Challenge Check-in: 6 Strategies for the Midpoint
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
LifeTime WeightLoss in 90-Day Challenge, Becca Hurt, Behavior Change, Health Strategies, Lifestyle, Mindset, Support, weight loss journey, weight loss milestones

It’s the official midpoint, folks. Does it seem possible? How would you describe your Challenge experience so far? What’s been your biggest success? How would you rate your overall progress? What do you think you could improve upon? Midpoint is the perfect time to assess and realign with your goals in order to pave the way for greater success in these final weeks. Whether you’re happy with the progress you’ve made or want to kickstart new efforts, use what you’ve learned and commit to making the remaining weeks your best yet! Check out these 6 strategies for energizing the second half of your 90-Day journey!

Reflect and re-assess.

At this point in the journey, you’re either feeling really confident about the strides you’ve made thus far or are feeling quite lousy about the change that you are not seeing. How you react and respond to these feelings is up to you! Focus on the positives: what can you add to your day that will help you get to your goal? Think of your health and fitness objective as you would a credit card bill (a big one). You can’t expect the account to decrease or the bill to go away if you don’t set up a payment plan. That means determining what you are going to do on a daily basis to ensure you can make that monthly payment. The same is true for your Challenge goal. You set a goal about six weeks ago, but what are your weekly objectives to meet that long-term goal? What daily effort is required to meet each weekly goal? Make these daily behaviors something that you know you can and will do, and choose 1-3 focus areas. Many of my clients find it helpful to have daily goals like these: 1) Eat at least 1 serving of vegetables; 2) Walk at least 5000 if not 10,000 steps; 3) Get at least 7 hours of sleep. Think back to what has worked well and what hasn’t. Learn from these answers as you plan out the next several weeks. Remain positive, and don’t forget to regularly recharge your motivation!

Stick to a routine.

At this point in your Challenge or healthy way of life change, you should have established a fairly consistent routine. Hopefully, you have been able to successfully incorporate a small handful of healthy behaviors around your nutrition, movement, exercise and/or lifestyle. Although you may have signed up for a Challenge, optimal success comes when you accept the experience as a journey. Take new behaviors in stride, focus on 1-2 changes at a time, and only progress when your new habits become routine.

Assess your plate.

You may already know the basics of nutrition: eat more vegetables, drink more water, and remember that protein and fiber keep you fuller longer. If you didn’t already know these, you may have learned the difficult way that weight management relies much more on the quality (and, to some degree, quantity) of food you nourish your body with, rather than how many minutes you work out at the gym. Although exercise and nutrition do go hand in hand and together make for optimal success, many people fail to put this knowledge into action. How has your plate changed these past six weeks? When it comes to healthy eating, don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you simply concentrate on healthy foods to add to your meals, the good will eventually crowd out the less healthy choices and make the transition to healthier eating much simpler!

Focus on daily movement.

For some people, even the thought of exercising can seem daunting, but beginning a fitness routine isn’t an “all or nothing” endeavor. Think of it simply as a daily practice. Many of my clients beat themselves up if they neglect to make time for a workout, and if they “failed” at one point in the day, the rest of it becomes a downward spiral into an official “lost cause.” Not only is that negative mindset a stressor, but it doesn’t do anything to accomplish the goal of incorporating more exercise, however brief, or additional movement. Work or school takes up the majority of many peoples’ daily schedules, but taking a break to walk around campus, use the stairs instead of the elevator, and always parking farther away are simple ways to increase your movement for the day, therefore benefiting your metabolism! At this midpoint mark, that 10,000 step/day goal might still be a stretch but is likely becoming more realistic for many people’s progress. For those of you who haven’t been incorporating the step goal into your daily routine, gradually work your way up to 10,000 steps/day, and walk your way to better health and weight loss!

Ensure optimal sleep.

Did you know that just one night of disrupted sleep can make it harder for us to balance our blood sugar and blood pressure? The fact is, inadequate sleep elevates our stress signals, which potentially disrupts our metabolic processes. It’s no wonder that we feel the repercussions in the day(s) to follow. You may be thinking, “I would LOVE to get the sleep I need, but it’s just not possible.” To be honest, I think the majority of us have that same thought at some point. However, there are most certainly some things in your nightly routine that help or hinder your sleep, and I would bet they’re habits you can control. Do you turn off all screens (e.g. T.V., computer, iPad, phone, etc.) at least 2 hours before bed? Is your dinner at least 2 hours before bed?  Do you have a set bedtime? If you heard that one of the primary ways to enhance success at weight management is by instituting good sleep habits, you’d probably have a different mindset about your nightly routine!

Try something new!

Getting half-way through a 90-Day Challenge is no small feat in and of itself. This is a BIG milestone, and you should be proud of your commitment! Although routine is key to successful behavior change, it’s also important to add some zest along the way as well. Try a fitness class that intrigues you. (It might just be the thing you’ve been missing!) Choose a new recipe for this week, try out the sauna, or relax and treat yourself to a massage! A well-rounded approach to your health and fitness plan is essential, and there are numerous areas where you could add a little variety. The midpoint is a great time to hit the “reset” button for the remaining weeks of the Challenge. You might consider giving your body a kick-start with a quality detoxification program. The energy surge and quick results could boost your motivation and help you find your biggest progress in the last half of your Challenge experience!

Good job and good luck, everyone! Let me know how you’re doing in the Challenge and what you’ve learned along the way. Share your comments, thoughts and support for those who have committed to the 90-Day. Thanks for reading!

Written by Becca Hurt, MS, RD, Program Manager of Life Time WeightLoss

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

 

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