A Lifestyle Change: The Key To Your Health

my goal

This time four years ago I went to the doctor for a check up. My A1C was 7.2 and the doctor wanted to put me on a second medication to get my diabetes under control. After doing research we found one of the COMMON side effects of this drug was liver damage!

Enough was enough. This was the trigger for me to start my weight loss journey. Now here I am 70 lbs lighter and off all medication for 3 and a half years.

Sometimes you need a trigger. Something to make you wake up and realize you have to change the things that are not good for you.

Or you can just decide to do it before you hit a crisis. I’m sure that doctor had no idea his “simple” decision to put me on another drug was going to be the catalyst for me to change my life so drastically. But I will always be grateful to him for giving me the kick I needed.

It’s easy to just take a pill to deal with what ails you. But often all you really need is a lifestyle change. Most drugs are designed to treat the symptoms, not the disease. After all, why would Big Pharma want to cure you? You’re no good to them if You’re not buying their product.

Most drugs are also not designed to be taken for a long period of time. So eventually You’re put on a stronger drug, or a second medication. More money for Big Pharma.

Changing your life isn’t easy. Old habits are hard to break. But with the right motivation you can do anything you set your mind to.

January is just around the corner. The month where we make new years resolutions. And just as quickly break them. But why wait until January. Today is Monday. The start of a new week. Make small changes that you can easily maintain. Small changes, over time, can add up to a big difference to your health. And to your life.

Step Off The Yo-Yo Diet Train

 

 

We all know people who keep losing and gaining the same 20, 30 or more pounds.  Maybe this is you.  It’s called yo-yo dieting.  It happens because we go on and off diets, and then back to our old eating habits.  But those old eating habits are what caused us to gain the weight in the first place.  We get caught in a vicious circle with no way out.

Or so it seems.

Losing weight is not complicated.  It looks that way because of all the conflicting advice out there.  Should you go on a low carb diet, or should you fast?  Should you juice?  What about fats and sugar?  Most people who push one diet or another do so because they have something to sell.  Some of kind of miracle weight loss product or weight loss program that they claim is designed to melt the pounds off.  The truth is, you don’t need any complex program or magic pill or potion.  Or any specialized diet plan.

You just need to learn to eat intuitively.

The biggest problem with going on a diet is what happens when you come back off again.  While we diet, we tend to eat a certain way.  We cut out sugar and we eat a lot of salads and vegetables.  Which isn’t a bad thing.   The problem is most of the foods we place on the “bad” list are the things we most love to eat.  It would be next to impossible to cut out those things forever.  And it would drive us crazy to even try.  We will develop cravings for those food items and sooner or later we’ll cave to the crave and start binging on them.

But why go on a diet at all when a simple lifestyle change allows you to eat the food you love and still lose weight?  Portion control and calorie awareness are all you really need.  I’ve lost a total of 70 pounds and I didn’t have to give up a single thing.

We have this tendency to see things in black and white.  When we go on a diet, we put labels on food items.

This food is bad, I should avoid.

This food is good, I should eat all the time.

The reality is there’s no food item so bad that we can’t have it from time to time.  Obviously, there are some things we should eat more of; some items we should eat less off.  But, again, there is no food item so bad that we can’t eat it from time to time.  As long as it’s eaten in moderation.

And there’s the key.

Moderation.

This is where calorie awareness comes in.  There are so many apps out there designed to help you track your calorie intake.  My app of choice is MyFitnessPal.  Using this app was a game changer for me.  It has played a big part in my weight loss.

I know you’re rolling your eyes right now.  I also know what you’re thinking.  I don’t want to spend the rest of my life counting calories.  I don’t want to be that obsessive.

I get it.  But I also believe that calorie awareness is the key to not only losing weight with less effort, but also to keeping it off.  Most people have no idea how many calories they’re supposed to eat each day to lose weight, or to maintain a healthy weight.

More importantly, most people have no idea how many calories they actually are eating on a daily basis.  I’m sure the vast majority are seriously underestimating how many calories they are consuming.  Especially when it comes to eating out.  MyFitnessPal has a food database with tens of thousands of food items on it, listing their calorie content as well as how many carbs, proteins and sugar.  It even lists most of the chain restaurants and coffee shops like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts.  Just tracking your calories for a six week period will give you a greater awareness of your calorie intake and give you the tools to lose weight or to maintain your weight.  You certainly don’t need to count calories forever.

Using an app like MyFitnessPal you can give up giving up your favorite foods.  You can step off the yo-yo diet train and face your future with confidence that you can maintain a healthy weight for life.

Successful Weight Loss Tips

There are two key elements to successful weight loss.  Losing the weight and keeping it off.  There are so many fad diets out there.  There are juice / smoothie diets; there are expensive programs like Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem.  All of them will probably help you lose the weight.  Most of them will also probably lighten the load in your bank account, too.

But what about when you come off your diet?  Will you just go back to your old eating habits?  Isn’t that what led to your gaining weight in the first place?  That’s the whole essence of yo-yo dieting.  Making the same mistakes over and over until you (hopefully) finally learn. 

It’s about a healthy lifestyle change.  It’s about making healthy choices.  It’s about portion control.  It isn’t about denying yourself the sweet treats.  It’s about limiting those treats until they are just that.  Treats that you enjoy on occasion, not on a daily basis.  If I want a donut, I’ll have a donut.  I just haven’t wanted one for a long while because there are so many other nutritious choices out there that taste better and make me feel better. 

It’s a funny thing about eating healthy:  Your taste buds change.  You find yourself craving the sugary snacks less.  Sugar is an addiction.  The more you distance yourself from it the less control it has over you.  Good food, real food tastes so much better than sugary food does. 

The better you eat, the better you feel.

FB_IMG_152181364573731301492_432854253795063_5437745908919828480_n