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Losing weight is a process that requires an ongoing commitment to changing one’s eating and exercise habits.

It also requires a keen sense of awareness.

Listen to Your BodyDid you know that your body is often giving you clues as to how you are doing? If you can tune in and listen to your body on a regular basis, you will learn to shape your program and increase your chances of being successful.

Here are some tips to guide you:

1. Cross train. Do your knees ache? If so, this can be a reminder that doing the same high impact exercise like jogging or even walking on the treadmill can be hard on your joints. Cross training by adding other types of exercise like bicycling or even swimming can rest some muscles and strengthen others. Icing your knees and taking anti-inflammatory medications may also be in order. Of course, for persisting discomfort, it’s always prudent to see your doctor.

2. Satisfy hunger. Is your stomach growling? Are those hunger pangs you’re feeling? When you let your hunger get out of control, it’s much harder to make good diet choices. Eating regular meals and planned snacks will keep your hunger at bay. Take a look at your weekday and weekend eating schedules. If you’re going to be out during meal time, toss some meal replacement bars in your purse or briefcase so you don’t end up skipping a meal or have to resort to fast food. Also – don’t forget to keep yourself well hydrated, as sometimes when you think you’re hungry, you’re really just thirsty.

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3. Rest up. Are you feeling tired? Is your energy level low? It could be time to take a new look at your sleeping habits. If you’re not getting enough hours of restful sleep each night, you need to set a new nighttime routine into place. Commit to doing a relaxing activity before bed like taking a warm bath or reading a book. Bedtime is not the time for doing work or answering lots of emails. Instead of relaxing you, these activities can get your mind going and make it harder to fall asleep. Better sleep has been related to better weight loss because, when rested, you’ll be more likely to make good diet and exercise choices.

4. Eat mindfully. Are you an emotional eater? Do feelings of sadness, loneliness, anger or anxiety lead you straight to the refrigerator? Becoming aware of emotional triggers that lead you to eat will help you take better control of your weight loss program. The solution is to come up with a plan to deal with that emotion in healthier ways. Connecting with friends, talking about your problems with someone you trust or engaging in group activities are all healthy coping strategies. When you feel more connected to others and your stress level decreases, you’ll be less likely to eat mindlessly.

Hopefully these four tips will help you listen to your body and help you create a more positive weight loss program.

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