“First of all, it’s important to recognize that diet-and-exercise ‘burnout’ is common,” counsels psychologist Dr. Coral Arvon.
“When you first started your Pritikin lifestyle, it was exciting. Everyone noticed how great you looked, how much weight you’d lost. But after awhile, motivation may start to fade.”
Here are 3 tips from Dr. Arvon for maintaining weight loss and preventing backsliding:
If it’s hard to get out and exercise, get some new ways of exercising. If, for example, you always walk, try cycling or elliptical machines, or cross-train, combining several aerobic machines. Or sign up for small-group classes in anything that intrigues you, from Zumba to “burn express” workouts.
If you’re tired of always getting beat at the sport you play, try a new sport (or an older competitor).
Exercise buddies can also be motivating. Seek out friends to walk and talk with. At the gym, develop treadmill partners. Another option: book a few sessions with an enthusiastic personal trainer.
Or try one of the many new fitness apps now available, like FitStar and Fitness Buddy. They’re convenient, and often inexpensive, even free. But if you have injuries that limit range of motion, you’re always better off working with highly skilled trainers like the exercise physiologists at Pritikin.
Freshen up your food repertoire, too. Check out Pritikin recipes online and experiment with fun new creations.
And set aside time for a long cruise through one or two of your favorite grocery stores. You’ll likely discover some new, interesting, and authentically healthy products. Last week (at Costco, no less!), I found in the refrigerated section an easy-to-microwave combination of four different whole grains with absolutely no sodium or fat added. These grains are perfect as a side dish or ladled into veggie soups.
When you have the urge to eat the not-so-good stuff, take a deep breath. Use the 10-minute delay strategy.
And remember that boredom, in and of itself, can get you into trouble. In a new study, Dutch researchers counted the M & M’s that people ate while watching a one-hour documentary, and then, a few days later, while watching one 85-second scene from the same documentary played over and over again for one hour. The subjects ate twice as many M & M’s in the second session.
Concluded the researchers: It’s not just emotional eating that affects our weight. Plain old boredom can also pile on the pounds.
So distract yourself with other pleasurable (but calorie-free) activities. Go for a walk. Turn on your favorite music. Call a good friend. Whenever you can, nurture and reward yourself with something other than food. Buy a new outfit. Schedule a massage. Sneak off for a day or two of skiing or golfing. Take an extra-long bubble bath. Escape into a good book.
When that Cinnabon looks too good to resist, travel in your mind to the Pritikin Longevity Center. Hear your Pritikin coaches cheering you on in the gym. See that gorgeous array of fruit at the breakfast bar. Breathe in those balmy Florida breezes. Recall how good you felt, and how motivated you were. Relive that motivation right now. Cinnabon be damned!
Ask yourself: Is it time for another “dose of religion”? Are you able to schedule a Pritikin vacation? If not, take a little time each day to recall the energy and joy of a Pritikin trip. Above all, remind yourself of the many health benefits of your Pritikin lifestyle, and pat yourself on the back for the success you’ve achieved.
Tell yourself: “I’ve lost weight, and I know I can maintain it. What’s more, I feel good. I’m definitely on the right track.”