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.

If Not Now, When?

biggest challenge

Before I started my fitness and weight loss journey the only time I really ran was if I had to catch a bus and if it wasn’t more than a block or two.  And even that simple act of sprinting for a bus would leave me red faced and gasping for breath.  When I sat on the bus I’d catch fellow passengers giving me looks out of the corner of their eye.  I’m sure they were afraid I was about to keel over with a heart attack.

I had to push myself through a lot of barriers before I got to where I am today.  I had my share of aching lungs and burning legs.  You need a lot of willpower in the early days.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  It took hard work and dedication. But it was worth every ounce of sweat.  When it comes to your health there are no shortcuts .

As you get older your health becomes more important.  I learned that the hard way. I was diagnosed a type 2 diabetic just 4 months after I turned 40.  It took me several more years to figure out how to get things under control.

It’s easy to tell ourselves we’ll get round to taking better care of ourselves one day.  But that isn’t a promise.  Or a plan of action.  Or any kind of commitment.  “I’ll do it one day” is an excuse, pure and simple.  As the saying goes; “tomorrow never comes.”  And it’s unlikely you’re going to wake up one day exclaiming “today is that day!”

So if you have been putting off losing weight or increasing your fitness level, if you have been delaying, telling yourself you’ll get round to it one day, ask yourself this one question….

If not now, when?

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.

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