Dieting. Something we can all relate to. We've all felt the pull of a diet before, whether it's for that summer vacation, for your own self esteem, or just keeping your body in check after caving to your cravings. Everyone wants to diet. And not only that, everyone seems to have an answer for a diet. Companies make millions of dollars off of diet and exercise plans every year because we all want to look skinny and attractive. They prey on that. Everyone has a quick fix. Lose 10 pounds in two weeks. Eat our food and you'll lose weight fast.
This is not a solution.
How many times have you gone on a diet and a few weeks after you stop you're right back to where you started? You might have even added a few extra pounds. That's because diets don't work. Sure, maybe you lost a few pounds, you may have even lost as much as they said you would. And that's great. But if the weight just comes back again, it didn't really help you did it. So why bother?
Diets help you reach a certain weight but they don't help you maintain it. They never will. Do you know why? It's because they can't keep making money off people on diet plans if the people learn how to maintain their goal weight on their own. So they don't tell you. They give you a quick fix to make you happy in the short-term. But I don't like that. I want you to be happy in the long-term. So if you want to lose weight and keep that sexy new body you earn, here's what you need to do.
You need to change your lifestyle.
You can't make a temporary change and expect the effects to be permanent. Permanent effects come from permanent change. If I eat ice cream every day, and then go on a diet to lose weight, when I come off that diet I'm going to go back to eating ice cream every day because that's what I do. So instead of going on a diet, you need to stop eating ice cream every day. Make sense? This is the hard part. This is why so many people struggle with losing weight. You have to change your bad behaviors into good ones and then make them into habits.
Personally, I used to love to snack on triscuits among other things. I'd eat them every day after work by the handful. Lots of calories, lots of carbs and they never curbed my hunger. So I stopped buying triscuits and instead, I bought flavored rice crackers. And juice, I absolutely loved Fruitopia and Simply Apple. I could drink a few glasses a day. But take a moment and look at the calories in that juice you have. It's somewhere around 240 calories per cup. Have a few cups throughout the day and that's 1000 calories in juice alone! That's half a days calories without eating anything at all. So I stopped drinking juice and started drinking water instead. Those changes worked for me. But they might not work for you. This is the first step you need to take.
Identify your problem areas.
Once you know where your problem areas are then you need to do some trial and error work. You need to find something healthier that curbs your cravings to replace those problem areas. You don't have to make a giant leap either. Take baby steps. Little by little whittle down your problem areas until there are almost none left. You can go all the way if you want, or you can just eliminate a few. The more changes you make the bigger the difference you will notice in yourself. And lets be clear, you will not notice right away. The idea of weight just falling off (especially in a healthy manner) is ludicrous. It takes time. So be patient. Everything worthwhile takes time.
For other people with stronger willpower, you may be able to outright cut off your problem foods without making a change to a healthier product first. This takes more discipline and is harder to maintain though so I don't recommend this.
Now for the most important point. This is where the motivation comes in. You have to want to do this. You have to because this is going to be very hard. Making a lifestyle change is altering your everyday way of life. But that's what you have to do if you want permanent results. You need to make permanent change. So find your motivation, identify your problem areas and get started! Remember the hardest part is getting started. Let this be your kick start. Good luck to you, and if you have a story to share please leave a comment so the rest of us can fuel our own motivation from it!