"The funny thing with diets is that the second day is always easier than the first, because by the second day, you're off it" -unknown
There is no one day diet. There is no magic pill. There is no quick fix.
Dieting as a whole does not work for many people. The problem often lies in being too restrictive with ourselves. This only sets most of us up for failure before we even really begin.
Starving yourself, living off of broth or juice and eating only one type of food is not going to work long term.
There is so much information and misinformation regarding diets that it is hard for even someone with many hours of nutrition classes under their belt to delve through. So how is someone with no background in physiology or nutrition supposed to know which is best. And wow, doesn't everyone had an opinion on it. I've heard so much of "Eat this, don't eat that". "Keto is crap". "You're Vegan? How do you get protein", and on and on and on. In the near future I will discuss and address the pros and cons of some the most common diets out there today; while most do have some merit, at the end of the day it only depends on YOUR chemical make up and how certain foods make YOU feel.
But lets talk about big picture stuff first.
Dieting just doesn't work. If you want to change what food you use to fuel your body, feel better or lose weight, you have to commit to a healthy lifestyle change. Not just a fad diet. Anything that is too restrictive is simply setting yourself up for failure. To be successful you need a consistent and conscious daily effort to fuel your body with foods that are healthy and make YOU feel good.
It is not about how much you weigh, it is about how you feel.
So if you have decided you are ready to make a healthy lifestyle change I recommend you start with very small things that are done little by little over time. Your eating habits didn't form overnight, changing them won't work that way either.
Here is one example: We all know there is nothing good about soda or pop, right? It is full of chemicals, high in sugar (diet soda is even more full of chemicals) and provides little to no nutritional value. Diet soda had shown to lead to increasing numbers of cognitive decline as we age and soda as a whole has been shown to break down bone. I hope most of us can at least agree that soda isn't good for us right?
So this would be a great place to start. If you drink four sodas a day, try to cut down to one. If you drink one soda a day, try to cut down to two a week. Slowly wean yourself off little by little. And don't forget to increase your water intake. I promise you, in about 4 weeks, you will see a change for the better. Headaches may dissipate, you will see some weight loss and you may feel less fatigue. All by making that one slow, subtle change.
Cool, one healthy step in the right direction! You are doing great!
Next, look to your food.
Do you go by McDonald's or Starbucks every morning on your way to work? Do you eat out for lunch every day, or order in every night? Pick one of those habits and slowly start to modify. Buy a package of kind bars (or your favorite breakfast or granola bar-look for lowest amount of sugar) and a bag of your favorite apples or fruit. Make your own coffee at home and buy an awesome travel mug. It's not only a cheaper breakfast option, but requires no cooking, minimal preparation and is better for you.
During one of our continuing education seminars a renowned cardiologist who has appeared on "The Doctors" and written many books made the statement that you are "better off skipping a meal than eating any kind of fast food" . Now while I do agree with him, if you are used to it, or the conveniences of it, you are most likely not going to just stop cold turkey. So start small. Make it easy. Make it where you don't have to think about it. When making lifestyle changes you have to make it easy on yourself so you don't give up before you start seeing the benefits.
This also doesn't mean that if one day you are craving a chicken biscuit or fancy sugary coffee drink you should deprive yourself. It just should not be every day, or even every other day.
And just like that, your making huge healthy lifestyle changes!
Would you call this dieting? I wouldn't. You are making health conscious decisions to put better food in your body. And again, you will start to feel better just give it time. You aren't depriving yourself, putting to much pressure on yourself, or having too rigorous of expectations. And I promise you, limiting these unhealthy things slowly out of your diet will not harm you in any way. It is all about making one small modification at a time. Once that becomes a habit, move on to something else.
Little by little these habits will grow. You will have more energy, blood pressure improves, sugar levels decrease and weight loss will happen.
Lastly I want to mention overeating. In the U.S. portion sizes are gargantuan. Just so much food!! Which may be impressive to your Instagram followers, but should not be consumed by your average human.
Many of us also grew up with parents, grandparents or guardians who told us we need to eat everything on our plate.
Both of these factors contribute to the high likelihood you are overeating. I mean, it is so easy to make a whole box of pasta, and between two people eat it all! But that is so much food! Far beyond what are body requires for energy (unless you're an avid running or professional athlete). Most of us simply do no need that many calories to function.
So again, small little baby steps. Start leaving a little food on your plate. Slow down when you eat. Try to feel when your body says its full. If we eat too fast we don't give our bodies enough time to signal that its full. And eat your vegetable first.
If you are cooking at home and making something that is easy to over prepare like pasta or rice, measure out a cup or two and put the rest back in the pantry. Or if you want to eat chips and dip, don't take the whole bag out to the couch, put a portion in a bowl. Small modifications over time will make a huge change.
And don't let this lead you to think exercise is not important as well. It is! But again, baby steps. If you try to start eating healthier, while implementing a new exercise program, working, taking care of the kids, dealing with interpersonal relationships, maintaining your mental health and so on; exercise and diet will be the first things to go.
Obviously they are both important to your health, but diet is the harder of the two to change as well as the more important. Once you begin to eat better and feel better, you can begin implementing an exercise routine.
None of these tips again work for everyone. You need to find what works best for you and your lifestyle. Figure out what is important to you and go for it! Always consult with an expert before implementing any diet or exercise routine. Visit us and let us help you create a personalized health care plan or follow us for more health care tips!
You deserve to feel your very best!