How To Make Dieting A Thing Of The Past

Ahh dieting season is nearly upon us. Soon everyone will be trying to lose weight and get healthier as they commit to another New Year Resolution. New year Resolutions related to health tend to be of the most popular type set by people everywhere. In fact, according to the folks at statisticbrain.com, 2 of the top 5 new year’s resolutions a year ago were related to health and wellness, with weight loss as #1 on the list.

Was this you in 2015? In 2016, are you still trying to find a way to lose those extra pounds or unwanted fat?

In today's article, we'll talk about how to reach your ideal weight or improve your overall wellness without the use of extreme dieting methods that have surely failed you in the past. That's right; it’s time to make dieting a thing of the past. Today, I'll frame 3 big ideas and show you how you can ditch dieting forever leaving you with some simple how-to tips for doing so.

Before we jump in though, let's start by first understanding why people often fail at reaching their health and wellness goals to begin with.

Unrealistic Goals

So many people set goals that are simply too lofty or unrealistic. I can appreciate the enthusiasm expressed in these cases, but setting goals that require extreme effort, dieting methods, or changes to a person’s lifestyle are anything but sustainable. To make matters worse, many people fail to establishing small (attainable) goals to strive for along the way.

Zero to Little Planning

Without appropriate planning, even the smallest changes are enough to derail some of the most motivated of individuals. When we have a goal in sight, we must do some serious planning first. In terms of wellness, I like to think of this as honest reflection about lifestyle. This is time spent identifying current or potential barriers, and thoroughly thinking about "how" to overcome those barriers in order to achieve the goal at hand. More on this later.

Goals Rooted in Extrinsic Motivation

I am talking about the "why!" Motivation founded only on attention, praise, or compliments is sure to dissipate quickly. In other words, motivation based only on looking good for an upcoming event or just to make someone jealous is not likely to provide the long term drive needed to reach any goal. Goals rooted in extrinsic motivation are too often absent of lasting enjoyment, a deeper sense of accomplishment, and most important of all - health!

Obviously, these are only a few of the mistakes I see people make, but are certainly some of the most significant. With those mistakes in mind, let’s take a look at how you can STOP dieting and START living a lifestyle of wellness.

It doesn't matter where you're at now. Whether you’re already making some changes (i.e. cooking more, working out, etc.) to improve your wellness or you’re starting from scratch, the 3 big ideas I’ll cover today will lay the foundation for continued success. In my practice, this approach to nutrition and lifestyle is how I get people where they want to be minus the deprivation, restriction, and overwhelm associated with dieting. Incorporate these 3 big ideas and start to see how painless eating and living healthy can be.

1. Master Your Day

This is all about making your day as routine as possible. Everything from morning to night must be routine with simple daily wellness practices weaved in throughout the day. I'm talking about building habits. By making small practices part of your every-day, soon you’ll do them without thought or any real effort on your part. So start small. I mean tiny. Start with practices so small it’s hard NOT to do them! Over time, these small changes will add up to huge gains! Here are a few to start with:

  • Drink more water – Water is at the foundation of nearly every bodily function. How much water you need is really based on your size, activity levels, types of foods you’re eating, and intake of sugary or caffeinated drinks. The more you exercise and sweat, the more water you need. The less quality foods you eat, the more water you need. The more sugary and caffeinated drinks you consume, the more water you need. Start by assessing how much water you drink now, and increase it by 8oz per day. Continue to increase your intake from there based on your needs.

  • Start with Fat & Protein – Fat is extremely important to our brains and metabolism. Protein provides the building blocks for our bodies. Getting in some protein and good fat first thing in the morning is great for replacing all those so-called healthy breakfast options we’ve come to know. Instead of reaching for oatmeal, cold cereals, or toast in the morning try having some avocado with salt, a couple whole eggs, or add grass-fed butter to your morning cup of coffee. Check out this health summit to learn more from experts all over the world about the benefits of fat.

  • Eat Vegetables at Every Meal – Look, I don’t have to tell you how healthy veggies are, but the fact remains most of us just don’t eat enough. Try adding a cup of veggies to one meal each day. Then to another cup to another meal in the coming weeks. Try to get up to at least 1 cup of veggies at every meal. This will help you control hunger, curb craving, and improve energy!

Small Changes

Also start considering any barriers or obstacles that may pop up. Understand you may not be able to control these, but by expecting them you're less likely to be overcome by them. Expecting challenges allows you to set planning into motion. You see, when you expect challenges you're more likely to think of ways you can avoid being derailed. If it’s not a “plan B,” it could be a more concrete “plan A” that allows you to stay on track even when “life” happens. For example, if you plan, or better yet, prepare dinners ahead of time (i.e. slow cooker, advance cooking, etc.,) and your day doesn't go as scheduled (i.e. work kept you late or the kids ball game ran long,) your less likely to find yourself in a drive thru or stopping for take-out since your meal is already waiting for you at home. Incorporate small easy-to-do daily practices, plan ahead, and soon you’ll notice how easy it is to master your day!

2. Shift Your Mindset

The journey to improved health and wellness is a marathon not a sprint! It's about creating a lifestyle that compliments your goals, versus incorporating short term changes that only get temporary results. So, instead of seeking instant gratification through supplements, extreme diet plans, or magic potions that promise you the "quick fix" to all your health challenges, understand that what took years to do will likely take just as long to undo, and that's ok! As human beings, it's in our nature to want instant gratification. I get this. But we have to respect the process. As much as we want to feel and look good right away, it's important to understand it takes time. This simple, but significant, shift in mindset can make all the difference. When you acknowledge and respect the process as a journey, it will allow you to build the capacity to overcome challenges and sustain the effort in takes to reach your goals. When we reach for the magic pill, potion, or powder we end up reducing our own capacity to meet challenges head on and have less control our own outcomes. The thing is, even with some results, what we don't get from the pills, potions, or powders is any sort of long term solution or control over our health for the long haul. Instead, we swallow down these formulas and cross our fingers hoping they work. I don't know about you, but I like to have a little more control!

3. Build a Support System

Research has shown the benefits of having a support system when taking on big tasks. The importance of enlisting others to join you when trying to get healthy can't be overstated. When you have people around you whom you can identify with or look to for advice, guidance, or encouragement you greatly increase your chances of success. These are the people you can lean on in times of uncertainty, doubt, overwhelm, or confusion. They too can lean on you. Together you pick each other up when needed. So get a friend on board with you. Ask a co-worker to join you at the gym. Have your kids help you in the kitchen. Get the whole family involved! Any way you can get those closest to you on board, not only do they benefit, so will you!

Do you need some professional help? Would you like someone who can provide you with support, guidance, and accountability? As your Health Coach, I'll provide the professional support you need to reach your goals. Contact me here to learn more about how I can help you.

DitchDiet


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