One of the questions I often get before a client begins a program with us is, “Will I have to keep dieting for the rest of my life?”
Let’s start with this, your diet is just what you eat, good or bad. So yes, you will need to continue eating. Good or bad, you’re on a diet of some sort. In my opinion, diet has become somewhat of a four-letter word, meaning eating in a way that you don’t like for a period of time at which point, you return to your previous eating habits.
This, by the way, is a very bad idea which doesn’t work long-term and is so bad for your health that you’re better off not doing anything at all.
The first thing we need to do is change our mindset about how and why we eat.
For many eating has become somewhat of an addiction rather than a life-giving act. The first thing we need to do is recognize this and realize that, like with any addiction, we need to take it seriously. We need to understand the damage that is occurring and the consequences of treating our body that way. This can give us the fuel we need to get started.
Sometimes we can make slow incremental changes over time. Many times, it helps if we clean up our diet in a shorter time period to create as much of a shift as we can and essentially reboot our system. Either way, it helps to have a coach to mentor, encourage and hold us accountable.
If we’ve gotten over our addictions and focus on eating for sustenance, then for many people adding in a glass of wine or a dessert is no big deal. As long as those exceptions don’t become the rule. People who struggle with addictions need to keep a tighter leash on it.
And then there’s people like me. My body has taken a bit of a beating and I’ve got to eat well, or my body doesn’t do well. And so, it has become part of my internal culture. I don’t even give it a second thought. I can think of no circumstance in which I would stop and eat at a McDonald’s. But I’m not suffering at all. If fact, I eat really well and I eat really delicious food.
Anyway, it’s really a matter of thinking about your diet as a long-term strategy rather than a temporary change. We love to help people in creating healthy habits…. And compiling a ton of healthy and delicious recipes, which we are delighted to share with you.
How to Make Positive Lifestyle Changes That Last
by Jandee Porter, MS
Tip #1: Make a list of your goals: your goals should be….
Example goal #1: “I want to lose weight”
- Not specific enough and not measurable
Example Goal #2: “I want to lose four pounds in one month”
- This on the other hands states the number of pounds and the length of time, both specific and measurable
Example Goal #3: I want to lose ten pounds in two weeks
- Although specific and measurable, its not realistic and may be difficult to achieve
Tip #2: Be patient with yourself
- It takes time to transform your habits, it won’t happen overnight
- Reward yourself and use positive self-talk
- ie. Give yourself encouraging words, instead of putting yourself down (every improvement, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction)
Tip #3: Repetition is key
- It can take a few months of repeating a desired behavior to make a new positive habit
- Remember to start with one behavior, repeat that behavior each day, give yourself positive encouragement and remind yourself of the benefit for practicing the behavior. Once it becomes a habit start focusing on the next desired behavior.