A lot of people are interested in losing weight. As much as a huge advocate I am about working out, unfortunately, is not the only ingredient to success. Healthy lifestyle changes need to be taken. People want to lose weight and they want results yesterday. Dieting is not the solution. Everyone tries the South Beach Diet, the North Beach Diet, Fasting, Atkins, the list goes on. A restricted diet leads us down the road of cutting more and more out of our daily intake. If we continue this lifestyle of cutting out everything, by the time we are seventy years old, we will be having a stick of celery for all three meals. These “popular” diets are thrown out to the public thinking that if general changes are made, then you will lose weight. Well of course you are going to lose fifteen pounds if you eat eggs and spinach for two weeks straight. What we really need to focus on is making individualized changes to our diet because everyone is different and we all have different needs.
When coming to the realization you need to modify your eating habits, I like to think of it as healthy lifestyle changes rather than a diet. Diet has such a negative cogitation towards it. A “diet” identifies the food changes you need to make, but it doesn’t account for the self-control and discipline that goes into making and maintaining those changes. A healthy lifestyle change regards your new eating habits and lifestyle changes you are making to maintain those changes to develop routine.
We are willing to add things to our diet instead of simply taking something out. For example, we have our average Joe that eats McDonald’s or Subway for lunch every day. He wants to start eating healthier so he decides to eat more vegetables. Although he is on the right track, adding vegetables is not what he has to do to see results; it’s getting rid of the Big Mac or the bag of chips with the 9-inch sub. The number one reason why we resort to those fast foods is not because of the luscious cheese or the crisp of the chip, it’s because it’s convenient. If we can think past the convenience, we are just digging ourselves a hole: in our pocket (because it is so expensive to buy lunch every day) and for our health (they add a whole lot of stuff so it tastes that good).
When making healthy lifestyle changes, it is important to cut something out that you can control. Rather than say “I want to cut down my carbs” or “I don’t want to eat sweets”, be specific. Instead, say “I’m going to use pita bread instead of a ciabatta roll” or “I am not going to have breakfast pastries-scones, doughnuts, muffins.” Make a change that you can hold yourself accountable towards, rather than leaving room for way to tip toe around your original thoughts.
Now, we can all list things that we want to cut out of our eating habits, but sticking to it is a WHOLE other story. Here is where the majority of us are tempted, and 8 times out of 10, we fail. This is where we need to say to ourselves, “It’s not that I can’t have it, I DON”T WANT IT.” You do not want it. You do not want it because you know what life is like with it, and you originally made this sacrifice because you were not satisfied with your habits before. You are making these changes because YOU want to see change, and YOU want to see the difference, and YOU want others to see the difference. How are you going to change the way you feel, if you don’t change your lifestyle?
So next time you are tempted, tell yourself, “It’s not that I can’t have it, I don’t want it.” You will find a new respect for what you are putting in your mouth.
For more information on healthy lifestyle changes, read Coach Kevin Carr’s article:
5 Ways to Promote Behavior Change in Your Clients