Just say no to starting a diet this year
Yep, you heard me right, don’t start a diet this year. Mamas, I’m not lying, diets will ultimately keep you from achieving your goals. Now, before you run straight to the pantry, pull out all the junk food and have a free for all per the advice of a personal trainer, let me clarify.
With the new year comes all the diet hype. I’m sure all your social media feeds are being flooded with the likes of “lose the holiday weight”, “new year new you” and other common sayings that strike a chord and have us swearing up and down to give up any resemblance of calories for the foreseeable future. Most these diets promise quick results and too good to be true pictures of those that have followed along, achieving amazing physiques along the way.
I get it, it’s tempting to buy into the hype. In fact, I’ve been there too, many times. I would start off January 1, with an attempt to slash all sugar, alcohol, carbs, grains, you name it. Restriction, restriction restriction. It didn’t end there, on the back of the restriction included copious amounts of cardio. The more I sweat in a day, the better. Sometimes it worked, and pounds came off, and other times I felt so deprived and hungry that a freefall of poor nutrition choices followed. The times that I did lose weight were often short lived. Eventually, I shifted back to my “normal” way of eating and the weight would slowly creep back on.
Diets are not sustainable in the long run
This is the downside of dieting that no one talks about. The rebound effect. 80% of dieters regain their weight back after the first year of weight loss. Going into a weight loss journey on a diet, is a sure way to place you in the 80% group, instead of the coveted 20% who actually succeed with long term weight loss.
A diet has a start and an end. A diet is restrictive and often involves altering your lifestyle in multiple ways. A diet is not sustainable. So what can you do to ensure you are one of the 20% that actually succeed in your journey?
True change comes from small consistent choices you make everyday
Throw the idea of a diet out the window. Start thinking about small, sustainable changes that you can make day in and day out. Start with a few changes at a time. Try reducing the amount of processed foods you eat, and replace them with healthier, homemade alternatives. Focus on getting in movement everyday, especially movement that you enjoy. Start lifting weights or another form of resistance training. As these small changes turn into habits, start looking toward other ways to make your lifestyle more healthy.
Maybe, as you get further down the line, you will find that you enjoy exercise (it does happen, I promise). These small changes start to snowball. They turn into big changes that last. Any change you consider making, I encourage you to have a long term focus. Remember that whenever you are too strict with yourself, your body will revolt. However, when you change little by little, and focus on a healthy lifestyle rather than a diet, your body is more willing to go along for the ride and not fight you at every turn by radically increasing hunger, disrupting hormones and other common ways our body attempts to ward off weight loss.
This year, if weight loss is your goal, remember that it’s not about 30 days, or any other random amount of time that is shoved down your throat. It’s for life. If you really want to lose weight and keep it off, you need to plan for long term change and long term change needs to happen slowly. You can do it, and you don’t need a diet to get there!
Here are some small, permanent changes you can make now for a healthier 2022:
Give up soda. Yes, even diet. It is terrible for you and leads to a host of health problems. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40368-019-00458-0 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325919
- 2Move every single day, aim for 10,000 steps.
- 3Cut back on processed foods and try and cook most your meals.
- 4Try and workout at least 3 times per week.
- 5Reserve alcohol consumption to 1 or 2 nights a week max.
- 6Drink half your bodyweight in ounces a day and add 16 ounces for a workout, and even more if it’s hot outside.
- 7Plan your meals out ahead of time for the week.
- 8Eat lean protein with every meal.
- 9Minimize your processed/added sugar intake.
- 10Eat vegetables with every meal.
Now it's time to ask yourself which of these you can change today
It doesn't have to be perfect, it never is. YOU WILL FAIL. We all do. The quicker you can reset and move on, the more successful you will be. So don't diet this year. Leave that in the past. Move forward with a healthy lifestyle, and you will be wildly successful. Once I figured this out, is when change truly happened. It worked for me, and it will work for you too.