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Why Small Steps Will Help You Realize Your Big Goals
I almost always want to lose some weight before summer. This year it was 20 pounds. That’s more than I usually am over my ideal weight, but there it was.
Was I going to do it the usual way? Just grind it out and suffer until the weight dropped (hopefully)? Then what?
I’d likely go back to my usual way of eating….UNLESS, this time I had a plan that consisted of small steps on the way to the BIG GOAL of losing 20 pounds.
So, do you just figure out how many fewer calories you have to eat, and/or how many you have to burn per day to reach your goal? Sure, technically that should work.
But what about in real life? If this had worked for me in the past, why am I 20 pounds overweight–again?
IT’S ALL ABOUT HABITS
Yes, habits. Those annoying things your husband and kids do. Like throwing their clothes on the floor when they get home from work or school. Or missing the laundry basket with the socks. Losing the car keys.
I could go on, but those are not the habits I have I mind. We all have habits, both helpful and unhelpful. Oh, our brains consider all of them useful. Why? Because our brains are rather lazy creatures. They don’t want to work too hard and would rather cruise on auto pilot instead of using up all your energy.
Even if a habit isn’t good for you long term, your mind will still fall back on it because it takes the least amount of energy. And it’s all about conserving energy for the old cranium. Thank evolution for this.
What Does This HAVE TO DO WITH LOSING 20 POUNDS??!
I hear ya. Losing weight is all about making small, consistent changes. The key here is SMALL. I’m talking tiny. I know you want to lose those 20 pounds quickly. But tell me how many times you have done this (or tried to do it), and either failed, or gained the weight back after the summer, or after the wedding, or reunion?
And then you either had to do it all over again, or just give up. It doesn’t have to be this way!
Allow me to suggest another way. A way that may take a bit longer than the crash diet du jour, but one that, if you can muster up a little patience, will actually work and stick. I’m not much of a patient person, and I like to see instant results as much as the next gal.
But going through another deprivation diet at my age is not something I look forward to. No matter how skeptical you may be, if you put the principles that I’m going to teach you in place, you WILL make progress, and it WILL stick. If you keep trudging along the same path that has gone nowhere, what makes you think THIS time will be different? I’ve got news for you; it probably won’t be. So stick with me and learn a better way.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
This is going to sound really simple, but I want you to start with one small thing. One small aspect of your calorie intake that you can change. Let’s say you drink 3 cups of coffee each morning with a large splash of cream. You love it, and think you cannot live without it. What’s a very small thing you can do to make a difference here?
I can think of several, but how about using a slightly smaller mug? Mugs come in all kinds of sizes, and if you can shave a few ounces off yours, multiplied by 3 each day, you’d likely be surprised by how many calories you wouldn’t be consuming each day.
Let’s do a little math here. Say you pour around a quarter cup of cream in each mug of coffee. Trust me, this is less than you may think. If you do this three times, that’s ¾ cup.
This is SIX HUNDRED and SIXTEEN calories. Every day.
I swear I just used a calculator to do this. 821 calories in a cup of cream times .75 (which is the decimal equivalent of ¾ in case you have forgotten your 4th grade math!) is 616 calories.
We all know that some diets for women call for 1200 for the whole day. Can you imagine using over half of those calories JUST in your 3 cups of coffee??? My goodness, that scares me and I don’t even drink any cream in any coffee. You may not even think of those calories as real calories! Heck, they’re in your coffee and that doesn’t count, right?
THIS IS WHERE IT GETS CRAZY GOOD
So you take this advice and start using smaller mugs for your coffee. Because of this, you’re only dumping 3 tablespoons of cream instead of 4 (1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons) in each cup. You save 3 tablespoons each day, about 52 calories each.
This works out to just under 151 calories per day, and I think you would barely notice this change! True, you would have to measure a bit, but you could easily find a small container that would hold this amount and pour your cream into it and then into your cup. Work with me here, this is just an example.
How much would this small change amount to in pounds over a year? ALMOST 16 POUNDS. I kid you not. You have made such a tiny little change, and with not a shred of exercise, you can lose nearly 16 pounds in a year.
This is, of course, if you change nothing else. No fair thinking, “well, if I cut out a little cream each day, now I can eat 2 Hershey’s Kisses!”
Are you seeing where this might lead? What if, after you get used to your slightly smaller mug and slightly smaller amount of cream, you decide to only have 2 cups per day? Or you change to half-and-half? Oh, the progress you could make! It’s almost like magic.
THIS IS THE MAGIC OF SMALL STEPS
This concept can literally change your life, not just your weight. Tiny steps in the right direction are the key. When they are this small, it’s easy to keep them. It’s like you are tricking your brain into working WITH you instead of always taking the easy, tried and true way out.
What small step can you take this week to finally lose that weight you’ve lost and regained so many times?
Remember, use small steps to get you to your big goals!