Instead of Dieting, Feed Your Body with Positivity
Most dieters would love to try the latest diet or sign up for a weight loss program, follow it for sometime, achieve results and make best efforts to sustain a whole new lifestyle. But then, most of them will always revert back to their original lifestyle behaviors, because their minds and bodies are not physically, mentally and emotionally prepared to stick to a certain type of program on a long-term basis.
I have already witnessed thousands of people who resorted to fad diets, lost and regained the weight (or even more), and are still in the process of discovering the best form of diet to lose the extra weight again, and again and again… But the real issue is not about the program. You just need to eat less calories and workout more and you can lose weight for sure. If you eat between 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day, regardless of the macronutrient distribution (high-fat and low-carb, high-protein and low-carb or moderate-carb and low-fat) and eating pattern (eating every 3 to 4 hours, 5-6 small meals or applying different types of fasting) then you will lose weight for sure. And of course, you can lose more if you burn 500 calories a day from physical activities regardless of exercise type (15,000 steps a day or formal workouts like high-intensity interval training, sustained cardio workouts like brisk walking or Zumba or combination of all).
But once you stop working out, you will gain weight if you eat the same amount of food. And gain even more if you eat more. Eating healthy for five straight days, but rewarding yourself with high-calorie foods on weekends might just offset the weight loss efforts for that week.
In truth, weight control is always achieved and decided upon by YOU – you need to work for it, everyday, just like taking care of a relationship, maintaining a house or raising a child. I firmly believe that now is the time to make more efforts to empower ourselves day-by-day in renewing and strengthening our motivation to achieve a healthy lifestyle. And to effectively sustain the changes, it is also time to replace the negative strategies with positive ones.
Create positive goals.
Most people who focus on weight loss as the main goal might just jump straight away to the latest diets without even considering the negative long-term effects like weight regain (after abandoning the diet), heath problems, hormonal imbalance, emotional issues and physical weakness. Start your journey right by setting new health goals that can create a huge positive impact to your over-all health and lifestyle. Lifestyle modification should take place once you are ready so you can make time for fitness activities, plan your day to get enough sleep and exert more efforts in improving your eating.
- Aim to get stronger, feel better and improve over-all health. If your focus right away is on weight loss, then you might not consider anymore the complete ingredients necessary to become healthy such as getting the right amount of nutrition, movement and sleep. Chronic dieting can lead to malnutrition, eating disorders and other life-threatening health issues.
- Lifestyle modification should take place once you are ready so you can make time for fitness activities, plan your day to get enough sleep and exert more efforts in improving your eating.
- Be open and willing to undergo various processes, proven to be safe, effective, backed up by science. If your goal is to get stronger and fitter (and maintain or improve as long as you live), then you have to improve your over-all fitness level such as strength, endurance, flexibility and body composition.
Nourish your body.
We have been informed very well about what foods to always to eat and what to avoid. Throughout the years, numerous studies have presented foods that were proven to produce superior health benefits for over-all well-being (vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds) and foods that can be damaging to one’s health (processed foods, sugar, alcohol, additives and chemicals). One thing is for sure – we all want to live fully while being disease-free. So let us eat the foods that can create wonders for the health and lifespan. In reality, food can make or break you. Your body is the sum of what you eat.
- Replace foods that can sabotage your body with healthier alternatives.
- If you have health problems, make time to consult with a health professional so you can identify the best foods for your body. A basic blood test can also be done to identify areas of concern.
- Make a list of the healthiest foods you can consume daily. Make it a habit to eat these foods.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday and if you move more, then drink more.
One of the most important things to consider when it comes to sustainable healthy eating is the satisfaction factor (taste, hunger and cravings). Just imagine the possible consequences of resorting to an eating plan that deprives you of the positive experiences – You will fantasize about food all the time, even in your dreams (deprived of pleasant taste) and you will lack energy during the day needed to effectively function at work and during exercise (deprived of important nutrients and the right amount of food to fuel your mind and body).
- Eat foods that are beneficial to your over-all health and well-being, but at the same time compatible to your taste buds.
- Have a meal that makes your stomach moderately full and happy so that you will not look and think for something else after. Have enough veggies, a serving (your palm size) of lean protein, a piece of fruit and a serving of brown rice or quinoa.
- A few drinks a week, a handful of potato chips or a small slice of cake a week won’t do enough damage as long as you always set limits.
Create an easy and pleasant eating experience.
You need to prepare your mind, body and environment to embrace a whole new and improved lifestyle. You have to invest in your health. Willpower will not fully work if there is no game plan. Prioritize, make time, create consistent efforts and act on it.
- Be open to seek advice and guidance from credible and experienced health professionals.
- Set a budget and schedule for healthy grocery shopping so that healthy foods should always be ready and easily accessible.
- Allot time each day in preparing your healthy staple foods like your regular breakfast oats, a veggie and fruit smoothie and/or a heart-friendly meal.
- Share the positive eating experience with your loved one.
Focus on your daily achievements.
I am a health and fitness coach, but I still make huge efforts everyday to live a healthy lifestyle. Just like any other normal human being that I get to deal with everyday, I still struggle occasionally in dealing with PMS cravings, I still get affected by social media posts on colorful foods especially whenever I get really hungry. So everyday, I strive to practice self-discipline while applying proven skills to sustain (and always improve) my lifestyle. One of the most effective strategies I have been doing for years to control my weight is to keep a lifestyle journal, write and review at the end of the day so I can focus on my daily lifestyle achievements like eating more vegetables, getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep and getting a good 45-minute workout. These daily achievements empower me to sustain my lifestyle, everyday.
- Write the good things that happened to you plus all your accomplishments (small or big) for the day. Reflect for a short while and be empowered by these small things.
- Make some notes on what you want to focus on for this week. You can always start with three things like 1. Achieve at least 7 hours of sleep 2. Achieve 70,000 steps for the whole week and 3. Eat 2 cups of veggies and 2 whole fruits a day
- Don’t let unfulfilled tasks like eating a slice of cake or skipping a workout class discourage you from exerting more efforts for the next day. Be a fighter. Do the opposite. Try-sleep-reset-repeat.
- As soon as you wake up, reset your mind and be excited to face a new day. You have another chance to do your best in the next 16 hours.
Develop the passion to live life to the fullest.
Focus on how to sustain a new lifestyle. Health problems may not be your major concern at this point, but we cannot control the aging process plus the related changes accompanied by it like slower metabolism, brittle bones, saggy skin and a lot more. The best thing you can do right now is to reverse aging, maximize your days by finding ways on how to become more functional instead of sabotaging your body, mind and health by always resorting to quick fix diets.
- Eat to nourish your body with good food as long as you live (and not make it malnourished).
- Eat to move so you can always get stronger (not weaker).
- Eat to enjoy a quality life (not sabotage your health).
There are several diets out there that can work for some, but not for all. So before you try the latest fad diet, ask yourself with these questions first:
- Is this a scientifically-proven, safe and effective diet?
- Will this diet satisfy me?
- Can this diet stop my obsession with weight and eating?
- Can this diet make me stronger and healthier?
- Can I live with this type of diet for the rest of my life?
If all the answers are YES, then go ahead and try it….