Well, we all know what time it is, don’t we? It’s that time of year when the diet industry starts promoting all its weight loss programs. Diets that don’t work long-term because they simply aren’t sustainable—they’re not designed to be sustainable. After all, how could the marketers create a new diet for you to buy the following year if they actually worked?
Every day in my practice, I hear how patients failed and gained back all the weight that took six months to lose. Eating healthy is not a one-diet-fits-all scenario? Your lifestyle has to be created with the foods you love; otherwise, you will not make your diet a lifestyle.
Here are some other truths the diet industry doesn’t want you to know during your wellness (weight loss) journey.
First, we need to commit to making changes that we WANT to make, not that we need to make. We must change the way we are thinking about diet and lifestyle.
We also need to have patience—we didn’t get sick or overweight overnight, we won’t become healthy or thinner overnight either.
And are you ready for the number one thing we all must do to create and sustain a healthy lifestyle? BE CONSISTENT.
But see, this common-sense stuff doesn’t sell, so you never hear about it. People want to lose weight fast and have it be easy. Well, gaining weight wasn’t fast, and losing it shouldn’t be either. Quick weight loss always leads to quick weight gain. And eating healthy is a lifelong plan, not a 6-month project. Once you stop buying into these misleading claims that the diet industry wants you to believe, you can start thinking about changing your lifestyle. For REAL.
This year, let’s focus on these simple goals for a healthier lifestyle.
Do NOT beat yourself up when you make an unhealthy food choice. This leads to giving up and going down a very bad path (as you know). One unhealthy meal choice doesn’t make a darn bit of difference in your life. Months and years do. Think big picture.
No longer will you feel guilty after having food. Eat your treat, enjoy it, and make a healthier choice next meal.
No more black and white thinking around diets. Just because you had a treat doesn’t mean you are now “off” your diet. You simply had a treat. Move on.
Stop thinking and stressing about food. Make this a commitment this year. If you spend half that time learning how to eat healthily and changing your current habits, you will be spending your time in a much more productive way.
Eat responsibly. You are a grown-up. You know that going back for another plate of food after your first is too much. Eat well, and your mind and body will be full, satisfied, and nourished.
What is “well”? A variety of fruits and veggies that are high in fiber. Lean meats in NORMAL portions. Fluids, plenty of them. Lower sugar and salty foods as eating them lead to wanting more of them. Getting enough calcium so your skeleton is happy and strong. You know, the kidney stone diet.
This year let the goal be that you are focusing on wellness, not weight loss. There is too much shame, too much frustration around the whole weight loss thing. When you are deciding on what food to eat, you have one question to ask yourself, “will this food nourish my body?” Sometimes you WILL choose food that won’t be nourishing, but who cares? It’s only food! You can do that as long as you get right back to your healthy lifestyle with your next choice. That’s how we do this, folks.
Let’s do things differently this year, shall we?
To get the ball rolling on a healthy new year, here’s some delicious chicken soup!