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Exploring Womanhood > Mind, Body & Soul > Weight Loss & Fitness Channel > Weight Loss

Losing Weight by Finding Time
by David Junno Psy.D.

I have had a number of people ask me, how can they make changes in their diets when they have such busy schedules and so many things to do. The answer is- you cannot make successful changes to improve your health, without devoting time and effort to the task. We've all seen the advertisements for programs, diets, and devices that will help us lose weight and get in shape- even while we are sleeping! The unfortunate fact is, there are no quick fixes that are going to help us meet our goals and maintain them over time.

One Hour a Day

Ann Mary Kearney-Cooke Ph.D., a psychologist specializing in weight loss and control, estimates that we need approximately one hour a day to do the work necessary to successfully lose weight, and maintain the loss over time. One major reason people are not successful with diet plans, is that they are not devoting enough time to preparation and carrying out their plans.

What this means is that before we can even consider starting a diet to improve our health, we first need to find the time. Skipping this step is not optional if you wish to be successful. Tim Gallwey, author of The Inner Game of Work, observes that we can not manage time, we can only manage the things we use our time to do. So if changing our diet is important to us, we need to change some of the things we do to create the time necessary to be successful.

Where might we find the time?

  • Look at what you spend your time on now, are there things that actually make your efforts at dieting less successful you could eliminate? For example, what about shaving off some couch potato time in front of the TV and devote that time to menu planning for the week or doing a physical activity.

  • If you eat out a great deal, think about spending one hour a week meal planning and one hour a week shopping for those meals. These two hours will result in big time and money savings over the course of a week.

  • If you have a lot of people putting demands on your time, maybe you can delegate tasks to others or let people know you are no longer available to do certain things.

  • Sit down with a friend and brainstorm your schedule and the demands on you. Others can often see areas of potential flexibility we do not.

  • Simply set aside an hour each day, for the different tasks you need to do to maintain your diet program, and see what gives. Chances are you will discover a few low priority tasks in your schedule that you can put off.

Things you will need time for to successfully make diet changes:

  1. Researching the foods you can eat, and how much.
  2. Menu planning
  3. Shopping
  4. Meal preparation
  5. Exercise
  6. Periodic review of what is and isn't working about your diet program and making adjustments.
  7. Reading, talking to people who are supportive to your efforts, or participating in group programs to help you continue to develop your knowledge and sustain your efforts.

This may feel like a lot of work, and it is. However, if we want big results we need to put in a big effort. Over time these efforts will become habits and take on a life of their own. So take the time to get it right, you are worth it!

Remember, having the right diet and getting enough exercise will not only improve your health- IT WILL IMPROVE YOUR LIFE.

David Junno Psy.D. is a personal coach and author of: Lower High Cholesterol, Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease-READY OR NOT! an e-book program for living a healthier lifestyle. You can e-mail him at: djunno@d... or visit his website and sign up for the free newsletter at: http://lower-high-cholesterol-ready-or-not.com

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