Many people I know at the first attempt to lose weight decide they are going to stop eating or they go on some crazy diet. A crazy diet consists of rules on what NOT to eat or what to eat a lot of (ie. atkins diet, fat free diet, eggs only diet). I at times have attempted these types of diets from not eating, to trying a few weight loss pills, to eliminating carbs, and eliminating protein. The end result was always the same: FAILURE. I may have lost a few pounds in a week or two, but surely, the weight found it's way back to me.
It is very rare that individuals who achieve rapid weight loss will be able to maintain it. Why? The reason why is because individuals who achieve rapid weight loss did so by depriving themselves of something, whether it be protein, carbs, or dessert. I mean, who wants to live their lives without some good juicy steak, or some spaghetti to go with the chicken parm, or the occasional cheesecake on the weekend (ice cream in the summer). I don't think anyone. We all have our guilty pleasure and we should all be allowed. No matter what our weight is. I think the problem we all have is that we wind up indulging and instead of having a cup of ice cream, we have 2. So, what we need to do is learn not to indulge....have self control.
Living a healthy lifestyle requires a lot of self control. Sometimes, it requires you to just take a whiff of that philly cheese steak and dream of eating it. It means eating a healthy meal at home before going to a party where you will be tempted with all the great food and dessert. It's not to say you will never eat a philly cheese steak or eat all the party food and dessert, it just means you have the power to choose when you will and will not.
I eat cheeseburgers, pizza, ice cream, cheesecake, chicken parm, donuts...but I also eat salads, veggies, fruits, yogurts. Having a balanced diet means eating healthy and every once in a while eating those "not so great for you" foods. The key is the portions. If you eat 1/2 a cup of frozen yogurt every day, you are less likely to over indulge on sweets on a weekend or while you are out.
So here are a few tips on living a healthy lifestyle and how to successfully lose weight and KEEP it off.
1. Eat! Don't skip meals, especially breakfast. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It sets the stage for your eating habits for the remainder of the day. If you don't eat breakfast, you are more likely to make poor and unhealthy meal choices for lunch and dinner. When deciding on what to eat for breakfast, think healthy. Your choices should consist of eggs, low-non/fat yogurt, whole grains or fruit. All these choices are high in protein and fiber which will have you feeling full until lunch and promote healthier eating for the rest of the day.
*There are also scientific reasons for not skipping meals, but I won't get into that in this entry.
2. Intake Protein, Carbs, and fat. You aren't doing any favors to your body by eliminating any of these 3 things. Our bodies need and crave all three. Ensuring that you consume enough protein, carbs, and fat on a daily basis prevents your body from a deficiency, which in turn can cause your body harm and lower your immune system.
3. Exercise and diet are effective. Just exercising is good and just dieting is good, but doing both at the same time is great. A healthier lifestyle is about balance. Incorporating a healthy diet and exercise into your plan is an effective way to lose weight and keep it off.
4. If you work out 4 days a week and missed 1 day for whatever reason, it's OK. Don't give up. Don't get frustrated or get mad at yourself. You did not fail. You simply have a life and some times life happens. You don't even have to make up that work out. Simply pick up where you left off. (If you have kids, this is key)
Living a healthy lifestyle shouldn't be burdensome. It should just be a way of life. In the beginning, yes, it may be tough. Eventually, however, it will be just the way you are. Going out to the gym or going out for a run isn't such a chore, it's just something you do. Filling your plate with fruits instead of a big piece of cheesecake won't kill you...it's just the way you eat. You prefer to save those calories for the weekend or a special event.
This is the way that I now live. It's who I am. It's not a chore, it's not something I complain about. It's just me and how I choose to live. I'm skinnier for it, but most importantly, I'm healthier and happier for it.
So, here's to a healthier, happier, and skinnier you. Cheers (bottle of Poland Spring in my hand)!