Having a toolbox of behavioral options can help you immensely on your weight management journey. While diet and exercise will always be important factors when it comes to weight, changing your behavior or developing new behaviors can help you lead a long-term healthy lifestyle and sustain your progress.
Different Behavioral Options
Behavioral options are simply tools and strategies for managing your weight that have to do specifically with behavior change. That includes the types and quantities of food we eat, the amount and type of physical activity we do, and the way we view food and exercise on an emotional level.
For so many, it is behavior change that is the most difficult to master over time. More than just a quick fix or temporary solution, behavior change will support your health goals forever.
Self-Monitoring Food Intake
By keeping track of your food intake and using that data to make decisions, you can develop sustainable ways of eating that support your health goals.
Also known as food logging, this behavioral tool has been made easy with mobile phone apps such as:
Features such as nutritional information, calorie trackers and being able to save your favorite meals increase the rewarding nature of food logging. Many of these apps also offer meal plan suggestions, recipes and the flexibility to develop weekly shopping lists.
Tracking Physical Activity
By tracking your physical activity, you can gauge things like the number of steps taken, distance traveled, stairs climbed, amount of weight lifted, heart rate, sleep patterns and more. There are technological tools to help you do this, most notably the Fitbit and Apple Smart Watch. Other companies with fitness technology include Garmin, Samsung, Jawbone, Nike and Withings.
Like advanced pedometers, smartphones also have built-in technology to track physical activity. Some of the apps you can download include:
Using Weight-Loss Programs
There are also science-based weight-loss programs out there to help you with your behavior and nutrition. They offer things like online social support, positive reinforcement, practical goal-setting, and the use of self-monitoring. While there used to be a scarce amount of weight-loss programs that focused on behavioral options, there are now quite a few that are proven to be effective.
Some weight-loss programs are based in-person, but many are based online or in digital technology. Here are some examples:
Behavior is Important!
There are a lot of weight-loss options and tools out there, but you won’t find long-term success unless you change behaviors that are affecting your weight. Thankfully, behavioral options such as tracking your food intake and physical activity, and getting help from science-based weight-loss programs, can help you meet your specific health goals. Look for tools and resources that motivate you and fuel your determination.