Diets don’t work. You know this. We know this. Pretty much everybody knows this. So why do we keep banging our heads against that dietary brick wall?
It’s likely because each time you start a new diet, you’re filled with hope.
“This time will be different.”
“This one guarantees results.”
“I’ll be able to stick to this one.”
“My sister-in-law lost a lot of weight on this one.”
So what happens? Life happens, that’s what. Someone has a birthday. You’re invited out to eat. You are late for work, so you grab whatever you can at Starbucks and scarf it down on the way.
Before you know it, you’ve strayed so far off track you can’t even see the track anymore. Feeling defeated, sometimes guilty, you blame yourself for failing, for not being able to stick to a diet.
The truth is, a diet really isn’t something you should ‘go on’ only to later ‘go off’. Because that’s when the trouble begins.
It’s Called Yo-Yo Dieting
That rollercoaster of off-again-on-again dieting has been dubbed "yo-yo" dieting.
That’s because your weight will typically go down for a bit…but the day you stop dieting, the weight starts to climb right back up and will often add a few extra ‘bonus’ pounds!
You wind up feeling discouraged and eventually quit even trying.
If you want some straightforward nutrition advice, download our Ultimate Fat Loss Diet & Recipe Guide today!
A few weeks, months, or years go by, and then you decide to give it another shot with a different diet. But the results are the same. And the yo-yo cycle starts up all over again.
Having said that, it’s not completely accurate to say diets don’t work. The truth is, diets don’t work LONG-TERM. Most are simply not sustainable for lengthy periods of time.
So, what you need to be looking for instead of a ‘diet’, is a nutritional way of eating that will not only help you lose weight, but is sustainable and something you can follow from now on…a healthy eating lifestyle.
Change Can Be Intimidating
The thought of a “lifestyle change” may seem intimidating. It’s okay, that’s a normal response. You imagine having to go through your kitchen, like you’ve seen them do on TV, disposing of all the ‘bad’ foods into a giant garbage bag.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. The size of the steps you make towards your goal doesn’t really matter…if you make enough of them, you’ll eventually get there.
Something that often helps overcome intimidation is to take a complex task, like totally changing your eating habits, and breaking it down into (forgive the pun) bite-sized chunks.
We’ve put together a few tips to help you get started:
5 Steps to Develop a Healthy Eating Lifestyle
1. Make one small change and stick to it. Once that change becomes a habit, then change something else.
For instance, try a nutritious, protein packed breakfast. A breakfast high in protein has numerous health benefits. It increases muscle mass and the number of calories your body burns.
It also regulates glucose and increases the release of satiety hormones, which means you’ll feel satisfied all morning long!
2. Make sure you have a grocery store ‘game plan’. Don’t go unprepared; plan your grocery shopping trip before you even leave the house.
Best case scenario – you have a menu of all the meals you’ll be preparing throughout the week.
Even if you don’t have the menu decided yet, at the very least, have a list of what you plan to buy from the store. And don’t shop hungry! That’s when the worst food decisions are usually made!
3. Do the bulk of your shopping around the perimeter of the store. The aisles are where all the processed “foods” are housed. You want the majority of what you eat to be real food, not a box of ingredients.
The outer edges of a grocery store are where the unprocessed foods live. The fresh, whole foods that provide your body with maximum nutrients and health benefits.
4. Experiment with new spices. Just because you’re cutting back on calories doesn’t mean you have to cut back on flavor.
Try fresh herbs or hot sauce to enhance food flavor without adding extra calories. Diet foods can sometimes be bland. A healthy eating lifestyle doesn’t have to be.
5. Have a “treat” meal 2-3x per week. Don’t feel like you have to deprive yourself of the foods you love for the rest of your life. If you try to do that, you’ll likely wind up binge eating those same foods and then feel bad about it afterwards.
Instead, enjoy the foods you love most, just in moderation. That's the beauty of a healthy eating lifestyle...you give yourself permission to include your favorite foods every now and then, to more easily eat healthy the rest of the time!
If you’re unsure where to start, don’t hesitate to ask your us. Our team of Los Gatos personal trainers can help you.
They have extensive knowledge and experience about healthy eating and choosing delicious, nutritious food. Let them help you create a new, healthy eating lifestyle, and you’ll never have to worry about dieting again!
I wanted to make sure we give you some more straightforward nutrition advice as well.
If you would like our full nutrition recommendations, download our Ultimate Fat Loss Diet & Recipe Guide today and learn about:
- Our 7-Step Anti-Inflammatory Diet
- How much protein you really need
- The best foods to eat (and avoid) to lose fat
- Specific meal plans and recipes for optimal results
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