The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

October 19, 2013

Why sticking with diet or exercise plan is hard

RICHMOND — Ask a smoker if it’s easy to quit smoking and his tongue-in-cheek response will be, “Sure, I’ve done it thousands of times.”

Exercising 30 minutes a day, eating healthy. It all sounds easy. So why is it so hard to follow? Science may have the answer.

A recent hospital study of more than 5,000 overweight people with Type 2 diabetes found that lifestyle modification with intensive coaching for six months was effective in losing weight and lowering cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.

However, patients who received only education and support did not achieve those results.

A second study, conducted in the workplace at two companies, compared two weight-loss protocols and found that those overweight employees who met for weekly sessions with nutritionists during their lunch hour lost an average of 17 pounds over six months while overweight employees who received no counseling gained two pounds during the same period.

The take-away here is that support and education often isn’t enough for people to lose weight and keep it off.

Clearly, many people don’t want to change their eating or exercise behavior.

The attitude seems to be, “As long as I’m functioning and in no pain, I’m okay.” There is little motivation to change until someone like a physician or nutritionist shows them their health (and potentially their life) is at risk.

Even if they see the light and do want to change, there are plenty of roadblocks to making healthful lifestyle changes. Lack of time, the financial cost of joining a gym and accessibility to outdoor areas for exercise are all potential barriers to effective behavior change. A person has to really want to make the commitment to be successful.

Still, it can be done, and those who are successful say that having clear outcome and process goals are critical.

It’s not enough to say I will exercise more. You need to be more specific than that.

For example, you could say your outcome goal is to lose 10 pounds. To do that you need a process by which you can achieve your outcome goal.

The process might be to walk for 45 minutes at a moderate intensity 5 days a week. The process goal is therefore measurable and quantifiable. Think of the process goal as the steps you take to get to your final outcome goal.

Even with clearly defined outcome and process goals, success is not easy.

You need to structure the environment so that it is compatible with your goals.

For example, is there a safe and accessible area to walk nearby? If you have to drive a half hour to get to a walking track or park area, it will be more difficult to stick with the plan.

You also need a support system in place. This means telling your family, friends, work colleagues and others about your plan so that they can not only give you social support but also help hold you accountable for your new health behavior.

Logging your workouts on a chart or calendar is another important step to success. Unless you write down your goal and pathway to success, a goal is just a dream.

Planning how you will overcome the potential barriers to success is also important.

For example, on the days you don’t feel like exercising, plan how you will overcome that feeling. Perhaps you will exercise with a friend or family member and they will get you up and moving.

Developing one or two strategies you can use during those times will be critical to your success.

Finally, visualizing your success can help you accomplish your goals by keeping you motivated. Motivation is likely to wane as time goes on.

It is important to keep renewing it if success is to be achieved.

1
Text Only
Lifestyles & Community
  • 04.18 Food .jpg It’s egg party time

    I love this time of the year because eggs really do go down in price during the Easter season. I have some new recipes on how to fix eggs besides the coloring part.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 04.18 Steaks.jpg Where’s the beef?

    Today, the American consumer has more money to spend on the widest variety of foods than at any other time in our history.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4.15 Eggstravaganza 1.jpg Easter bunny's ‛eggbeater’ will fly eggs to Richmond

    Who knew the Easter bunny could fly?

    Skeptics can come to the Easter Eggstravaganza in Richmond’s Irvine-McDowell Park on Saturday to see for themselves. However, the bunny still doesn’t fly in bad weather. But on Monday, temperatures in the 60s with partly cloudy skies were predicted for Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick-Ham.jpg We old folks have unique experiences

    A friend sent this to me by e-mail, and I thought my readers would enjoy it.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hope’s Wings volunteers need your help today

    Help a local resident “get out of jail,” and in turn help men, women and children break the cycle of domestic violence in Madison and surrounding counties.

    April 11, 2014

  • 4-11 FosterParentYear.jpg Bereans named Foster Parents of Year, Outstanding Adoptive Parent

    Stephanie and Doug Gillum of Berea will be honored as Foster Parents of the Year tonight during an appreciation reception at the Kentucky Horse Park.

    April 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4-11 PuppetryFILE.jpg Puppet parade planned Saturday in Berea

    The city of Berea will be celebrating Puppets in the Park on Saturday as part of the National Day of Puppetry.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Animal group seeks volunteers to assist with spay/neuter clinic

    The Madison County Humane Society/Animal League for Life is reaching out to the community for help with its low-cost spay and neuter clinic.
    The clinic, which operates at the HS/ALL adoption center at 128-C Big Hill Avenue, has spayed or neutered more than 2,000 dogs and cats since it opened in July 2012, according to volunteer Lynn Grove.

    April 3, 2014

  • State funding to help keep domestic violence shelter open

    Money for Madison County domestic violence intervention in the recently passed $20 billion state budget will be used to keep the Hope’s Wings shelter open.
    The budget bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

    April 2, 2014

  • 3-29 PetsofWeek1.jpg Pets of the Week

    This week's cat is Jett, a neutered and front declawed 5-year-old male.

    This week's dog is Ace, a 2-year-old male Chihuahua mix.

    March 29, 2014 2 Photos

AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

Yes
No
     View Results