As a Registered Dietitian and Certified Personal Trainer, I absolutely HATE diets. I hate when people go on them and I hate it EVEN MORE when people go off of them and gain the weight back (and more in many cases). I’ve seen it happen so many times and we’ve got to find a way to stop the madness for the betterment of all humankind. Diets equal deprivation; diets mean giving up food I love (like salt & vinegar chips); diets equal hunger. So why do people do them? I believe it’s because we’re sold on the fantasy that losing weight can be quick and simple if only we do one thing – cut carbs, drink a magic potion, do a cleanse, cut sugar. NOT! The reason they don’t work in the long run is because people can’t stick to them so they go back to old habits. It’s kind of like paying off all your credit card debt only to run it up again because you haven’t changed your spending habits.
So what does it take to lose weight and keep it off? Simple adjustments that you can live with. Adjustments that don’t leave you feeling deprived. Adjustments you can build into your daily routine just like brushing your teeth. Burn 100 more calories a day by taking 2,000 extra steps and lose 10 lbs in a year. Cut out a regular soda and lose another 10. (All this assuming you don’t eat more.) Make better food choices. Have an apple for your PM snack instead of those chips. Yes, it’s true. An apple a day can keep the doctor away. You’ll get more fiber and you’ll feel better. How do people get overweight in the first place? Poor choices repeated over time. So to lose the weight, reverse the process.
Start by waking up – you can’t change something you’re not aware of. Get conscious of what and how much you’re putting into your mouth by tracking what you eat. Research shows you’ll lose weight by doing that alone. Once you’re conscious of your food choices, make better choices and repeat them over time. Find out how many calories your body burns so you know how much to eat. With our sedentary jobs, huge portions and great tasting food available whenever we want it, we have no choice but to pay attention and get educated about our body, food and calories. Is it a fast and sexy way to lose weight? NOPE. Not even close. If you want quick and easy weight loss, then go on the latest and greatest diet and you’ll have to live with the weight rebound that inevitably follows. If you want to finally be rid of diets for the rest of your life, pay attention, make better choices and repeat. Again and again and again. Slow and steady wins the race, and I want YOU to win.