Healthy Dieting Means a Lifestyle Change
Often when someone talks about losing weight and improving their overall health, the word that gets thrown around the most is “diet.”
I need to lose weight… I’m starting my diet next week.
I need to get healthier… better get on a diet.
My doctor said I need to watch my diet.
You get the point.
And while diet is certainly very important to your overall health profile, the truth is that many people treat dieting as a temporary measure to solving what in reality is a long-term issue.
This is why crash dieting and fad diets never work.
This is also why the American Council of Exercise has cited that only 5% of dieters keep the weight they lost off after dieting. In fact, the vast majority of dieters regain almost all the weight they shed within three to five years.
This up and down cycle of weight gain and weight loss is not only frustrating but can be extremely unhealthy, especially when dealing with “bad” diets that can lead to malnutrition and vitamin or nutrient deficiencies.
This is why, when you decide to begin your quest for a better body and better health, you need to go in with the understanding that the key to long-term success is not just a temporary change in diet but a permanent change in lifestyle.
There are many factors that go into a healthy lifestyle beyond simple calorie intake.
These factors include:
- Activity levels
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Balanced nutrition
- Vitamin and mineral intake
- Adequate sleep
- Fat, salt, and cholesterol intake
- Hydration levels
- And more
The reality is that, if you approach your health from a more holistic standpoint, you’ll have a much better chance of avoiding the ups and downs of weight loss and gain while achieving your long-term fitness goals.
Consider some of these advantages of adopting a lifestyle change mindset:
1. It’s less guilt driven and more goal driven.
We’ve all been there… dieter’s guilt. You give in and eat a big piece of cake, completely blowing out your calorie cap for the day and maybe even the week. The guilt sets in immediately as you mentally go through all the options of how you can play catch-up over the next 24-48 hours. Or maybe you just simply give up.
Periodic dieting often limits your food choices and calorie intake so extensively that you end up in an unnatural and generally unsustainable situation. Consequently, dieters find themselves frequently fighting their cravings and guilt (if they give in) as they attempt to stay within the strict confines of their dietary prisons.
However, when you see your diet choices as just a part of your overall healthy lifestyle puzzle, you allow yourself more flexibility and a balanced approach to your food selection. No longer is it about cutting X amount of calories in X amount of days to lose X amount of weight.
Instead, the focus shifts to making better overall choices on an ongoing basis in order to experience a long term benefit. Sure, you still don’t want to eat that big piece of cake every day, but once in a while you can indulge – as long as it fits into your overall meal planning strategy.
2. It spreads the risk without sacrificing the reward.
Crash and fad diets are generally an all-or-nothing proposition. Want to lose weight? Stick to this extreme dieting plan and you’ll smash your goals, but… slip up just once and you are going to experience setbacks and delays.
What happened to exercise? What about increasing your calorie burn to compensate for your calorie intake?
A healthy lifestyle approach factors in far more than just the amount of food you eat. It also considers your age, the types of food you eat, and the amount of energy you expend each day. In other words, creating a calorie deficit is the byproduct of many combined efforts and not just a singular extreme measure.
This means you can still get the same results (or even better) when you are not just eating less, but also eating smarter and exercising more, because you are leveraging a combination of powerful strategies that will result in more overall satisfaction with less anxiety and angst.
3. It’s easier.
Here’s the thing, temporary diets are hard. I think we get that. And as we said, they are often not sustainable because the changes they require from you are so outside the norm that no one would ever commit to them for a long period of time.
When you approach things from a lifestyle change perspective, you have the ability to decide what works best for your personality, schedule, likes and dislikes, and/or anything else that will give you the best chance of sticking to a long-term commitment.
Yes, the results of changing your lifestyle may not come as fast as a crash diet. And sure, a lifestyle change may sound kinda scary for some people and is without a doubt a long-term commitment versus an 8 or 12-week diet.
While both approaches give you an opportunity to lose weight and feel better, a long-term holistic mindset will do so without using extreme measures while still offering the benefit of lifelong results.
If all of this sounds a little overwhelming, remember we are always here to help in your weight loss journey. Just contact your nearest Bee Healthy Clinic location today for a free consultation.