What, yet another way to diet? This is not another way but the way to sustain a complete lifestyle change. It would be really great to be set free from the “diet prison” and “yo yo dieting.” Now, move forward for life!
First, a safe and effective weight management program is only effective when it is a way of life. It is not a plan that you start when you’ve been “bad” or at a certain time of year, i.e. New Year’s Resolutions. Over time, you will incorporate healthier habits that work for you rather than against you. You will find out what works best and enjoy its flexibility, as it becomes a comfortable enjoyable way of life. Remember this is a long-term solution. Your weight gain was from over many years of neglect and bad habits. It is not even realistic to imagine that losing 30 pounds in 30 days could be healthy or permanent. This is what fad diets advertise. This long-term issue becomes a short-term project of futility and frustration. People who buy into the short-term fad diet go on and off them, start and stop exercise programs, and their weight – and self-esteem – go up and down. They continue to find new fad diets and continue the diet roller coaster. So how does one get healthier habits for life? You need to view all the healthier changes as part of a permanent lifestyle transformation. You need to change your kitchen to reflect your goals and healthy lifestyle. This means anything that doesn’t grow or swim is out; it probably is not good for you. So the elimination list goes as follows: processed foods in boxes and cans, packages of high fat foods, and fast food that can be grabbed on the run. Your new shopping list includes veggies, fruit, meats (if canned, low sodium), dairy products and whole grains. Do not skip the carbohydrates!! This is your energy and fiber source. This is what makes you feel full and give you energy and a good attitude.
Secondly, realistic goal setting is so important in getting the results you desire. A goal could be to lose 10 pounds before the high school reunion. This is an example of a goal that is not realistic because it is short term and after the event is over, the bad habits pick up where they left off and the weight loss becomes ancient history. A realistic goal is to lose a small amount of weight and gain a healthy lifestyle of both exercise and diet. This can be built upon so that you can continue to lose weight once you have enjoyed the flexibility of a healthy lifestyle and diet. This is long-term thinking and goal setting. This will get you set for life and isn’t that really what you desire?
Now how does one actually do this? Don’t make the transformation to a healthy lifestyle all at once. Make small changes like taking soda out, then sweets, or decrease the visits to the vending machine or fast food joint and make healthier choices if you must go with a fast food chain. This will make the lifestyle more permanent and will direct you toward a low fat lifestyle for the long term. Exercise is a must!! Diet without exercise has proven time and time again as a way of yo yo dieting. It just is not permanent and you will have no tone but loose skin, which is not attractive at all. The exercise must also come on slowly such as exercising two times a week and building to four times and to most days of the week.
Don’t beat yourself up as you find you haven’t lost the weight you wanted by a certain date. That will bring you back into a short-term thinking and very frustrated. Think about all the positive changes you made however small or large. Think about how great you feel, how you have more stamina, more positive image and how well your clothes fit. No one knows the numbers on the scale, only you. Also, don’t beat yourself up when you don’t exercise or eat unhealthy. Use it as a reminder that you will continue to work against these bad habits for your long-term goal.
Fad free dieting is successful for the long term. You will be healthier and your goals will become your reality. “Goals are not only absolutely necessary to motivate us; they are essential to really keep us alive.” By Robert Schuller.