By EatingWell Editors
Are you ready for a new life? Some diet plans urge you to “get started right now” regardless of what else is going on in your life. The first step of the EatingWell Diet, on the other hand, is to make sure you’re ready to commit to the healthy changes that will ensure your success. Are you ready to commit fully to eating better and exercising more? Take our quiz to find out.
A. Losing weight means giving up a LOT.
B. I have a lot to gain by losing weight, and the “minuses” of committing to a lifestyle plan that will help me do that seem pretty insignificant.
C. They’re about equal.
A. Well, it’s not, really. Between my family and my work, I don’t have five minutes for myself. But I suppose now is as good a time as any.
B. I am finally motivated to take charge of my life. I will make time for eating right and exercising—and my family and friends will support me.
C. I have a whole month to reach my goal weight before [fill in your special event] arrives.
A. Like a luxury I can’t afford. I’m already so busy I don’t know how I could possibly fit 30 minutes of exercise into my jam-packed schedule.
B. Manageable, definitely. I may even be able to exercise longer on some days.
C. Like something I should do. I’ll try my best to fit it in.
A. Like a waste of time. I don’t think I would actually do it.
B. Interesting. I am curious to know exactly what and how much I’m eating. I can commit to this.
C. A bit tedious. Do I have to do it every day?
A. Overwhelming. I might be able to find time on weekends, but weeknights are too busy for cooking.
B. Exciting! I enjoy cooking and think flavorful, nutritious recipes will help me stay focused on my weight-loss goals.
C. Reasonable. Even though I’m busy, I would like to start cooking at home more.
A. My partner (or doctor) keeps getting on my case about being too heavy and I need to try something.
B. I’m done with fad diets. I want to make changes that will help me to lose weight and keep me healthy for life.
C. I’ve tried all of the “old” ones and they haven’t worked.
NOT QUITE READY
It sounds like your life is a little stressful right now. Experts agree it's best to embark on a difficult challenge, such as losing weight, when you have time and people in your life to support you. Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up to fail. But just because you’re not ready to fully commit to a lifestyle overhaul doesn’t mean that you can’t start thinking about the healthy changes that you’ll make when the time is right. How will you plan meals? How might you rework your schedule so you can fit in exercise? Who can you rely on for support and motivation? Think about these questions and try to incorporate one new healthy behavior into your routine each week: try one (quick) new recipe on a Sunday afternoon or plan to take a long walk on the weekend.
You realize that losing weight will not be easy, but you are prepared for the challenges ahead. You know that it will take a combination of eating right and exercising to lose weight and maintain your weight loss. The timing is right for you to take charge of your life. Let’s get started on the next step, setting your goals!
You sincerely want to lose weight and have spent time thinking about what it will take to do it. Still, you’re not sure if you are ready (or able) to commit to putting in the effort that will help ensure your success. Maybe writing down everything you eat seems like a pain or you have a job that makes getting into a regular exercise schedule very difficult. For now, take baby steps. If keeping a food diary every day seems intimidating, try doing it for just one day to see how it feels. Or go ahead and set a calorie goal and promise to stick with it for one week. At the end of that week, evaluate whether you want to keep going. By starting off slowly and accomplishing small goals, you may see that you have everything it takes to succeed in your weight-loss efforts.