If not tonight, when? If not this morning, when? If not this weekend, when?

Most of us (if not all) sabotage our efforts with mindless excuses. We want to lose weight, but “darn, that little bowl of chips can’t hurt tonight”. Similarly, “I should go for a walk, but I’m tired, so I’ll do double the distance tomorrow.” Sound familiar? I hope so, because these are the same traps I fall into.

What seem like simple little snacks, or skipped exercise add up to negative weight loss and we wonder why we are not losing weight. Our faulty memories remember our healthy breakfast and the salad for lunch, but easily forget those few crackers, and cheese and nuts we ate when we came home. That small glass of wine really wasn’t that small.

You see, everything adds up. This is what makes it so difficult. Remember always, that what you are trying desperately to change is that mindless eating we all do. Once we learn to become mindful of everything that goes into our mouth, and mindful of the necessity to do regular activity then the pounds will begin to fall away. For some people this happens quickly, others not so quickly; it all depends of our age, stress levels, sleep, mobility and multiple other factors which affect metabolism.

Somehow, we need to learn to become terribly honest with ourselves about how much we eat. Unless we document and truly enter everything we are eating, we are simply pretending, thinking, hoping. Truthfully, it’s fun to document. I find using an app like ‘My Fitness Pal’ very revealing. Even then, I know I’m not entirely sure if that chicken was 4oz or 6oz. However, it is very humbling to see the extra snacks that slip in, and the challenge then is to correct that behaviour the next day. Even though no one monitors my record, it’s pretty awkward to continually enter a ‘bag of chips or smart food ‘ every evening – and no amount of exercise negates these empty calories and carbohydrates.

Be ready to change daily. Find out where you are off track and begin to change it. Don’t put your head in the sand and simply “think” you are eating well.

The same goes for exercise. Document distance, or time, and especially intensity. A dog walk is fine, but was it brisk? Were you a bit breathless? Barring injury or physical limitations, challenge yourself to do something physical daily.

We are only human. It is easy to slip into the easy trap of either having overly large portions or eating too many snacks. It seems ever so much easier to sit on the couch and watch T.V. rather than go for a walk outside, or walk on your treadmill or sit on your stationary bike.

It starts now. Right now. Don’t put it off till tomorrow! Don’t have that extra snack. Plan out what you are going to eat. Think about how you are going to limit your snacks after work or in the evening. Plan to do some movement, above and beyond your normal activities, daily. Don’t give into ‘fatigue’. Activity will give you energy, not take it away.
Most importantly, try to get proper sleep daily. Too many of us stay up late and spend time on our tablet or smartphone and delay getting into bed and attempting to improve the quality and duration of our sleep.

Start now. Don’t delay. You can do it. Never give up trying to change.
Dr. Doug