Say the word “diet” and one of the first things that come to mind is that it is a temporary thing. After all, have you ever heard of a lifelong diet?
This simple association is one of the main reasons why most diets fail… and by fail, one means failure over a long period of time. Losing weight for 2 months and putting it (and more) back on a few months later is not the definition of success!
How to turn a diet into a result
It’s simple. Don’t call it a diet! Just that simple dis-association, can mean the difference between success and failure.
When you go on a “diet” you set your mind up for a temporary, restrictive, painful event. You need to move away from this association and set yourself up for long-term success. You can only do this when you see the change you are about to make as a “positive lifestyle change” and not a diet.
You can of course call it anything you want: “Better Living”, “Becoming Healthier”, “Looking After Myself” and so on. These are all long-term plans and thus set your mind up for the long journey.
What is a Positive Lifestyle Change?
A Positive Lifestyle Change is small changes in your eating, exercising and general behaviour that will have an impact on the way you look and feel. It is not an intensive, restrictive, painful 2 months - something that frankly you just can’t wait to finish and then start eating again!
You must see your new regime as a new way of living, not a quick diet. What’s wrong with having salads with meals? Or replacing a meal with a protein shake? Or drinking more water and avoiding artery-clogging foods?
You need to shift your mind from considering what is “norm” to a new “norm” It is not normal to have red meat every day and a sweet after each meal. It is not normal to replace water with colas. It is not normal to eat until you literally cannot breathe because that’s what was on your plate and people in Africa are starving and you must not waste food!
Where to start
Start by making small changes to your eating habits. Some suggestions are below:
- Add 1 salad a day to your meals and take away 50% of the carbohydrates from that meal (carbohydrates being potatoes, rice, bread, pasta).
- Replace 1 fruit juice or cola with water.
- Replace one bad snack with a piece of fruit.
- If you are healthy, fast for one day a week. You can drink water, juices or if very hungry, have some soup.
- If you have to have sweets, desserts and pastry, see it as a treat and have it once every few days and not every day.
- Try and have low-fat variations of things such as low fat milk, low fat yoghurt, low fat muffins (if you must) and so on.
- Promise yourself that you will do at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. It doesn’t have to be painful cardio in the gym. It can be walking or cleaning the house or whatever that gets you moving. Stick to this.
- Say to yourself that you are on your way to becoming healthier and fitter. Say it out loud every day, several times a day.
- Eat fruits and vegetables. Eat the ones you like and not the ones you think you must have.
Little steps will make a big difference over time. Start today. Don’t see your new regime as a diet. It is not. It is a positive lifestyle change that will help you be fitter, live longer, look better and feel great about yourself. It WILL work. Millions of people do it every day and reap the rewards. You can do it too.