Making your habits permanent

Over the long term, the reason you will be able to achieve your weight loss goal as well as maintain your new weight, will be your habits. Think of a professional tennis player. The day she started to play, she was probably having trouble serving a ball even. Over time, she learned not just that, but how to win points consistently!

Think of yourself as that tennis player. And the key to becoming very, very good at weight loss, is to develop a set of fail-safe habits. In making your habits permanent, one thing is going to be most important: practice.

Slim.in may, or may not be enough for all your habits to change. Eating habits develop over years and years. By the time you are 30 years of age, you have consumed atleast 30,000 meals. Your bad food habits have had a lot of practice in becoming permanent, so you must give time and patience for the good ones to grow as well.

What will help is if you continue to be a close student of your eating and exercise habits. Being aware of what stimulates your eating and of methods to change these stimuli will help you both in your short- and the long-term goals.

Setting SMART goals

Behaviour change experts say that setting goals is one of the most effective ways to form habits that will help you. A SMART goal is one that is specific, measurable, achievable (not unrealistic), relevant to your reality and time-specific.

Specific “I will make sure I have healthy snacks,” rather than “I will eat healthy food from now onwards.”
Measurable “I will walk 10,000 steps in a day,” rather than “I will exercise more.”
Achievable “I will lose between 1-2 kilos per week on most weeks,” rather than “I will lose 30 kilos within the next 2 months.”
Relevant The goal should be personal to your situation. For example, there’s no point aiming to stop eating ice cream if you have it very occasionally in the first place.
Time-specific Set short-term time frames. For example, “I will take the bus to work 3 times this week,” and not “I will take the bus to work 3 times a week.”

When setting goals, one common problem for people working on losing weight is an inability to realize when these goals are realistic, and when they are not. When setting your goals for Slim.in, answer these 4 questions as specifically as you can:

  1. How many kilos do you expect to lose each week?
  2. How soon do you expect to lose weight?
  3. Will your life be different when you lose weight? How?
  4. Do you expect that losing weight is an easy and quick process?

There are 3 specific self-monitoring tools that Slim.in works on:
1. Keeping a Food diary
2. Keeping an Activity diary
3. Regular weighing – at least once a week

The food diary alone, for example, can help you point at serious behavior changes needed. For example, it may show that you eat at your desk often, and therefore don’t get the satiety but get more calories than you need.

Slim.in has identified 14 lifestyle changes that are proven to make a difference. SMART goals help in making sure these changes are incremental but permanent.

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