path of getting fit and getting myself to a weight that I could feel good about. The fact of the matter is, any big change in life always starts with a decision to do so. Until you make that commitment to do something, nothing will change. And if you don’t have a big enough reason driving you to make that change, you won’t be able to stick to a plan of action. For me, seeing myself in that photo was my “why”. I was so tired of hating the way I looked in pictures. Letting years go by where I hid from the camera while precious family memories were being created was not an option.
Knowing what I wanted to accomplish, I decided to set a small achievable goal, to give myself something attainable, and not something that was going to feel too big or too overwhelming. So while I wanted to lose 30 lbs., I set a goal to lose 10. Why? Because how you start determines how you finish. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So, no matter what your ultimate goal is, the first 10 lbs. are going to be the most crucial and will set the rhythm for the rest of the journey. There is even research that suggests the odds of someone achieving their overall weight loss goal increases dramatically with whether or not they are able to lose the first 10 lbs.
Losing that initial 10 lbs. will also carry with it some remarkable benefits. You will look better, you will most certainly feel better, your friends will start to notice and you will gain more confidence. A 10 lb. difference can even do wonders for your overall health, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, improve your mood and self-esteem. It can even increase your brain power.
Scientifically, the first 10 lbs. will probably also be the ones you lose the fastest. Your body will react differently to a brand new change in your eating habits and will burn fat easier, faster and more efficiently. But the real key is that losing 10 lbs. is where old habits are broken and new habits are created. If you want to be a healthy, fit person, you have to create the habits of a healthy fit person. It doesn’t just happen with a mental shift.
So for those of you who are committed to Going for 10, here are my top tips for helping you do so:
Start the day right.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Those who skip breakfast tend to snack more and overindulge later on. A breakfast that is high in protein will give your metabolism a boost and reduce afternoon crashes. Protein smoothies are my breakfast of choice.
Get more Zzz ’s.
Research shows that people who get insufficient sleep tend to eat more and crave more carbs. As moms it’s tough to always get in enough sleep. So aim to be in bed by 10 pm.
Drink enough water.
Most people think that water while dieting is just to keep them full but in fact, dehydration can slow down your metabolism. In addition, most people confuse thirst for hunger.
Whenever possible, eat whole fresh foods and stay away from highly processed empty calories. Put 10% less food on your plate. Little tricks like simply using a smaller plate can help you keep portions under control.
Exercise 10 extra minutes a day .
If you already exercise, extending your daily routine by just 10 minutes can help you through a plateau or kickstart your metabolism. If you don’t exercise at all, start by adding a 10-minute walk daily. Everyone has to start somewhere.
Use mobile apps to track calories.
Studies show that people who track their calories have much better results and don’t mindlessly snack throughout the day.
Don’t go it alone.
Increase your fiber.
Since fiber increases feelings of fullness, adding 10g of fiber a week can decrease overall calorie intake and help you lose weight.
Know your “Why” and remind yourself of it each day.
What are the reasons driving you to make this change? Do you want to have more energy? Live a long healthy life and be around for your kids? Avoid a life of sickness? Tired of hating the way you look, the way you feel in clothes, cringing at the site of yourself in pictures? You have to tap into the emotional reasons of WHY you want to make this change so that you stay committed to your goal.
Lastly, believe in yourself.
Believe that you can do this and you will. Do not sabotage yourself with self-doubt. We are all capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for. Visualize yourself succeeding, overcoming obstacles, have the belief that you can do this and you can.