At every start to the new year, there are countless people who announce how they are going to start on a new diet and work out and lose weight. The new year brings on a sense of motivation to start off new, begin on a fresh slate, and make a positive change to your life.
Well, this diet thing may not be what you need.
Don’t get me wrong, you may begin your diet, limit yourself on carbs and junk food and see quick results. Your miracle diet plan may leave you feeling healthier and happier and thinner. You may fit in those jeans you wore in high school again. Your friends and family overwhelm you with compliments and everything seems to have fallen into place. However, after perhaps a couple months of your new diet, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain the eating habits that it demands. Inevitably, the weight returns.
Don’t fall into the trap of a new diet. Ease into a new lifestyle.
For long-term results that leave you in a state of happiness and health, create a new lifestyle for yourself. This will not happen quickly or easily necessarily, but it is more effective than picking up a diet book off of the shelf at your local Target store.
Start by evaluating exactly how you go about eating and exercise in your life. How often do you exercise? What types of food do you eat on a daily basis? Be honest with yourself, as this will only help you achieve ultimate health in the long run. Create measureable goals that are realistic so you can have something concrete to work towards.
Once you have completely evaluated yourself and your health, begin by making little changes slowly. There is no need to tell yourself, “I will stop eating ice cream tomorrow,” or, “I will work out every day from now on”. Cutting yourself off from foods that you have always enjoyed immediately will only make them more tempting and you will return back to your old habits. One rule that I do my best to follow is to have 80% of your diet every day be completely healthy decisions and have 20% be slightly off the course of strictly healthy. With little splurges every day, it makes you less likely for big splurges and weight gain.
As far as exercise, don’t drive yourself crazy with workouts that you don’t enjoy. Don’t force yourself to wake up every day and run three miles if you dread it. Don’t hop on the elliptical and force yourself through a half hour of leg-pushing work. An activity as simple as walking everyday will make the difference. Play basketball with your friends, go swimming, or go for a light jog if that is what you enjoy. Any kind of activity that you enjoy will be the easiest to commit to and you will no longer dread working out. Simply find something that you can look forward to and work it into your schedule.
Exercising and eating healthy go hand-in-hand. By incorporating both of these elements into your life, you will reap the benefits. Good luck and stay strong!