Keep it simple for a better chance at success

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When making goals to lose weight, some may find they're doing it all wrong.

Setting goals is the first step to self-improvement, but the real challenge is being resilient. It's term that not only means bouncing back after a difficult situation has occurred, but also bouncing higher.

There are a fair amount of misconceptions about weight loss, such as believing a person has control over it. Dr. Terri Flint, director of employee wellness at Intermountain Healthcare, said to take control of the behaviors that result in weight loss and make weight loss a lifetime journey.

Flint warns not to be intimidated by thoughts of failure: “I tried that, that didn’t work, that must mean it’s not going to happen for me,” she said.

Instead, she suggests doing a series of experiments with start and end dates. Start with a simple goal like just one banana instead of my bagel for three days a week for four weeks.

At the end of the experiment, take a closer look to find out what was learned.

“Did it work? Did I like it? Did I feel better? Or nope, it turned out I hate bananas," she said.

People should learn how to become their own experts. This isn’t about feeling deprived of all their favorite foods, but more of a series of small experiments toward an ultimate goal of weight loss.

Be willing to adapt to the different seasons, she said. Maybe a treadmill and free weights might be a good option for winter, and gardening or hiking in the summer. As long as a person keeps moving and doesn’t quit, he or she will always be successful.

Flint said to maintain a healthy relationship with food, take accountability and examine what one is really using food for.

“We probably created that relationship over a lifetime of experiences," she said. "The healthy food relationship is, food is the fuel that we put into this precious body to run us.”

When it comes to rewarding oneself, don’t turn to junk food, try looking internal, she said.

“I think if you look closely and start paying attention, you’ll find that you’ll just start feeling better and that right there should be our first reward,” she said.

If a treat is truly what a person craves, make time to enjoy and savor every bite: “Pick those rewards that are truly meaningful for you," she said.

Flint recommends only making one personal goal at a time and if people are not quite ready to commit, they should ask themselves what are they ready to do.

“We all have different times in our life when we’re ready to make a change," she said. "Give yourself credit for what you are doing.”

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