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Life Style Change vs. Dieting

Diet vs. Life Style Change

In everything in life we tend to be impatient. This is a major issue with people who want to lead a healthy and fit life. To obtain your goal of being fit and healthy it takes time, it takes work and it takes patience. In this day and age we want the quick fix, the “magic pill”, the “too good to be true” diet etc. There are so many products and theories out in the world about what we should do to ultimately reach our goal of leading a healthy and fit lifestyle. I am not here to preach on what are good things out there, what works and what doesn’t, I am more here to share what I have seen work with my clients over many years and unfortunately it is not a quick fix, but it has been very successful.

I am an old school believer, diet and exercise are the best combination to lose weight and to become healthy. We all know this, however we still look for other answers because with diet and exercise it takes time to reach those goals and to see those numbers on the scale drop and for the inches to melt away. If you have a goal of losing weight, becoming leaner, becoming stronger then you need to make a lifestyle change. A lifestyle change is a commitment that you are making to yourself that will stay with you forever. This is not some type of cleanse, 15 or 30 day fix, this is a day in and day out healthy eating and fitness routine. My number one rule is if it is not something you can sustain for the rest of your life then it may not be the best for you. If you are going to eat really healthy for 15 days and then at the end you are going to go back to eating and drinking what you did prior then what was the point?

A lot of reasons that diets don’t work are because as people we don’t like to be told NO. With a diet you are tempted to eat the not so good things for you because you feel as that you are being told that you can’t. Moderation is key. If you go to a birthday party you should be able to have a great time and not feel like you have to avoid the snack table or feel like you have to sit in a corner eating celery and carrot sticks. Maybe you adjust your food intake earlier in the day to allow for more calories at the party or you eat your lunch before you go so you aren’t even tempted and don’t feel deprived.

My girls are a big part of my motivation for me to be as healthy as I can so I can be here for them as long as possible. However, I want my girls to enjoy healthy eating and fitness because that’s all that they know. Let’s face it when people diet normally they eat something different while the rest of the family is indulging on garlic bread and pasta and they are sitting there with their salad. Comments are made, “mommy why aren’t you eating what we are?, Mommy responds, “because I’m on a diet”. How about making a healthy meal that everyone can enjoy and it is just part of your lifestyle. You can all enjoy pasta together, just watch your portion control, why not make quinoa pasta instead of regular pasta? There are so many options available and the great thing is that with a lifestyle change your family is benefiting as well.

I do not eat healthy all the time, I do like sweets, I like soda and I am not a fan of vegetables. I know all things you would not normally hear from a fitness trainer. But I want you to know that I am just like you and I have made it work for myself and my family. There are small tricks that I have learned that you could incorporate too, if I want a soda I will drink a glass of water before I have the soda, which normally fills me up and then I don’t drink a full soda, just enough to have the craving leave. I don’t like the texture of vegetables so when I add them to my recipes, for example spinach meatballs, I puree the spinach and then I don’t even know that I am eating it.

Being healthy can be fun, doesn’t have to feel like you are missing out or deprived, but if done right it will take time. There is not a quick fix to get you there, YOU are the only one who can do it for you. Here are a few quick tips to leave you with:

  1. Find a friend or group that will hold you accountable and not try to sabotage you.
  2. Prepare meals and snacks at the beginning of the week, never go grocery shopping hungry. Pre package 1 c of grapes, ½ c of raw almonds etc and have them in the front of your pantry to quickly grab when hungry.
  3. Eat enough, don’t deprive your body – if you eat too little your body will hold on to everything and you won’t lose any weight, you will only lose energy.
  4. You should eat all day, smaller portions, 3 meals and 2 snacks a day.
  5. 80-100 oz of water a day, limit caffeine and alcohol (don’t totally get rid of it if you crave it just gradually downsize the amount.
  6. Remember it is a marathon for the rest of your life so make it enjoyable, avoid the sprints or the “quick fix” products on the market – if it sounds too good to be true, it normally is!

Here’s to a happy and healthy life – sweat each day and smile!

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