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Healthy Weight for Life: The 5 stages of lifestyle

Healthy Weight for Life: The 5 stages of lifestyle change
Michael Hallinan

So youre determined youre going to do something about your weight. But what? is not in itself a behavior. Releasing fat pounds is an outcome of many behaviors that add up to consuming more calories than your expending. (Yes, theres a genetic component too, but you cant change that.)

The good thing is that this gives you lots of places to start moving toward your goal of losing weight. The challenge is sorting through them all and finding what will work best for you. So heres the question: What are you most ready to change?

Behavioral researchers have identified five stages in behavior change:

1. Precontemplation: Youre not even considering it. No way youre gonna give up your and beer. Gym-going is not for you. Why walk when you can ride?

2. : Well, maybe you could live without pizza and beer *every* week. Gym is out, but you always liked swimming, maybe a . The walk in the park with your friend was pleasant last weekend, maybe you could do it again.

3. Preparation: Next week youre going to skip that pizza. You found out the local Y has a pool and their family rates are affordable. You talked to your friend about doing more walks sometime.

4. Action: Two weeks and no pizza. You joined the Y and youve swum laps there a . You and your friend have gone walking the past three Saturday mornings.

5. Maintenance: The weekly pizza has been a thing of the past for six months. Swimming is so much a part of your daily routine that you dont feel right if you skip it. Those Saturday walks are dont-miss .

In fact, this readiness to change model is behavior-specific. That is, you might be in the with the pizza but still in precontemplation on that stuff. Youre not likely to be very successful if you flog yourself for not every day, what you want to do is move yourself to the next stage: List the pros and cons of regular and guess what, youre thinking about it and that means contemplation.

So think about the behaviors you can change to lose weight. What stage are you in for each of those behaviors? In each case, what can you do to move yourself to the next stage? What are you most ready to change.

We explore readiness to change in my free teleclass, The Real Skinny on Weight Loss: Dont Diet, Do It. You can get details and register at www.teleclassinternational.com/catalog.phtml?keywords=MH-RS

About the

Michael Hallinan overcame a , and the midlife discovery of health and fitness so changed his life that he established a coaching practice specializing in helping others find their own healthy way to a healthy weight. For more helpful tips, subscribe to the Healthy Weight Newsletter. For past issues and to subscribe see
www.healthyweightcoaching.com/Ezine.htm


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