Every New Year’s, millions of people say “Enough!” and pledge to lose weight. They begin Atkins, Weight Watchers, The Zone, the Grapefruit Diet, The Cabbage Soup diet, or Slim Fast. We’ve seen it time and again- they follow all of the rules, lose their weight, reach their goal and quit the diet. They return to their regular life and many times, they gain the weight right back. Why does this happen?
It’s simple. It’s because they undertook a “diet” and not a lifestyle change. The word “diet” indicates an action that has a beginning and an end. “Diet” to most of us equals deprivation and lots of sweat. You often hear people say, “I’ve begun a diet” or “I’m off the diet – it wasn’t working for me!” That’s because if you diet, you don’t really change any of your firmly entrenched habits long term, and those habits return. The key to a true and lasting weight loss is to get off the traditional diet path and get on with living a healthy lifestyle.
Instead of making gigantic changes in your daily life, pick one area and make a change. When you’ve made one change a part of your daily routine, make another. Those small, incremental differences really add up. Before you know it, you’ve seamlessly transformed your entire life – and those lost pounds will stay away!
As an example, if you are a gaming enthusiast, saying that you will begin a running regimen is probably going to be a habit that will not stick. By the same token, a carnivore is not going to find long term love for the vegan menu. A gamer would have more success using a Wii or Xbox Kinect to play and break a sweat. A meat lover needs to find a way to enjoy lower fat and smaller portions of remade favorites. If you love sweets, you’ll need to try sugar substitutes or enjoy them weekly instead of daily.
Try some of these changes to get started:
- Drop one soda a day and replace it with water. Drop another every few days.
- Walk instead of taking the elevator. Every single time.
- Mix soy crumbles or ground turkey with half of the amount of ground beef for tacos or spaghetti sauce.
- Add one serving of fruit to each meal.
- Serve a salad before dinner each evening.
- Snack on veggies while doing homework with the kids.
- Add in 30 minutes of exercise that you enjoy – swimming, walking, electronic gaming, boxing class, biking, even jump rope!