The word diet alone has such a negative connotation.
“Diet” sounds like I immediately have to give up all the foods I actually like to eat, and I have to buy the stuff I hate. It’s no wonder that 50 million Americans diet, but only 5% are successful!
Don’t Set Yourself Up For Failure
Going on a diet sets anyone up for failure. If we give it some rational thought, do you really think that a cabbage diet or an all protein diet are a good idea? And what about the grapefruit diet? Can eating just one thing, or one type of food really be what’s best for our body? And did you know that some people were open to ingesting a tapeworm in the hopes of maintaining a certain weight?
In a society where thin is in, people seem willing to do anything to stay skinny. Crazy fad diets have been sprouting up since the early 1900s when Horace Fletcher spread the word, the best he could, to say that food needed to be chewed a certain number of times to be properly digested and to prevent weight gain.
With millions of people dieting, why isn’t anything working?
How A Healthy Lifestyle Helps
What actually works is a healthy lifestyle. Making good choices and approaching food as the fuel we need to function, not as the eternal enemy. The following will hopefully help you change the way you think about food and overall health.
When you change the way you perceive anything, your attitude will change. If the word diet terrifies you or simply has a negative connotation, change what it means to you. Diet is really just the word used to describe what you eat in a given day, week, and month. Diet is your regular food intake; your eating routine or regimen.
2. Eat Breakfast
Making a good choice when you eat for the first time each day really does set the stage for what you consume the rest of the day. Not only is the first meal important to make time for, the choices you make in the morning, or whenever you wake up, really do make a difference.
If you start off with donuts and chocolate milk, you are training your body to want sugar, processed foods, and saturated fat. If you start the day with fresh fruit, whole grain toast, no-sugar-added juice, and an avocado, or a tomato and avocado egg-white omelette with hash browns instead, you are training your body to want healthy fats, good protein, and naturally-occurring carbohydrates for the rest of the day.
3. Listen to Your Body
When we pay attention, our internal operating system tells us what we want, and what we physically need. If you find yourself really wanting a huge, warm meal, what you really might be craving is comfort. You could try taking a bath, or seeking out a hug before eating a food you’ll regret, or a portion size you did not need.
Ask yourself right now, “How do I feel?” and ask it each time you think you are hungry. You may be surprised by what you really want in that moment. Chances are it isn’t that bacon cheeseburger or the pint of ice cream you assume you’re craving. You may not be hungry at all, an emotional reaction can be responsible for your food choices.
4. Get Out and About
Exercise is not everyone’s favorite past time, but when you find an activity or two that you enjoy, it won’t feel like you are working out. Walking can be a time to clear your head, listen to music or a good book, or just zone out for a while.
When food is the only focus for a healthy body weight, a huge part of the puzzle is left missing. Are there any sports you like to play? Any activities you’d like to try, but just haven’t committed to doing? Give anything a whirl, what do you have to lose…other than weight?
5. Release the Pressure
Don’t let your scale dictate your progress, or the way you feel about yourself. Age and weight are simply numbers that truly mean nothing.
A fad diet may lead to weight loss, but it will only be temporary. Instead of yo-yo diets, counting calories, and feeling frustrated, stop putting pressure on yourself and commit to a long term weight management program.
A healthy diet, in the true sense of the word, and your new definition of “diet”, works when what you consume is balanced. You don’t have to commit to the food pyramid or anything, just think about what your body really needs each day. Try for a good amount of fruits and vegetables (the more variety in color the better) and opt for whole grains and lean meats.
Can your diet excite you instead of create anxiety? Give it a try!
Post by: Marissa Maldonado
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