How come just saying the “D” word (you know, “diet”) brings immediate thoughts of failure to the minds of many around the world and yet they continue to try dieting?
Do you think we have all learned through trial and error that diets simply do not work?
I can imagine many of you are sitting back with disbelief at the moment. After all, this is a post about dieting, right?
It is and it isn’t.
Dieting can be the kiss of death for many. However, a new phase in your life or a lifestyle adjustment may just be the thing that will mean success for you in reaching your fitness and health goals.
Eating for some is an addiction.
Unfortunately, you can’t exactly give up eating all together unlike a smoker who can give up cigarettes. I’m not implying by any means that giving up cigarettes is easy but how much more difficult would it be if you were forced to have three a day? At that point you may as well have one every time the urge hits. The same holds true for food. You need to eat in order to survive. You cannot survive without eating.
This means that if food has become a problem in your life, you have to find a healthier way of viewing food.
Isn’t this where diets generally come in useful?
The short answer is no. This is where diets often fail.
Diets do very little to change how we view food.
In fact, most diets only serve to tell us which foods are good, which foods are bad, and which foods (often the foods we enjoy most) are strictly forbidden. By the way, there is no ‘bad’ food but there are certainly foods that don’t serve us.
Diets begin by forcing people to feel deprived or punished and no one likes to feel either of those things.
Even worse, we punish ourselves when we slip up along the straight and narrow pathways which diets demand. This means that we suffer with guilt over every little slip-up we make. Eventually we give up all together and decide to binge or at least over indulge – then the guilt kicks in again.
To be able to have real, enduring success you must make a lifestyle change.
This is the only way that you will be able to shed those unwanted pounds while minimising the horrible guilt that so many dieters go through each and every step of the way with their diets.
Set goals for yourself. Keep them aggressive but realistic. Set targets for fitness, dropping weight, and eating new healthy foods. Even if your goal is as simple as eating 5 vegetable servings a day it is a great place to start.
Change your way of eating.
Then change your way of seeing food. For example, if you currently see food as a reward or emotional support item then flip that perspective to seeing food as fuel for your body. You can generate amazing changes in your attitudes toward your health, your body, and even your fitness level.
As the weight begins to drop you will begin to experience more energy and less pain when exercising. This will help keep you motivated to do even more as time goes by.
Bear in mind that long term weight loss goals will be as harder to achieve than the initial five or ten pounds.
Consistency is vitally important when making these lifestyle changes. Take each day as it comes and begin again the very next day.
If you fall completely “off the wagon” today, don’t beat yourself up – you can start over tomorrow. The secret is in staying the course more days than not. Learn moderation and balance when it comes to straying from the plan – if you feel the need to break out, don’t go all out!
There are many ways to fail when it comes to dieting and I have failed in almost every one you can possibly imagine. There is no way to fail, however, when you are making positive changes in your life that are getting positive results. This is a really important distinction to understand. With a diet you’re either on it or off it: with positive lifestyle changes you’re making improvements – it’s not an either/or situation. That sense of failure disappears as you adopt new lifestyle habits.
It isn’t a quick fix to change your lifestyle – it can take weeks, months, or even years to achieve your goal. As long as you are making steady and continuous efforts and progress, you are winning and doing great things for your health and well being. And that’s worth the shift, isn’t it?