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February 15, 2019 Dan Raimondi

Kaizen means “improvement” in Japanese that summates over the long term to result in massive gains. It is a positive word, used to connote betterment, but we can also see its effects in a negative way. If small incremental improvements can yield huge increases in the long term, then so too can it happen with poor outcomes.

Consider the person who eats marginally more calories, little by little, day by day. Over the course of a week or a month, this may be only half a pound. By 6 months it’s closer to 3. By 1 year it’s closer to 6. Still not much, but a little more. By year 5, if left unchecked, it becomes 30lbs. Little by little, it adds up. It may not happen as neatly as I’ve typed, but the upward trend is usually slow and steady.

What can you do to prevent this? Here are 5 ways you can ensure long term success on a micro-level:

  1. Weigh yourself at least once per week. The National Weight Control Registry tracks people who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for a long time. 75{e18ed2371f09e71a3757b9c079724507f9c8fbf367ae51cfed9a8a84db31045b} of them weigh themselves once per week. If you see the scale starting to climb up, modify what / how much you’re eating.
  2. Exercise- Walk, train for strength, get lots of physical activity. Long term success requires a little bit each day. Track your steps if possible and have an amount each day to hit.
  3. Watch the snacks. Yes, even the 1 mini-snickers contains calories. You might not realize it but multiple 1 mini candy bar many times throughout the day and it adds up over time.
  4.  Audit yourself periodically. If the weight starts to creep up, recheck everything that’s going into your body, especially with the serving size. Buy a scale if needed to weigh your food. I guarantee you’re adding more calories in preparation than you think.
  5. Sleep. Those who sleep less(<5 hours) tend to eat more calories and be generally more hungry than those who sleep more (closer to 8.5 hours).

Just as little things can add up over the long haul to cause weight gain, so too does it take a long term approach to lose it. It won’t happen overnight. Understand that from the start It’ll take much longer than you think, and there will be ups and downs along the way. Keep yourself going. Surround yourself with people who can help. And don’t be afraid to fail. It doesn’t make you a failure.