Dieting Doesn’t Work, Lifestyle Changes Do

I’m going to let you in on a secret: Diets don’t work.

Oh sure, people lose weight on diets. But what happens as soon as they go off the diet? Yup, they gain some or all of that weight right back. L That’s a lot of trouble to only end up back where you were. No wonder we all hate dieting!

If you really want to lose weight permanently, stop thinking about dieting and start thinking about becoming a healthier person. To become a healthier person, you have to make lifestyle changes, because it’s not just about attaining a certain weight. You want to feel good, too. You want to be able to have energy to play with your kids, walk up stairs without losing your breath, and have a healthy body that is less susceptible to illness and disease.

These don’t have to be huge changes and they don’t have to be all at once. In fact, this process works best if you gradually incorporate small changes into your life. Here’s some examples:

1) Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.

2) Replace white bread with whole wheat bread.

3) Replace whole milk with skim.

4) Use olive oil for cooking instead of butter or hydrogenated oils.

5) Better yet, get an olive oil spray to limit the amount of fat.

6) Replace 1 soda or 1 cup of coffee a day with a glass of tea, water, or juice.

7) Have some yogurt and fruit for breakfast instead of stopping for a greasy sandwich at Mc D’s. (It’s just as quick, I promise!)

8) Use ground turkey or chicken instead of hamburger. (Mmmm, teriyaki chicken burgers! See below)

9) If you do grab a burger at a fast food joint, order a side salad, baked potato or fruit instead of fries.

There are so many small things you can do that will help you in the long run. Don’t try to do them all at once. Do one thing, make it a habit. Then add one more small thing. Make it a habit. Then add another.

Fitness is a lifestyle. Our health is our choices. Note that all of my examples offer alternatives rather than telling you NOT to eat certain things or to completely stop eating certain things. Think about what might be a BETTER choice. If you’re not sure what’s a better choice, ask your healthcare professional.

And aren’t losing weight and keeping it off, having more energy, helping to prevent lifestyle diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, and feeling good about yourself the better choices?

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