the d word
“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” – Mark Twain
First let’s dump the “D” word. Diet in itself is not a bad word, one can eat a diet of healthy foods it’s just that when used in the context of “I’m dieting to lose weight” that conjures up all sorts of emotional things. It’s not just a word, it’s how it triggers your thought patterns, you put diet in your head you start approaching your weight loss plan differently. Dieting for most means we will be doing something for a short period of time in order to achieve our weight loss goal and then history tells us that we will most likely return to our old eating habits, risking weight gain.
Plan what you will eat for the day: Personally I like to plan out my three meals and any snacks that I might need throughout the day. Usually we make poor decisions when we are not prepared when hunger strikes i.e. if you don’t know what you’re having for dinner and you’re home and feeling hungry you might think why not order a pizza instead, whereas when you already know what you’re eating it’s easier to stay committed and stick with your plan. It’s also smart to plan your snacks for the day. More often than not I have at least one snack a day and for me it’s natural almonds, I love their flavor and I always feel satisfied after I’ve eaten them, therefore I’m less likely to go overboard and eat something that I shouldn’t. Even when I’m on the go I’ll take a handful with me in a container and I will usually munch on them if I feel a pang of hunger in the afternoon. Choose what works for you just make sure it’s a real food.
Move that body : There are so many different benefits to moving our bodies through exercise that they are hard to ignore. You end up not only doing your heart, lungs and body good but you also end up feeling really good about yourself too. Now depending on where you are on your healthy lifestyle journey you might consider starting small, but no matter how small you start remember to be consistent by doing it daily or 3 times a week. You might consider going for a walk, I really love walking, I think it’s great and a wonderful escape and it really helps me recharge mentally and emotionally and add all the physical benefits and it’s a win-win for me. However, choose what works for you, what you feel you can stick to on a regular basis. Just be consistent and move that body and you will reap many healthy rewards.
Eat whole foods and avoid low-fat/no-fat products: The first thing I noticed when I started eating whole foods as compared to low calorie or low fat/no fat foods was that I was a lot less hungry. Yep, true story. I noticed almost immediately which meant I was actually eating less and the bonus was that the food tasted great and I was still losing weight.
Be aware : I think part of my own success has been a result of being open-minded and aware. Throughout my own journey I would notice what foods triggered cravings in me, what situations caused emotional eating. At first it didn’t always stop me from emotionally eating but the awareness of the triggers helped me arm myself with tools and as the situations occurred I would start using the tools and stop the negative behaviors. This is why I call this a journey, I couldn’t change overnight even though I stopped eating my trigger foods, even though I was losing weight because I had to change behaviors which I could only do by being aware of them.
Don’t look for quick results, instead look for lasting results. This is really important, because sometimes people want to lose the weight right now and as I mentioned in the “Diet” paragraph when you rush into this with that kind of attitude you risk gaining the weight back. When you start incorporating small healthy choices in your life on a continuous basis you cannot help but get results. In some it happens quicker than others but the results will come as long as you remain consistent in your commitment towards changing yourself and your habits.
I hope these tips will help you get started on your own healthy journey, please remember not to be too hard on yourself, since change can be hard, but remember it’s possible. I don’t expect you to take all these changes on right away, even if you just start with the first one and start incorporating the rest as you progress.
Please feel free to comment or share any tips or ideas that you may have.
Have a great week!
To your health!