I remember when I was growing up that I often heard the word diet. Friends would be offered something unhealthy to eat and they would respond with "no thanks, I'm on a diet."
WHAT IS DIETING?
Dieting is defined as "restricting oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight."
These types of diets are dangerous because they rob your body of the nutrition it needs. However, because of the restrictive nature of the diet, people do tend to see a lot of weight loss from it.
Experts, however, say that diets aren't a great long-term way to lose weight unless the diet is sustainable. Could you imagine eating only five bites of food at each meal for the rest of your life? What about sleeping through every weekend for the rest of your life?
“If a diet cuts out an entire food group or pushes anything in an extreme way, [like] no fat, no carbs, super low calorie, only eat these five things, etc.—chances are it’s not healthy."
Experts also believe that, once you decide you can't take any more of the diet, you will likely gain back all the weight you lost. That's why it is important to make LIFE CHANGES rather than go on a DIET.
WHAT IS A LIFESTYLE CHANGE?
While it is tougher, lifestyle changes are the best way to lose weight long term. A lifestyle change involves identifying a bad eating habit or bad health/wellness habit that you struggle with and finding a solution to solving it, thus making a lifestyle change.
1. IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM
The problem was identified for me when I went to the doctor and got some not-so-great blood work results. My A1C level was in the pre-diabetic stage by a tenth of a point, but I knew I didn't want it to keep climbing.
Of course, I knew I was gaining weight by the way that I felt and what I could see in the mirror.
I'll do a second example. Say you are not cleaning your house enough and you want to make the choice to live healthier and cleaner. A messy house or a comment from a visitor may help you identify this problem.
2. DO SOME RESEARCH
Next, you need to research the problem you're having. If you have any health conditions, search to see if your health conditions or medication can cause weight gain or other health or wellness issues.
For me, I knew that sugar was the problem, and I wanted to do more research into why that is. My interest was first sparked when I saw an episode of "Adam Ruins Everything,"
So, if you watched the video, you now know that sugar is the biggest culprit for weight gain. Unused carbs in your body are turned into fat, and I was eating far too many carbs for my activity level.
As for the second example, you may want to learn how to manage your time so you have time to clean your house. You can also use sites like Pinterest to find cleaning plans that break down chores by the day, making house cleaning a bit more manageable.
3. COME TO A SOLUTION
For me, the solution was to eat fewer sweets and fewer calories. However, that wasn't enough. I also came to a conclusion that I would need to eat more carbs on days where I was more active. This became apparent one day when I started feeling sick because I hadn't had enough to eat.
If you want to keep your house cleaner, you can decide on a schedule or a list of chores that will help you accomplish your goal!
4. PUT IT INTO ACTION
5. CHANGE THE PLAN WHEN NECESSARY
A lot of troubleshooting comes along with lifestyle changes. Maybe you tried something and decided that it wouldn't work to help you with your goals. For me, it comes in "replacement" foods. A lot of people praise cauliflower and say it is a good substitute for rice. I beg to differ! Instead, I've had to think out of the box when it comes to changing some of the foods I eat.
For someone who wants to keep their house more tidy, this step could mean changing a chore or schedule date around to assigning it to someone else to help things run more smoothly.
6. STICK WITH IT, BUT EVERYONE HAS BAD DAYS
messes up sometimes. It is just important that more days than not, you're following the steps to meet the health and wellness goals you've set.
If you're trying to keep your house clean, stick to the schedule. But, there will be days when you're sick or you just feel too tired to shuffle through your chores, and that's OK. Just try to stick to the plan most of the time!
I hope that this information and this 6-step plan will help you make the lifestyle changes you need to help you grow! Feel free to leave a comment about what works best for you.