Are you trying your best to lose weight over the summer, but put on five-to-seven pounds instead? Do you ever feel compelled to skip Girls Night Out because you know you’ll break your diet? Do you find yourself stressing out over calories, figuring out which diet to choose, or how long to spend on the treadmill in order to burn off that burger?
Well, stop that--it’s proven that stressing out, calorie counting, and depriving yourself will make you do worse rather than better.
We are creatures of habit. We will, generally, eat the same thing for breakfast each morning, take the same route to work, plop the same groceries in our baskets. If you want to lose weight, or become healthier, it’s going to involve changing your habits rather than cutting cold turkey. And like all habits that stick, you’re going to want to feel good about them.
What happens when we stick ourselves onto a diet we hate, finding ourselves hungry, craving chocolate, or downright miserable? We’ll eventually gorge. We’ll sneak in “cheat meals” and feel bad about it, and then spiral into a mess of bad decisions, and vow that the diet simply didn’t work, and that we’ll try something next time. And then the cycle continues.
Listen: there are tons of great diets out there. People find success on the vegetarian or vegan diets, the paleo diets, or gluten-free diets. But the people that stick with these diets are happy with them, and in order to get happy with them, you want to gradually instill better habits you’ll feel better about.
Think about what you’re eating right now. What can you do to make some changes that you’ll feel better about? Maybe instead of eating that sugary cereal for breakfast that causes you to crash by 11 AM, try eating protein-rich eggs with Greek yogurt. Or swap out white bread for sprouted-grain bread, which is packed with whole proteins and doesn’t contain empty carbs. You don’t have to give up carbs, or a beer out with friends in order to live a healthy lifestyle! Seeing healthy living in black and white is not healthy, and will not do you good.
Instead, you want to seek out the most sustainable way to lose weight. And in order for it to be sustainable, you have to feel good about it.
It’s also proven that stress and unhappiness can make you pack on the pounds. So if you’re going to adjust your diet, you might as well be happy about it. Think substitutions and sustainability, replacing so-so choices with good, healthy ones--don’t think of it as depriving yourself, but bettering yourself. And then it’s okay, once in awhile, to snack on that cookie or have that beer.
So tell me--what decisions can you make today? What can you substitute? What choices can you make to make you healthier, but choices you’re excited to get on board with? Let me know!