Lifestyle Changes v. Fad Diets

It happens way too often: you step on the scale, freak out, and exclaim “Oh my gosh! I am going on a diet!” Tomorrow. But what diet? Liquid, low carb, protein shakes, skipping meals? How long does that last? The problem is that it isn’t sustainable; at some point you’re going to eat pasta or become too hungry. We sometimes give in to fad diets when searching for a quick fix, but they cannot provide lasting results.

A “fad diet” is a weight loss plan that may over-promises results. These types of diets don’t result in long-term weight loss and are usually not very healthy. You may have heard of some of them or tried one; think of a liquid diet or controlled/limited carbohydrates.img_3230

Often times, we are willing to try anything that promises to help us lose weight- especially if it promises to be quick and easy. I mean who wouldn’t want to lose 5 pounds overnight?! The main reason anyone goes on a diet is because they want to look or feel better; or maybe they are worried about developing weight-related diseases. Diets like these are appealing because of their quick fix instead of making the effort to lose weight through long-term changes in their eating and exercise habits. But let’s be honest, it took time to put that weight on and it is going to take time to work it back off.

Your lifestyle is composed of what you eat, how you manage your stress, how often you exercise and more. Lifestyle changes require you to alter these behaviors; whether it is restricting fast food or trying to get 10,000 steps a day. The key is that these habits are maintained as opposed to being a short term fix. This is the key to creating healthy, long-term changes.

It is important to remember that healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. Fad diets often promise rapid results which may lead to unhealthy weight loss. Limiting food choices without encouraging a balanced diet won’t create lasting changes.

Here are some easy ways I incorporate healthy choices into my everyday life:

  • Don’t skip meals: this includes breakfast. I also pack snacks in case I get hungry between meals or if I need a “second breakfast” aka my favorite meal!
  • Limit liquid calories: avoid soda and limit alcohol. Beware of what you order to drink at restaurants. Always keep a water bottle handy when you are on the go.
  • Exercise on a regular basis: the best kind of exercise is exercise that you’ll continue. Choose activities that you enjoy and spice it up! Try running, cycling, step aerobics, and weight lifting.
  • Increase daily physical activity: try to hit your 10,000 steps per day even if it means running around your apartment or doing jumping jacks at night

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How have you made healthy lifestyle changes? What habits have you had to break?

Keep on keeping on,
Louise

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