“Extremes are easy. Strive for balance.” -Colin Wright
Just google ‘how to lose weight’ and you’re instantly bombarded with TONS of diet fads to try. From the easy and extremely ineffective to the unsafe and ineffective extremes, diets are everywhere! Experts and amateurs alike claim they’ve discovered ‘the secret’ to help you slim down and shape up using a vast variety of simple and not-so-simple techniques. What if I told you that many of these popular approaches were wrong? Sure, cutting carbs, staring a ‘juice cleanse’ or fasting may drop some pounds in the short term… but will it really sustain that weight loss? Doubtful. I read somewhere that approximately 95% of diets fail. Talk about a low success rate!
…and honestly, I believe it. Quite frankly, I HATE diets. The way that I successfully lost weight years ago was by NOT dieting. That’s right! I quit dieting, learned to eat “in moderation” and I lost 35 pounds in the process! …here I am, 4 years later and still 35 pounds thinner than I used to be! My secret??
…Well, I’ve got a lot of them! But today I want to talk about one of my favorite, most unexpected (and to ME, the most obvious) ways to successfully lose the weight and keep it off– DITCH THE DIET.
Diets are temporary in nature. They’re meant to be short lived. Whether it’s a 10 day diet or 3 week detox… diets go against our nature. They teach you NOT to listen to your body. They tell you that you’re ‘bad’ if you don’t follow the plan to a T… and they’re usually actually imbalanced and unsustainable. I don’t know about you guys, but I like to be the one who decides WHEN and WHAT I eat, not some random book that doesn’t even know ME (my cravings, my allergies, my schedule, my lifestyle).
My advice? Quit dieting and start seeking some balance. Take baby-steps and make realistic, lasting changes. Diets tell you that if you ate a bite of that rich dark chocolate cake, you already messed up. Naturally, then you might as well eat half the cake! What?! NO! Simply portion off a small delightful piece, place it on a pretty plate, sit down in a comfy spot, and enjoy every delicious bite… guiltlessly! Discipline yourself to do this a few more times and you’ll start to teach your body a bit more about balance instead of extremes. While I do believe that everyone should eat less processed foods, sugary sweets and caloric-ally dense junk foods, I do not believe that forcing yourself to restrict them is the way to go. Learning to eat well and avoid those foods should be a natural and organic process. The healthier you eat, the healthier you’ll want to eat! “…because eating healthy makes you happy!”
If you asked me 5 years ago if I would ever prefer fresh fruit to chocolate cake, or carrots to french fries, I’d say “NO, silly!” But because I learned to listen to my body, focus on eating MORE healthy foods, and limit the junk foods, I naturally built a healthy, lasting lifestyle! Now, I eat WAY healthier than I would have on any diet… and I don’t have to worry about the overeating/weight gain that naturally follows restrictive diets, because I lost it the slow, steady, reasonable, and maintainable way!
So take the time, slow down, listen to your body, build a healthy lifestyle, be patient, and… DITCH THE DIET.
How about you? What are your thoughts on dieting?