Quick Fixes Don’t Work!
With many of us living very fast-paced, busy lives we have come to rely on quick-fix solutions to our weight and health issues that result in yo-yoing between being “on a diet” or “off a diet”. Whether it is over-restricting calories to the point of being constantly hungry or blaming one food group or nutrient and attempting to eliminate it from our diet. Eventually we get frustrated because we aren’t satisfied or the pounds aren’t coming off quickly enough and go right back to our old ways. I have heard countless stories of weight lost, but then regained due to some strict, unrealistic diet. Drastic diet and exercise plans are difficult, if not impossible, to sustain long term. Our bodies and minds don’t like being deprived and so they fight against us.
The Best Answer For Long-Term Success…is to start with smaller, sustainable, “real” changes and gradually add onto that to create long-term weight management and health, wellness, and longevity. No drastic changes. No “diet”. What works best is a gradual change of everyday behaviors that add up to major overall changes that have a positive impact on health. As a matter of fact, did you know that a reduction of just 100-200 calories per day could lead to weight loss of up to 10-20 pounds in a year and that losing just 5-10% of your body weight can have a positive effect on your health.
Focusing on all the healthy foods you need more of instead of what you “can’t” have is key to not feeling deprived and sustaining healthy eating for a lifetime. The more junk you feed your body, the more junk you will crave. The opposite though is also true – the more healthy, good foods you eat, the more you will crave. Wellness comes from feeding your body nutrient-dense, whole, unprocessed food (full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants) – most of the time. It’s not about perfection. Nobody’s diet is perfect. I like the “80/20” rule. Feed your body healthy, good foods 80% of the time and the other 20% of the time you let your guard down a bit.
You’ve Got To Move!
The other side of the equation is physical activity. Both the food we eat and how physically active we are is equally important. Our bodies were made to move. When we aren’t physically active our body reacts negatively in the form of decreased flexibility, ineffective metabolism and insulin resistance and sets us up for chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Eating healthy and being physically active is a habit. It takes about 4 weeks for a new behavior to become a habit. It is possible for exercise to become a habit you love!
Anything Is Possible
Through small, gradual change it is possible for healthier eating and consistent physical activity to become habits that are just naturally a part of everyday life. Ultimately that is what will get you to – and keep you at – your goal weight and a lifetime of wellness.