Slow-and-Steady Wins the Race: Especially with Diet and Weight

Terese Katz writes:

When it comes to exercise, too, slow and steady promises results. Fitness journalist Gretchen Reynolds recently reviewed several large-scale exercise studies. It was “slow or average” paced jogging, moderate exercise like walking or cycling, that proved most beneficial. These regimes, and not high-intensity running, for example, improved health factors most consistently. So here, sticking with what’s manageable, and not necessarily pressing yourself for more and more, may serve you well in the long run.

The moral of these findings could be summed up with some words from a Harvard Health Letter summarizing decades or research on changing unhealthy behavior: “Change is a process, not an event.” “It can take a few rounds.” “You should keep trying.” “Any effort you make in the right direction is worthwhile.” People who’ve kept weight off, or stopped a gorging habit, or built a solid exercise routine will usually echo these sentiments. In your frustration, when weight loss seems stuck, or when you feel you just can’t get it right, take heart from knowing that you still may be forging change.

Often we don’t realize we’re “forging” at all. If you’ve stopped and started a hundred diets, though, chances are you’ve discovered a thing or two that actually does work for you, even if the overall schemes did not. For example, you may not have kept your Weight Watchers pounds off, but maybe you’ve incorporated the idea of “budgeting” so that’s it’s now part of your automatic thinking. You may ask yourself “Can I afford this?”, as you approach the make-your-own-sundae party. Maybe you’ve learned that a food log will pull you back to a more mindful eating stance.

Or, perhaps you found the ultra-low-carb diet impossible. However, you’ve retained the idea of keeping certain carbs low—like maybe those in white breads or pasta. Or perhaps when fat-free fell by the wayside, you at least kept up an awareness of fat content, and the extra calories they bring.” Read the rest of the article here: Slow-and-Steady Wins the Race: Especially with Diet and Weight | Psychology Today.

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