Monday, June 6, 2011

The Missing [Diet] Link

Banish Yo-Yo Dieting & Fitness With the WH5 Principle

So you've finally decided to lose weight by eating healthy and exercising and you're excited about your new quest for wellbeing, you’ve found a gym in your neighborhood, an instructor you like and a diet plan you can stick with. This time you are really doing it! Two months later you’ve had some missteps, eaten a few brownies, it’s been two weeks since your last workout and you’re enthusiasm is dwindling. It’s a common story. What happened? 

One of the main reasons diet and exercise plans fail is lack of preparation. We go from being excited about the thought of losing weight to an aggressive action plan without ever pausing to think about what a long term commitment to healthy lifestyle change actually entails. We run into unforeseen obstacles that sabotage our efforts causing us to become discouraged or give up altogether.

The next time you start a fitness program try using the WH5  principle. Ask yourself these five questions Why, What, Where, When and How. Each time you answer these questions realistically you increase your chances of long term success exponentially. Here are some examples.

WHy? Asking why gives meaning, conviction and motivation to your wellness plan.  Why are you trying to lose weight? Why now? Why will you be successful this time?

WHat?This question will help you clarify the details of your plan. What will you eat? What foods should you avoid? What exercise class is best for you?  What do you need to clear out of your kitchen cabinets?

WHere? Think about locations where you usually snack, eat and exercise. Are they practical for long term lifestyle change? Is working out at a gym too expensive, intimidating or inconvenient for you? Should you get some home gym equipment? Where should you eat? Does eating in the office mean unhealthy takeout orders? Deciding where helps give structure to your wellness program.  

WHen? When questions are important because timing is key. Some people don’t do well in the mornings so a 6am boot camp class may not be a realistic long term solution. If you tend overeat at night then ask yourself, “When can I eat my three meals and two snacks so I don’t get too hungry later?”

HoW? Asking how will help you determine if your plan is feasible for your life. How will you stay on track during cravings at restaurants, meetings and dinner parties? How will you overcome lack of enthusiasm and motivation, or even failure? 

If you clarify these questions before you take action you will have a long term plan built for lasting lifestyle fitness success. Good luck!

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