What is your idea of a diet? Is it a 1-week plan where you cut out junk food and alcohol, usually after Christmas or New Year’s?
I like to think that a diet should incorporate a LIFESTYLE change. Not only changing what food you put in your body and increasing your activity levels. but also decreasing the stress levels and enjoying life more.
According to studies, it is reported that people who lose weight gradually over an extended period) with a change in lifestyle, enjoy a higher success rate in keeping that unwanted weight off. Even a loss of between 5 and10% of your body weight may provide positive health benefits to your overall health and frame of mind.
For example: if you are 180 lbs and according to your gender, age and height, you should weigh between 130 and 170 lbs, you are looking at a target weight of 150 lbs – which means losing 30 lbs. If you spread this over 6 months, you are looking at 1.25 lbs per week. This sounds quite achievable.
Losing weight may seem like a chore, but we need to take charge of our health and well-being. We should see healthy living as our responsibility (for ourselves and our family) and with the right planning and help, we can achieve it.
I think it may be obvious that in order to begin a lifestyle change, you need a desire to change. Without this, every day is going to be torturous to you. You are going to be focusing on the things you think that you are “missing out “ on and you may begin to resent those around you going on with their day-to-day life. You may even begin to notice some people that seem to be able to eat whatever they like without the supposed consequences.
You need to bring the focus back to WHY you are going on a diet. The reason may be anything from suffering from a chronic condition, wanting to walk up the stairs without being out of breath, or even wanting to look good in your clothes again.
Whatever your reason is, this is what is going to help you with your DESIRE to stay focused.
Do you have the right information to start your healthy journey? With so much information out there, it can be difficult to choose the right path.
An intense enjoyment of doing something. A diet may not be your idea of fun and enjoyment, but lifestyle changes that lead to better health and lower stress levels will allow you to experience an enthusiasm for life.
Setting goals is crucial to success – they need to be realistic and achievable. Writing them down helps you to see the big picture of why you want to change your life and how you are going to do it.
Some steps to stay motivated once you have your reason:
(1) Set out your goals realistically but SPECIFICALLY – wanting to lose 20 lbs in a month is not realistic and not specific enough. You need to have short-, medium- and long-term goals. Write them out. For example:
Short-term goals: Remove all processed foods from my cupboards, get healthy recipes, make a shopping list with good food choices and write out an activity schedule
Medium-term goals: Monitor weight loss and increase activity levels. Increase stress reduction techniques
Long-term goals: Keep monitoring my weight loss. See which foods are beneficial and which are not. Try more relaxing activities to ensure that my mind is also benefiting from the lifestyle change. Help others with issues that I have had so that they can also benefit
(2) Start with small steps – setting realistic goals will give you definite direction and it will not be as over-whelming.
(3) Do not compare yourself with others – yes, there are some people out there that can do it quickly with no problems at all. But you are an individual with different circumstances and family dynamics. One of the biggest pitfalls of going on a “diet” is advertising. We are living in such a superficial world where image is everything. If you can go back to the true reason of WHY (bettering your health), then you won’t need to compare yourself to others. Everybody is on their own journey.
(4) Stop putting it off for next week/moth/year – procrastination, the second biggest problem with starting anything.
(5) Learn from your mistakes – if you’ve ever started a diet, you know that somewhere along the line, temptation is going to come your way. If you slip up and have a second helping of lunch or chips instead of fruit for a snack…don’t beat yourself up and quit!
(6) Get professional support – sometimes, we need help. If you need help with planning and advice, reach out. Check out my services.
Going on a diet shouldn’t be about cutting out. It should be about adding things. Adding life-giving foods to your diet, heart-strengthening exercises to your day, and peace-filling quiet-times will ensure a better chance at success.
Once you realise the benefits of a balanced life, you will be able to overcome any obstacles:
- More energy and better sleep
- Decreased risk of developing a chronic condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc
- Decreased joint pain and improved mobility
- Improved love life
- Better mood
- Healthier looking skin
- Fewer allergies and improved immunity
- Better digestion
To me, it’s an easy choice to make. Put down the donut and pick up the apple instead.
If you don’t know where to start, please get in touch and we can work out a program tailor-made for you!