Chuck the Diet, Change Your Daily Habits

I believe that you should not have to give up on food you love when trying to lose weight.  Instead of depriving yourself, think moderation or even just improving your favorites with healthy swaps! I guarantee that if your mindset is in the right place then you will improve your daily choices instead of struggling over a diet.

 

So what does this change in daily habits entail?

 

The basic difference between a diet and daily habits is your mindset or, better yet your perspective on food, exercise, nutrition, etc. It makes your goals achievable, and if you are truly dedicated to a healthy lifestyle you really won’t miss out on anything at all.  The best part about this transformation is that it is not temporary, like dieting.

 

A diet is all about numbers—the number on the scale and the number of calories you eat and burn. Success is defined in terms of how well you stick to your numbers.

 

Changing your daily habits is all about you. It’s about lining up your eating and activity with your real desires. Success is defined in terms of how these changes make you feel about yourself.

 

A diet assumes that reaching a certain weight is the key to finding happiness and solving other problems. That’s why messing up the numbers on any given day can be so upsetting—it means you’ve failed.

 

A lifestyle approach assumes that being overweight is usually the result of other problems, not the cause. Addressing these problems directly is the best way to solve both the problems themselves and your weight issues.

 

Going on a diet involves obsessing over your exterior self and making a temporary change to your eating habits. You start counting and measuring, and you stop eating some foods and substitute others, based on the rules of whatever diet plan you are using. Maybe you throw in some exercise but that might just be so you can eat a few extra calories. You assume that it’s the technique – not you – that produces the results.

 

The results of a diet are external; if you’re lucky, you may change on the outside—but not on the inside. Once you reach your goal weight, you don’t need the technique anymore, and things gradually go back to “normal.” But then so does your weight—and then some. And, of course, all the problems you hoped the weight loss would solve are still there!

 

Changing your daily habits involves looking inward and making permanent changes in how you relate to food, eating, and physical activity. You recognize that the primary problem isn’t what you eat, or even how much you eat, but how and why you eat. Eating mindlessly and impulsively (without intention or awareness) and/or using food to manage your emotions and distract yourself from unpleasant thoughts—this is what really needs to change.

 

Learning to take good care of yourself emotionally, physically, and spiritually—so that you don’t want to use food to solve problems it really can’t—is a lifelong learning process that is constantly changing as your needs and circumstances change.

 

Start this new attitude today by looking away from the mirror and looking into what really matters and what you can control. Soon you’ll notice a healthier, happier self!

Liz Reichel

Liz Reichel

works for HealthEase as an Exercise Specialist and Assistant Manager of a corporate fitness site. She has a degree in Exercise Science as well as an extensive background in personal training, group exercise, health coaching, nutrition, and post rehab exercise.

More Posts

S.M.A.R.T. Decisions for a New You!

Hoping to reach your ideal weight in 2013?

 

This year focus on YOU rather than the number on the scale or the size of your pants.

 

Here’s how to make S.M.A.R.T. goals:

 

Get SPECIFIC – Don’t make a general goal to “lose weight” or “eat healthier.”  Instead make it specific. “Decrease my body fat to the healthy range” or “Eat a green vegetable at diner every night.”

 

Make it MEANINGFUL – You are more likely to attain your goals if it really means something to you.  What will change once you reach your New Year’s resolution? Will you be healthier, happier, more energized?  Make it mean something.

 

APPROPRIATE to you – Don’t run a marathon before you finish a 5k.  Make a goal that is appropriate to your health and fitness status.  Not to say that it should be easy but definitely safe and appropriate to your needs.

 

Think what is REALISTIC – Think about how many days you are willing and able to devote to making this change happen.  For example, if your goal is to “workout for at least 20 minutes, 4 times a week” then plan it out.  If you have lunch meetings and kids to pick up after work than make a realistic goal of waking up 20 minutes earlier to do a 20-minute walk around your neighborhood before work to start. The key here is you don’t want to have things come up and interfere with your goal.  If you are unable to get to the gym one week than you may give up and get out of a routine very easily.  Make small, steady goals to work towards achieving the big one.

 

TIMELY – A New Year’s resolution should not be something you can reach in a day, a week, or even a month and then forget about.  Lifestyle changes take time to establish.  Commit to working towards a “New You” for the long haul. By year’s end, you will feel a sense of accomplishment when you succeed.

 

So what’s your New Year’s Resolution?!

Liz Reichel

Liz Reichel

works for HealthEase as an Exercise Specialist and Assistant Manager of a corporate fitness site. She has a degree in Exercise Science as well as an extensive background in personal training, group exercise, health coaching, nutrition, and post rehab exercise.

More Posts