Here’s a revolutionary idea: What if you could have the body you want but never diet again?
Impossible? It is not, but you have to fix a couple of things first.
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Before I got healthy for good, I made promises to myself I haven’t been able to keep. It got me down, and to be honest, it also affected my credibility a lot with others.
I was convinced this new diet, or that new diet was the one and this time was THE time.
The start of the new year seems to be the opportune time to make new diet goals for those of us that want to get healthy, fit, and frankly, just look better naked.
The problem is this: It’s likely, like me, you’ve tried a diet already, haven’t you?
If you’ve found this site you may have found other sites in the past, similar to this.
You’ve bought a book, started a diet – maybe even achieved some great results, for a short time – but something didn’t quite stick, did it?
I recently read a fantastic article by Dr. Layne Norton. He said:
“We do not have a weight loss problem in our current society. Millions of people lose weight every year through dieting. The problem we have is we cannot keep it off.”
This confronted me. This has been true of me and it’s possibly even true of you too.
Why Dieting Doesn’t Work Long Term
The challenge with diets is most of them have a finish line.
We eat well, train hard, and commit to a time period (usually a “magical” 8-12 weeks) and then when it’s over we go back to the same habits that got us to the body we didn’t like to start with.
Is your goal just to look good for an upcoming event or would you rather find a way that will help you stay leaner for longer?
For every one of us that sets out to diet; the science, studies, and odds are stacked against us. I know this because I’ve never had a weight loss problem.
I’ve lost weight plenty of times. I could just never keep it off.
Instead of making long-lasting changes, I simply made short sharp changes I could never keep up. Maybe you can relate?
Rather than the desire to overhaul your life at once, why not throw out dieting forever and start to make small changes you can commit to for a long time?
Train yourself to know how much to eat.
In my opinion, it’s not trying to change years of dietary habits in a single day. It’s not going on a 21-day “detox” or simply signing up to a Bootcamp. It’s about making small, long term changes to the way you eat, move, and live.
These small changes practiced over time, form new habits.
Most people don’t know how much food is appropriate for their bodies based on their amount of movement. This is mainly due to the fact that dietary habits are learned in our childhood and teens when our bodies are still growing. When we reach adulthood we need less energy but we don’t know how to adjust our eating habits.
Calculate your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) and then start tracking what you are eating in order to keep your eating within those perimeters.
After a few months of tracking and counting your macronutrients on a daily basis, you will more intuitively know how much you should be eating.
You are essentially erasing the eating habits you learned as a child and relearning new habits as an adult.You will know how much energy your body requires.You’ll know the amount of food that satisfies that energy requirement.You’ll learn what types of foods satisfy those macronutrient needs.
Your health is a direct reflection of your habits. To change your health you must change your habits.
Detach food from emotion.
If you turn to food every time you feel stressed, are sad, or are bored then it doesn’t matter if you know how much to eat or not.
Emotional eating will thwart your best efforts and best dietary habits time after time.
The endorphins that food releases in the brains of humans are very powerful and it’s a lot more powerful than your willpower. So if food has become an emotional crutch, you can’t just turn it off or quit doing it.
Find another activity or thing that also releases endorphins and turn to that thing instead.
Substitution is always the best remedy for emotional eating. Food has to be replaced with something else that soothes the emotional need.
Make a list of at least 5 things that make you feel happy, destressed, or occupied.
Examples:Doing artPlaying music, singing, or writing songsGoing for a walk in the forestTalking to a good friendGetting a massageBeing intimate
When you are sad, stressed, or bored turn to one of those activities instead of eating. Eventually, food won’t have the same power for comfort it once did and you’ll naturally choose healthier alternatives.
Keep the list handy and perhaps even pin it to the fridge or pantry.
So You’re Still Going to Diet?
I know a number of you, even after reading this, will still diet. Whether it’s Paleo, Slow Carb, or something else.
My advice to you: Have a game plan for when you’re going to finish. When you’ve lost the weight or reached the goal; what are you going to do to ensure you don’t end up back where you started?
Do you know the only thing worse than being out of shape?
Getting in shape, if only for a short time, only to eat yourself back to where you started. This eroded my confidence and self-esteem for years, but no more.
I refuse to give in to the cycle, again and I want the same for you too.
From now on I only want to make effective AND sustainable changes. And I only want to help others do the same.
Last Updated: July 22, 2021
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Great article! I, too, was a really great dieter. I could lose 5 lbs in a week easily and did so many times, only to be elated with the results and then go back to my old ways of eating and re-gain 8 lbs. One of the easiest sustainable changes that helped me lose weight was to consistently eat a breakfast of oatmeal, fruit, and coffee instead of a couple of poptarts and a cappuccino. I didn’t miss the poptarts much and eating the oatmeal was giving me great results. Right now, I’m in a good place weight wise, but I am trying to decrease my diet soda consumption by replacing a few of them with water every day. I was up to 6 or 7 cans of Diet Coke a day and now I’m down to 2 or 3, which is huge for me. I realized that for me, I just have to have something in my mouth, so now I chew gum instead of sipping soda. Bonus–my teeth are better and have fewer cavities now. I am trying to get down to only one diet soda per day, so I’m working on that for the next few weeks.