Supporting Yourself: Set Yourself up for Success
Arrange Your Space
Create a home and work environment that supports your eating and exercise goals.
- Get rid of high-fat, high-calorie snacks. Replace them with healthy low-calorie items. Keep healthy foods in your cupboard and refrigerator. Good choices are low-fat or nonfat yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese; whole-grain bread and tortillas; beans and chickpeas; and a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and dried fruit.
- Keep healthy meal staples on hand so you never have to call for pizza delivery. Individually frozen skinless chicken breasts can be defrosted in the microwave and baked or thrown into a stir fry in less than 30 minutes. Frozen vegetables and canned beans can be added to canned soups for a fast meal.
- If others in your home insist on keeping tempting treats around, ask them to store them out of sight. Designate a section of the pantry for their snacks and avoid going there.
- Keep your exercise shoes by the door. Put comfortable active wear in an easy to access spot. Create a workout bag with everything you need to get moving before or after work.
- Arrange a spot in your house for exercise. Make it a pleasant area with room for an exercise mat and hand weights. No matter how tight your schedule, you can always fit in a short workout.
- When you are on the go, bring what you need with you. Keep healthy snacks in your purse or bag so you do not get stuck eating unhealthy foods. If you know you may be working late, bring a healthy snack to tide you over instead of reaching for a vending machine option. Pack your shoes and take a quick walk break in the afternoon.
- Plan ahead. Try to anticipate what you may need in every situation. This will make it easier to stick to your goals.
- Learn the places and situations that tend to be hard for you to control and avoid them. Sometimes it is best to reduce exposure to tempting or unhealthy environments.
Set up a Support System
Surround yourself with people who can help with and reinforce your healthy behaviors. The support of family and friends can go a long way in helping you meet weight loss goals.
- Tell your family and friends that you are trying hard to eat healthier and exercise more to lose weight.
- Ask them to be supportive and provide encouragement. Let them know how important your goals are to you. Remind them that comments like "Let's just order a pizza," "It's too cold to go out and walk," or "Where are the cookies we usually have in the kitchen?" will only make it more difficult to achieve your goals.
- Look for partners. Finding one or more like-minded people who share your goals is a great way to reinforce your day-to-day behaviors. Look for a walking buddy or tennis partner, or a friend with whom you can exchange healthy recipes or cook healthy meals.
- Share your successes and setbacks. Talk to a friend or coworker who is also trying to lose weight.
- You can find support resources and tools online or in mobile applications, such as Lose It! You can also connect with other people working on their weight and join a forum to discuss ideas for weight loss success.
Find Healthy Alternatives
Spend your free time creating a healthy environment to meet your weight loss goals. If your hobbies are baking cookies and watching TV, now is the time to expand your interests.
- Arrange free time to support your healthy habits. Go for a walk instead of watching television or baking cookies.
- Cook a healthy meal using a low-fat healthy recipe instead of going out to a new restaurant. Look for one new recipe to experiment with each week.
- Try new activities to get your body moving. Gardening, tai chi, meditation, ballroom dancing, scrap-booking, kayaking – anything that is enjoyable and fulfilling to you.
If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder.
This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.