ALL AT ONCE, OR A LITTLE AT A TIME?

So you’ve decided you need to make some changes to your diet, and add some exercise. Do you go ahead and just totally revamp everything? Knock out all the junk, quit the pop, clean out your cabinets and refrigerator and start fresh? Do you throw yourself in a total fitness program? Or do you do these things incrementally, one thing at a time?

Just like everything else, it depends who you talk to. Some experts recommend just doing a big reset, and starting over, so hopefully several things stick. The idea is that you may backslide in some areas, but you’ll have some other positive changes still working for you.

Other experts suggest it may be more beneficial in the long run if you start with something simple first. The idea here is that it’s easier to implement something small, and then something else, so you slowly gain momentum. Small changes add up over time, and also become habits.

So which way is best? I think it can depend on a couple things, like your personality and even your life history. Both can have a lot of influence on your potential success.

Let’s start with personality. If you’re a Type A kind of person that likes lots of control and micromanages things, then maybe the complete overhaul is for you. You can just dig in, and through force of will make it happen. If you’re a little more relaxed, though, you might let some things slip through the cracks. In that case, you might be better off sticking with one change and focusing on that for awhile.

But history can have something to do with it, too. If you’re new to dieting and working out, it’s possible that you can use a big reset in your life, and a jumpstart to get the ball rolling. But if you’ve tried lots of diets and exercise programs, maybe you need to focus on one or two small changes. For example, going for a 20 minute walk, and trying to cut out the pop. After you learn you can sustain it, then you can add something else.

Personally, I lean toward the Type A, lots-of-control way of doing things, but that’s just me. Usually, I just need to get a project started, and the rest kind of falls into place. But sometimes, it’s just too big to do in the short term. Then I have to take bite-size chunks out of it. Drives me crazy, but I’ll do it. So you can see that sometimes you might use a mixture of BOTH approaches.

In the end, how you get there probably doesn’t matter, as long as it’s moral. There are lots of ways to eat better, and lots of ways to workout. Many different plans will get you there, if you just stick it out. So what really matters is: “Did you get the results you wanted?” If so, then great! If not, then reevaluate, recommit, and renew your efforts.

Here are some people who had a good result this week. Cheryl Funkhouser was this week’s Biggest Loser, with a loss of 3.8 lbs and 2.3% of her body weight. Brooke Bishop placed second, losing 4.7 lbs and 2.2%. Haley Johnson finished third, losing 4.2 lbs and 1.7%.

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