Stop Dieting and Start Living

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Dieting vs. Lifestyle Changes:
Think Long Term Success

Have you ever jumped on a diet bandwagon because it is the "new thing"? For example, a popular diet right now is keto. Yes, this is a diet and no it is not a lifestyle. Keto stands for ketosis. Which is what happens to your body when it goes into a state of not getting enough calories or low carbohydrates.

The idea behind the keto diet is that your body will eventually start to burn fat because you only eat fat and a little protein on keto. For those of you who do not know, your body will do anything to survive. ANYTHING. Even if that means eating your muscle for survival. Which is what happens in keto long term. Why? Because our bodies NEED carbs. Carbs are not the enemy. Sweet potatoes, quinoa, fruit, brown rice are some examples of carbs. Our brains run on this stuff. If we don't have it, we are groggy and are in a constant state of survival. 

If you are able to maintain doing a keto diet, it is not good for your body long term. You are missing a lot of the key vitamins and minerals that we get from carbs. Keto is a diet, and the moment you break it for a weekend or a special event - boom baby. your body is gonna hold onto those carbs like it is no tomorrow. Storing it as fat, because it is trying to survive! Besides who doesn't want to eat carbs for the rest of your life? Not me!

Let's break down dieting and lifestyle so we know what we want long term, not short term.

  • Weight is generally lost in a short period of time.

  • Foods are categorized as "off limits" or "fair game"

  • Eating habits are often based on environmental cues

  • Calorie consumption is greatly restricted

  • Progress is measured by the scale

Most of us at some point or another have tried to diet for weight-loss, especially for an upcoming vacation or important event. If your diet followed some of the above characteristics, how did you feel throughout the process? Most of us will answer hungry, tired, frustrated or even discouraged. This is because diets are generally short-term and not healthy for our body.

Lifestyle for the LONG TERM plan:

So if dieting may not be the answer to weight-loss, what is? The key is to think in terms of long-term lifestyle changes that you will follow for the rest of your life. It is important to remember that weight management is a lifelong journey. No matter where you are in life, you will have to work hard and stay mindful in order to manage your weight. A short-term diet will not do this for you.

What makes a lifestyle change? Behavior that you can stick to for the long haul:

  • Eating healthy, nutritious and whole foods to nourish your body

  • Practicing moderation, not restriction

  • Exercising on a regular and consistent basis

  • Relying on your body to tell you what you need

  • Losing weight at a safe and healthy pace ( 1-2 lbs per week)

  • Measuring progress beyond a number on the scale

When you focus on long-term lifestyle changes instead of short-term dieting, you will note a few things. First, you are being kinder to your body. You are less likely to experience extreme hunger, food deprivation, weakness, exhaustion and mental stress. Lifestyle changes teach you listen to what your body is telling you. You will also notice that even though weight-loss may be slower, it is more permanent. Research shows that short-term dieters are likely to regain most, if not all, of the weight they lost. This can be even more discouraging.

So, if you are on the journey to manage your weight through weight-loss, try to focus on the long road ahead. It may be tempting to lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time, but this is bad for your body and will likely result in weight regain. Instead, aim for lifestyle changes that are focused on overall health and wellness. You will not regret it!

You rock Warrior.