Let's face it; most of us have tried a diet regime at one point or another in our lives. Atkins diet, Grapefruit diet, South Beach diet, NutriSystem. Maybe you've counted calories religiously or cut carbs out of your diet. There are many, many unhealthy ways that people go about losing weight and sadly a lot of people will go to extremes just to see the numbers on the scale decrease. Diets usually start off well for the first couple of days or so but then it all goes downhill for the majority of people. When you follow a diet plan you're usually depriving your body of important nutrients that it begins to crave or you're not allowing yourself a certain food, which only makes you want that food even more than usual. Once you start to crave something then it can result in nutrient deficiencies and/or binge eating.
This is a vicious cycle that a lot of people are stuck in. They never find themselves losing the weight that they want to and some even begin to gain.
I have people asking me what my "secret" is. How do I maintain a healthy lifestyle? Do I count calories? What am I cutting out of my diet? How often do I exercise?
It's taken me a while to get to this point with myself because for a long time I was guilty of being an avid calorie counter, restricter, and over exerciser. But I have found peace within myself and no longer count, restrict, or over exercise which has brought me nothing but true happiness and contentment with myself.
Here's how I did it:
Don't put any foods off limit- I used to have certain foods that I wouldn't allow myself to have or I'd only allow myself a small amount of things like cakes, cookies, pizza, etc. Not allowing myself to have these foods made me want these foods much more than I'd want them if I didn't put them "off limits."
Now I allow myself anything. If I want a cookie, then I go get a cookie and I enjoy it. If food is accessible to you at all times it really doesn't become that much of a specialty and you'll find yourself not craving it as often.
Incorporate whole foods into your diet- Throw away that box of "mashed potatoes" and go pick up a bag of potatoes at the store. Boil those potatoes and mash them yourself. When buying actual potatoes and not a boxed version you know what goes in to your body. You're not feeding yourself spoonfuls of preservatives and chemicals, you get quality whole foods instead.
Incorporating whole foods into your diet can change you completely. You'll see your energy levels go up, your mood will become more positive, and you'll learn a few new skills in the kitchen!
Exercise- When I say that word I know that some people cringe. Hang with me here.
All you have to do is find an activity that you enjoy. If you hate running, then please don't force yourself to run every day. There's no fun in that! There is an activity out there that you'll enjoy and will benefit you. Try new things! Maybe you've always wanted to give tennis a shot. What better time is there than now? Even if you enjoy taking a walk to the park to read a book, that's better than nothing!
Plus, after you begin eating more whole foods, you'll have all kinds of energy to exert into something!
Love yourself- I believe that this is the most important one. If you love yourself, you'll want to take care of yourself. You'll make sure that you give yourself enough rest each night and enough food each day. You'll take time to do things you enjoy, but you'll also work hard and succeed in things that are important to you.
I began doing those things and I lost 10 pounds in 3 months. I wasn't even trying to lose weight either. I look better. I feel better. And most importantly, I'm happier. I take care of myself and I enjoy taking care of and inspiring others as well.
Get rid of the dieting, restricting, and self hatred. You only get one body and one life. Don't waste time being miserable. Start to accept yourself and take care of your body. You'll see the best results of your life. It may not be easy at first, but once you start you'll see that it's truly worth it and you won't look back.