Sometimes after an especially stressful and hard day at work, I wonder to myself why I hadn’t thought of or invented one of the many ingenious things that are out there that other people have made millions or even billions from. I could’ve invented the back-up camera or come up with Amazon or Google or even better, I could’ve come up with a diet that promises instant weight loss. Yes, the diet, all the many different types of diets out there are making quite a number of people very rich indeed.
We have all at some point in our lives been on some diet or another. Years ago I went on a diet to gain weight and drank ensure three times a day because I was told it would help me gain weight. Years later, I went on a protein only diet to lose weight and at some point or the other I went on a liquid diet also to lose weight. Neither one of them were successful. If you want to be on a diet, you have a wide variety to choose from, no-protein, only- protein, carb- free, only carbs, liquid, fasting, cayenne pepper and honey, lemon water, Ketogenic, Atkins, weight loss pills, South Beach…the list is endless. Seriously, I need to think of one, I’m tired of going to work everyday.
The fact of the matter is, trying to lose weight by using one of these fad diets, rarely work for the long term and here’s why. So, you need to loose twenty pounds, your usual meals consist of mostly high-fat and high -carb food. You know that to lose weight you need to stop eating these types of food so you decide to go on a diet. The diet you decide to go on is a no-carb diet. You wake up on Monday morning, pumped up and excited to get going and start losing this weight, you have all intentions of following through with this diet because you need to lose weight. On Wednesday, you wake up, not as pumped and excited as you were on Monday and you’re starving. Maybe today can be your cheat day, everyone needs a cheat day right? So, you have a doughnut for breakfast, an hour later you’re hungry again so you have another one, then you decide to treat yourself to a cheeseburger for lunch and an ice cream snack, well this day is pretty much a bust so why not go all out and you get a pizza for dinner, tomorrow is another day after all. But this cycle continues because with this diet you are always hungry, you feel deprived and you’re not seeing results for all your trouble so why even bother. Maybe the liquid only diet will yield better results….and the cycle continues.
I know I make this sound dismal and pointless but the reason why these fad diets do not work is because there is no way you can keep up a diet based on only liquid or only protein or only carbs for the rest of your life unless you have the will power of an ox. So, even if you do end up losing weight using one of these methods, the second you go back to your old way of eating, you gain all the weight back and the cycle goes on and on. It is very difficult to break a habit of eating food that isn’t good for you because, well, it tastes really good and the food that is good for you doesn’t taste as good. Deep fried breaded chicken always tastes better than baked chicken, even I will admit to that. When you feel deprived, you will eventually rebel against the diet and binge eat which will instantly reverse any progress you may have made.
Losing weight and keeping it off is a lifestyle change plain and simple. You have to commit to a lifetime of eating healthily and getting regular exercise. Can you have days when you can eat something that’s not necessarily healthy? Of course you can, but you have to be in a place where you know that this cannot be your normal and eating a doughnut for breakfast doesn’t derail your new lifestyle. Changing your lifestyle to a healthy one is a lot of work but worth it because your health is the most important thing you have. Jobs, friends and family are all well and good but if you don’t have your health you will not enjoy any of those things for as long as you should. Being fit and healthy is not about being skinny, it’s about being the healthy version of you, the one that is happy when you look in the mirror knowing that you have worked hard to be where you are now. The version of you that can practice self-control and eat half a bagel instead of the whole thing or who would choose brown rice over white because you are putting your health first.
Changing your lifestyle from an unhealthy one to a healthier one will take baby steps. You will make mistakes and falter but you cannot quit. Pick yourself up and keep going. Be prepared for the long haul knowing that good things take time and if you keep working hard the results will definitely come. You will feel so much better every day as you keep making progress and you will realize that you are a lot stronger that you might have given yourself credit for. Stop making these diet companies richer and focus on changing your lifestyle for you!
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