Doing everything that must be done to succeed at weight loss can be daunting. You have to figure out what you’re going to do for exercise. You have to figure out when you are able to fit that into your schedule. If you’re planning to work out right after work, you have to have an exercise bag packed and ready to go in the morning. You also have to figure out when you’re eating and what you’re eating. You have to go to the grocery store and buy healthy food options. You have to spend time preparing the meals. Finally, you have to decide what you’re going to do to reduce your stress and make time for those activities. Sometimes taking the time out to “reduce the stress” can create stress itself because your mind might wander to all the things you have to get back to when you’re finished de-stressing.
It can be a challenge to pull everything together on top of your existing life obligations. Planning in advance and time management is key to the process of ensuring you effectively manage the three components of weight loss: diet, exercise and stress management.
My work with weight loss clients incorporates something called the Weight Loss Triangle Program. The theory of the program is that weight loss is impacted by three factors: (1) Food and Drink Intake – what you put in your mouth, (2) Exercise – how you burn calories, and (3) Stress & Stress Management – how to effectively manage life stress. Based upon the individual factors and preferences of each client, a simple protocol is developed to put them on the road to achieving a healthy weight. Clients are encouraged to reserve a two hour period on Sundays to plan in advance what they will do each day of the upcoming week to achieve their weight loss goals.
Using the considerations below, a protocol is developed and followed by the client until they achieve their desired weight and level of health:
- Food and Drink Intake – based upon the client’s schedule, eating times and food and drink to be consumed are determined in advance. The client decides how quickly or slowly they desire their weight loss to occur, and we plan accordingly. Many clients elect to incorporate in “planned cheats” each week. The natural consequence of this decision, of course, is that weight loss comes at a slower pace, but the client is more content and less likely to abandon the eating plan since it is specifically designed based upon their goals, objective, and schedule. “Planned cheats” can include desert once a week, two free meals eating out each week, a certain number of permitted alcoholic beverages each week.
- Exercise – b:ased up the client’s schedule and current level of fitness, exercises to be performed, amount of time to be spent and days to exercise are determined in advance. Again, the amount of exercise the client elects can very based upon how much effort they wish to expend, or their schedule in the upcoming week
- Stress Management– depending upon the level of stress in the client’s life, we work together to develop stress management techniques that are meaningful to the client, and we decide in advance when the client will incorporate those techniques to effectively manage stress, and the effects of stress which can interfere with weight loss.
Using time management and planning in advance translates to a much higher success rate for achieving weight loss goals than figuring it out “on the fly” each day.
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