Fitness Trainer Magazine

Fitness Trainer October/November 2016

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Page 31 of 35

By Suzanne Digre osing weight has often centered around changing a litany of habits, reading tips about food labels, grocery shopping, and meal planning, and following ready- made meal plans and preset calorie and exercise goals. Sounds super fun, doesn't it? But not only do clients find it difficult to change more than one or two habits at a time, asking them to follow non-negotiable goals and rules sets them up to fail. Armed with a program that feels canned and lots of new "habits" to learn, a client may begin feeling deprived and put-upon as she's forced to give up food she enjoys, change her schedule, and become acclimated to more activity. Generic lists of habit changes feel irrelevant to her lifestyle, and at some point, she simply can't sustain the program any longer. However, a nontraditional strategy called small changes may better help your clients find long-term weight loss success. This approach gives individuals the power to choose their own goals in a manageable, sustainable way, giving them time to turn new habits into a lifestyle. The best news is that you can put this approach to work with your clients easily. Using small changes helps your clients lose weight in the short term, but also empowers them to maintain their weight loss for years to come. The AnATomy of SmAll ChAngeS Researchers working to combat obesity have been studying the small changes approach for years. Studies have shown that not only do individuals lose more weight with a small changes approach, but they're able to maintain their weight loss for at least one year. Even the American Dietetics Association, the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society now endorse the small changes approach. So what does a small changes weight-loss program look like? • Short-term Monitoring. Encourage your client to monitor L Inspired Coaching Techniques

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