Well the dieting season is upon us again. Now is the time that people who go onto diets automatically think; starvation, cut-down, eat lettuce, bored taste buds, joyless eating, eat more lettuce. Boring diets, deprivation diets, “faddy” diets, food group eliminating diets, most commercial diets send out the wrong message. Your body is not an enemy that needs to be starved into submission to give up fat.
By building healthy eating habits into your daily food intake can and should be enjoyable. Don’t forget you need to healthy and happy at the same time.
We eat food for a reason and each food has specific benefits and potential drawbacks, take alcohol, studies have shown that alcohol can be good for you, but in the right amounts. Fat can be good for you and some are labeled essential. Chocolate is good for you but can be harmful. The above foods are said to protect against high blood pressure and heart disease. But if you eat nothing but grapefruits, lettuce and the odd tomato you will be loading up with certain vitamins but will definitely be lacking in most of the others, including the much needed minerals. The key to a healthy diet is balance. Too much of anything can hurt. But not enough of everything will hurt the body even more.
Think about it this way; How far would your car go without enough fuel, or without oil, not very far before you’re on the side of the road scratching you head saying “wonder how that happened?” The secret is to be conscious of what fuel and oil you use. Some are better than others and can help you run longer on less fuel. To Fuel your body for optimal performance whilst losing weight (fat) there are four major strategies you would need to adopt to when setting up your weight loss nutrition plan.
- Control your food portions. You don’t need monster portions.
- Make smart substitutions in the diet like mustard instead of mayonnaise on sandwiches; you will save 88 calories and may enjoy it better.
- Focus on power foods. A high protein, high fibre, complex carbs gives you a filling meal rather than a starvation meal.
- Watch your eating habits, mindless munching, emotional binging, and twice-a-day monster feedings will lower the metabolism and leave the pounds where they are.
The term “diet” really means “a way of life”
A diet is all about numbers-number of calories you eat and burn, numbers on the scale when you weigh yourself. The success of a diet is defined in terms of how well you stick to the numbers. The normal diet mentality assumes that reaching a certain weight is your key to finding happiness and solving life’s problems. But if you mess up on one day it can be upsetting-it means you’ve messed up on everything that matters in the world.
A Lifestyle change is all about you. It’s about changing your eating and physical activities to reach your specific goal. Your success is defined in terms of how the lifestyle changes make you feel about yourself. The lifestyle approach assumes that being overweight is usually the result of other problems not the cause. Addressing these problems directly is the best way to solve both the problems themselves and your weight issues at the same time. This means focusing on many things, not just the numbers in the calories that you eat or the numbers on the scale. Numbers only tell a small part of the story. The bad numbers often gives you clues into areas that need attention and change.
Going on a diet involves an external and temporary change in your eating habits. You start by measuring and counting. You stop eating some foods and substitute others. Based on a few rules of whatever diet plan you are using. You assume it is the diet that produces the results, not you yourself. The results of a diet are external; if your lucky you may change the outside but not on the inside. Normally once you reach your goal weight, you don’t need the diet anymore and then things gradually go back to “normal”. Then so does the weight, plus more. And all the problems that you hoped that the diet would solve are still there.
Making a lifestyle change involves an internal and permanent change in your relationship with food, eating, and your physical activity. You should recognize that the primary problem isn’t what you eat, or even how much you eat, but how and why you eat. Eating mindlessly and impulsively (without intention or awareness) and/or using food to manage your emotions and distract yourself from unpleasant thoughts—this is what really needs to change. Learning to take good care of yourself emotionally and physically, so that you don’t want to use eating to solve problems it really can’t. Dieting is a lifelong learning process that is constantly changing as your needs and circumstances change.
This doesn’t mean things on the surface don’t matter. Clearly, controlling how much and what you eat is vital, and caring how you look and feel is the great motivator. The key to both permanent weight loss (fat) and feeling satisfied and happy with yourself and your life is for you to take personal responsibility for what you can control, and let go of everything else that is holding you back.
Many factors that are normally out of your control can be your genes, age, medical status and your previous weight history; all will or can affect your weight and appearance. These factors may determine how much weight you can lose, how quickly you’ll lose it, and how you’ll look and feel when you’ve gone as far as you can go. When you focus too much on your weight on the scale or what you see in the mirror, you are staking your happiness and satisfaction on things you really can’t control. That pretty much guarantees that you’ll be chronically worried, stressed, and uncomfortable and will be more likely than ever to have problems with emotional eating and will struggle to lose the body fat.
When you rely too much on external (diet) tools, techniques, and rules to determine your behaviour, you are turning over your personal responsibility to the tools and techniques. If you find yourself frequently losing motivation or feeling powerless to control your own behaviour, it’s probably because you’re counting on the tools to do your part of the work for you. You’re the only one who can decide what’s right for you; only you can change your attitude and perspective to achieve what you want to achieve.