“SMART” ways to lose weight

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Let's face it, finding the motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle and lose weight can be challenging. At this time of year people are starting to decide whether or not to drop their New Year's resolutions all together, either because they're not seeing the results they want or because it's too hard.

Donna Welch, a health educator at Mercy Health Weight Management, talks about how using the SMART method can help people lose weight, and keep it off.

The key to reaching a goal weight is to be motivated, and stay motivated by setting new goals to keep achieving. Mercy Health Weight Management focuses on the SMART system, which is a 5-step plan that helps people achieve success with their goal of weight loss.

Specific: Don't make vague goals like "I'm going to lose weight." These kind of promises make it easy to bend the rules if things get complicated, resulting in lack of commitment. Be explicit when making a workout or weight loss plan, know where you're really headed.

Measurable: Translate your plan into numbers, so you can measure progress easily towards your goal. Whether it's pounds, body measurements, clothing sizes, or health markers, choose one or two of these to help you stay on course. Seeing numbers go down will send you in the right direction, but if the numbers are going up maybe it's time to refocus your efforts.

Attainable:  Making realistic goals boost the chances of success. Line up your goals with the realities of your life, whether it's a busy work schedule or physical abilities, make sure they're goals you can attain.

Relevant: Make sure the goal has significant meaning to you. To create a change in your body and health you need to make changes, which sometimes include sacrifices, in your lifestyle.

Time-Bound: Set a time frame to achieve your weight goals. Deadlines create a sense of urgency and prevent you from going off course. "Someday" and "eventually" are words that will weaken the chances of meeting goals. Without the pressure of time to keep you moving, you'll eventually stop trying and be unhappy with yourself.

Along with the SMART method, Mercy Health Weight Management offers their HMR program to help people lose weight by replaces regular meals and snacks with HMR shakes, entrees, and snacks. By mixing vegetables and fruits with these meals, they become filling, nutritious meals that will help reduce the amount of sweets you eat.

The program is designed for anyone who wants to maintain a healthy style and is tailored for each person and their weight loss journey. Whether you're just starting out or looking for a new way to keep the pounds off, these methods will guide you to a new, healthier you.

To learn more about the HMR program offered through Mercy Health, visit MercyHealthWeightManagement.com.

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