What does it take to make meaningful, lasting lifestyle changes and develop new habits?

 Dr. Donald Hensrud, a Mayo Clinic physician specializing in nutrition and editor of “The Mayo Clinic Diet,” offers strategies that can help people achieve controling your own actions, emotions or food urges.

When it comes to pushing away the potato chips and picking up the walking pace, it’s easier said than done and Dr. Donald Hensrud offers some self forgiveness saying, “I think everybody has willpower. It’s not a matter of willpower, there are powerful forces causing us to eat more and to do less activity,” says Dr. Hensrud.

It’s a matter of coming up with strategies “… and these strategies need to be practical, realistic and enjoyable enough to be sustainable. We can’t just not eat. We have to eat. Nobody has perfect habits,” Dr. Hensrud said.

He says coming up with strategies to eat healthy, low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods can be a way to game the system, “… It’s a matter of changing habits and coming up with new lifestyle changes that will fit the bill and help us manage our weight as we move along.”

Dr. Hensrud says it’s important to be kind to yourself, too, and to ask yourself if you are ready for the challenge and to always make the decision to use positive self talk!