Don't Fall Back into Bad Habits
How to keep a good thing going
Making Better Choices continued...
"You don't have to stop enjoying your life," says Weingarten.
"You just have to substitute new, positive habits for old, negative
In fact, Howard Shapiro, MD, author of the Picture Perfect Weight
Loss series, believes that the fastest way to fall into bad diet habits is
by depriving yourself of your favorite foods. Shapiro says it's not so much
about dieting as training yourself to make smarter choices.
Craving ice cream? Instead of opting for a cup of ice cream with 300
calories, have a fudgsicle for just 40 calories. Need a carb fix? Instead of a
bagel with butter for 640 calories, try two slices of whole-wheat toast with
peanut butter and a cup of fruit, all for 370 calories.
Another type of healthy choice involves the "power of place," says
behaviorist Peggy Vincent of The Methodist Hospital in Houston.
"Where you are has a lot to do with what you do," says Vincent.
"Stay away from places that have been problematic for you in the past, and
spend more time in places where healthy behaviors are the norm."
Don't sit in your favorite Mexican restaurant and wonder why you can't
resist the chips, or spend an evening on the sofa watching TV and hoping not to
snack, Vincent says. Instead, spend more time in the gym, take an evening class
to get out of the house, or try a restaurant with healthy menu selections.
Sticking with an exercise program can be at least as challenging as
maintaining a healthy eating plan.
"At least 50% of people who start an exercise program drop out after six
months," says Ken Turley, PhD, associate professor of kinesiology and
director of the Wellness Center at Harding University in Searcy, Ark.
According to Richard Ray, PhD, chairman of kinesiology and coordinator of
the athletic training program at Hope College in Holland, Mich., most people
quit their workout programs because they fail to make a true lifestyle change
when they begin exercising.
"In some cases, they are exercising to try to achieve a particular goal,
and once their goal is achieved, they modify their behavior -- which usually
includes decreasing their exercise frequency and intensity," he says.