By Ann Musico
Whether you have to lose the extra 10 pounds or 100 pounds or more, your perspective can make all the difference between success and failure. All too often we look at weight loss as a “destination.” I suggest considering it a “journey” might be much more productive.
I believe pretty much every diet will work – initially. The problem, in my opinion, is that some are just too drastic to maintain long term. And therein is the problem. People can lose weight at first but because they can’t or don’t want to continue with a restrictive or drastic diet, they don’t maintain the weight loss long term. It’s not that hard to lose a few pounds – keeping them off is the more difficult thing. What if the goal was making gradual lifestyle changes so that you can create lasting health, rather than just losing a certain number of pounds?
Too many dieters fall into the trap of yo-yo dieting – dieting; losing a few pounds and then gaining them back and more and then dieting again. It becomes a vicious cycle.
Changing the way you think about food, what and why you eat is the only way to get to a healthy weight and maintain it. Get back to basics! Eat real food! Replace all the packaged, processed, “diet” garbage that passes for food and focus on one-ingredient, fresh, real foods. And go slowly. Take what I call “baby steps” and make one small change at a time. Once that becomes ingrained in your daily routine, make another healthy change. Studies show those who focus on one change at a time are much more likely to incorporate them into their daily lives.
One danger is becoming too legalistic about what you can and can’t eat. Learning that you are in control and there is no food off limits is empowering. You can eat whatever you want, however, just not every day. Making the best choices available to you and knowing that the way you fuel your body will directly affect your energy level and how you look helps you learn to make better decisions. Shame and guilt are counterproductive. Learning to love and nourish yourself for health is the bottom line.
I know there are thousands of diets and fitness plans out there and I believe just about any one of them works temporarily. Most people can lose weight – it’s keeping it off that’s the challenge and that only happens long term, I have found, if you change how you think about food and fitness and create new habits. So my insightful take on the subject of healthy weight loss is this: Get Real.
By that I mean two things: get honest and be realistic about what you are willing to do. If you’re not willing to make lifestyle changes, gradually, then chances are very great that you will be trying a different diet very soon because any success you enjoy will be short-lived.
Make the focus getting healthy for a lifetime rather than just dieting and losing a few pounds.
– Ann Musico is a holistic health coach who helps women, at every age, to exemplify lives of vibrant health and wholeness – spirit, soul and body. Her mission is to show women how to adopt a healthy lifestyle in a way that is simple and achievable, empowering them to take responsibility for their own health in order to be a positive influence on their families. You can visit her website at threedimensionalvitality.com