You’ve been searching for the one. You’ve looked everywhere for the one which matches your likes and dislikes and fits your lifestyle. Through trial and error, you’ve found some don’t fit and others do for a short time, but then you get bored. After a while you are so tired of trying, a pint of cookies and crème and a Sandra Bullock movie seem to be a good alternative. What are you supposed to do?
First, to find your perfect plan for exercise and eating (never say diet!) read the following grouped statements and circle those with which you agree. The results will direct you toward the approach, which is right for you.
- I’m organized and I prefer to follow a plan when working toward a goal.
- I don’t like a trial and error approach.
- Rules and instructions help me make sense out of what I’m doing.
- I love to learn and apply a system, which has worked before.
- I do a lot of social eating and think meals should be shared.
- I tend to eat what I feel like at that moment.
- Food is a great source of pleasure in my life.
- When I try to cut foods out of my life, I feel deprived and overeat.
- I don’t have time to research and plan my diet, let alone follow it on my own.
- I’m willing to pay for a plan which works.
- I don’t have strong preferences and am willing to let others decide for me.
- Nutrition and exercise are confusing. I want someone to tell me what to do.
- I work harder when I am part of a group.
- I love meeting and talking to new people.
- I don’t like disappointing other people.
- When I feel alone, I lose focus on my goals.
Now, let’s take a look at the results:
If you circled more statements in Group A, you are a goal-oriented person who desires a structured approach to weight loss. You will do well to have an appointment with a trainer or to schedule your workouts in order to become more fit. When it comes to eating, you will succeed if you plan and record what you eat and when, at least until you see evidence your approach is working. You may even enjoy reading labels, planning menus and counting the calories, fat grams and protein content in your meals.
If the statements in Group B had you nodding your head in agreement you need a plan that doesn’t feel like deprivation. Focus on making small changes in your diet and do what you enjoy when it comes to exercise. Allow yourself to enjoy good restaurants, and focus on healthy choices, rather than what you shouldn’t eat in order to lose weight. By accentuating the positive you are more likely to find success.
If you can’t seem to find the time to get on a plan, you may have agreed with more statements in Group C. You may find success working with a personal trainer or by having some of your meals prepared or delivered (not pizza, but healthy meals). Prepackaged meal plans can jump start your weight loss, although they are not a long-term solution. Remember, reaching modest, short-term goals time and again leads to success.
Would you like a hug Group D? If you circled three or four of these statements you thrive in a setting in which your concerns are acknowledged and addressed. Weight loss support groups are filled with members from this group, as are group exercise classes. You definitely want to work out with others and would do well to cook healthy meals with friends. When deciding on your weight loss partners, make sure you agree upon an exercise and eating plan you are willing to follow long term.
No matter which group or groups you identify with, all plans take time Group C members. As you progress, you may even change your approach (of course, not you Group A;). The key is to ask for help, Group D, from your spouse, a friend, your trainer or a support group. Finally, no matter how far away your goals seem to be, Group B, each healthy choice brings you closer.