The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Weight loss requires breaking old habits

Students quick to pronounce their New Year’s resolutions should back them up with a plan of action that doesn’t simply depend on a list of promises. Those serious about sticking to a weight-loss resolution should stick to a strict diet and exercise program.  Photo by John Harden/The Collegian
Students quick to pronounce their New Year’s resolutions should back them up with a plan of action that doesn’t simply depend on a list of promises. Those serious about sticking to a weight-loss resolution should stick to a strict diet and exercise program. Photo by John Harden/The Collegian

By John Harden/sports editor

Students quick to pronounce their New Year’s resolutions should back them up with a plan of action that doesn’t simply depend on a list of promises. Those serious about sticking to a weight-loss resolution should stick to a strict diet and exercise program.  Photo by John Harden/The Collegian
Students quick to pronounce their New Year’s resolutions should back them up with a plan of action that doesn’t simply depend on a list of promises. Those serious about sticking to a weight-loss resolution should stick to a strict diet and exercise program. Photo by John Harden/The Collegian

If you’re still hanging on to your fifth New Year’s resolution to lose weight, then you’re part of the 70 percent of Americans yet to break their New Year’s oath this year.

According to CNN.com, about 70 percent of Americans are still continuing to maintain their resolution, 40 percent will continue up to six months and only 20 percent until December.

The majority of Americans’ resolution to lose weight is based on the best intentions but fail because people do not recognize how to make the change.

Following through on a resolution takes more than signing up for a gym membership and buying fancy workout outfits to convince everyone that you’re serious — it takes a change in behavior.

Modifying behavior requires breaking old habits and can take months or years before the behavior becomes a new habit.

In our society, it’s no easy task to break away from most of our sedentary ways learned from childhood.

One barrier preventing the success of those resolutions is the influence of our environment.

As a nation, we eat out more often than we did in the past and choose from an endless amount of food.

But eating out isn’t the problem. It’s the portion sizes that restaurants offer.

Some restaurants have started considering the health of their customers, but most couldn’t care less about our waistlines.

Society has programmed us to super size for “only” 30 cents more or to purchase the extra butter on our popcorn when going to the movies.

Sometimes, we add the hot apple pie to our order just because the voice at the other end of the intercom says we should.

Even on college campuses, vending machines are packed with snacks that offer more calories than nutrients.

When it comes to looking out for our health, we’re on our own.

Few steps exist when making the decision to lose weight and get back in shape, but it’s wise to take the process one step at a time.

Determining your lifestyle problem can be the hardest because it requires a self-analysis.

After determining the problem area, stopping the negative behavior and creating a new one is the next step.

This doesn’t happen all at once, but it must happen to begin the change.

The negative behavior is saying yes to the apple pie. The positive response is, “No, thank you.”

Along with cutting the extra calories, exercising and increasing physical activity are also necessary.

Researching the benefits of exercise can help decide which workout program is the best option.

If unsure about what program is right, seek help from a licensed professional. They are trained to help customize a program specifically for the individual.

Now that negative behavior has been acknowledged and the decision to change has been made, the commitment must be designed with measurable and realistic goals.

The vow to exercise seven times a week and to lose 50 pounds a month is overwhelming if not ridiculous.

Instead, start by exercising two or three times a week and slowly increase the number of days you workout. And instead of pledging the 50 pounds a month, try five or 10.

After maintaining healthy eating and the exercise program for a couple of years, it should become a normal part of your lifestyle.

But there’s always room for error, and sometimes those New Year resolution hopefuls suffer a relapse.

It’s normal to relapse and revive their negative behavior, but a relapse doesn’t mean it’s the end of the resolution.

It only ends if one surrenders to an unhealthy lifestyle.

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