“I’m starting a new diet.”
When I hear these these words, I shudder…because diets don’t work. First of all, the term “going on a diet” implies that the change is short term. (A diet is like a train…if you go on you probably plan to get off, right?)
Most diets are designed for people to simply lose weight, not necessarily get healthier. And sometimes it works for people…in the short term. They fit into that dress, look marginally more fit at their reunion, or get their BMI within a certain range to save some money on health insurance. Whatever the motivation, 90 per cent of them gain the weight back, and then some. Why?
Diets aren’t sustainable. It’s just a painful, temporary starvation of the body to promote weight loss, often leaving the dieter miserable and hungry the entire time. The body thinks it is starving so the metabolism slows down which makes your body more likely to turn all available calories to fat while muscle wastes away.
Eventually, the hunger wins (it always does). They start eating like they did before, and they put the weight back on even quicker than the first time around because the metabolism has been slowed to a halt. All they really accomplished was to put a huge stress on the body and mind, ending up worse than where they started. So, since diets don’t work, why put yourself through that?
Instead, find a plan that you can stick to for the rest of your LIFE. Your food shouldn’t make you unhappy or deprived, but quite the opposite. Your food should nourish your body, mind, and soul. You should look forward to meals, not dread them.
How do you accomplish this? Well, that’s the funny thing. Just eat food. Pure and simple.
Stay away from things in boxes or packaging. Avoid foods that are labeled “low fat” because they are usually loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners to make them palatable. Avoid processed grains and refined carbohydrates. Avoid “fake fats” (vegetable oils, shortening, and anything that’s partially dehydrogenated).
Eat meats, eggs, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds (rice and potatoes are okay if your blood sugar is stable). You’ll find that it is much more difficult to overeat on unprocessed food. Have you ever found yourself eating an entire 16 ounce bag of chips? Well, try eating an entire pound of potatoes instead. It is much more difficult, despite the fact that the weight is the same.
It’s not complicated, although that doesnt mean that it’s easy. Processed food products are everywhere. Plus, we are constantly bombarded by advertising that fans the flames of our cravings. Remember what your motivation is: you are aiming to make yourself healthy so you can enjoy your life into your golden years.
You’re going to slip up. You’re going to hit plateaus. That’s okay. Remember, you are not on a short term starvation diet so don’t make silly goals with time limits. Don’t constantly look at the scale. You are changing your lifestyle. It’s a journey, and the longer you have been sick, the longer it will take to get healthy. And let’s face it, if you are overweight, you are sick.
So, if you are considering a lifestyle change, ask yourself three questions:
1. Is this way of eating healthy long term?
2. Will I be happy eating this way?
3. Can I see myself eating ths way for the rest of my life?
If you cannot answer “yes” to these questions, you will fail, despite your good intentions. So forget about whacky cleanses, crash diets, and gimmicks. Eat real, nutritious, healthy food and start a reasonable exercise routine. You will build a healthy lifestyle and a healthier body. You will look better, but most important, you will BE better…inside AND out.