Let me explain. The “diet” mentality is when someone thinks that they can cut back on calories, eat super clean, and follow some special exercise plan in order to lose weight and lean out, and then after reaching their goal slowly work their way back to normal.
What?! How can a logical person think that is a good plan?
If you are needing to lose weight or lean out, then doesn’t that state right there that your “normal” is keeping you from losing weight and being lean? Why would you ever go back to that?
Your “normal” is keeping you from your goals. If you really want to lose weight or lean out then your normal needs to die. It was the wrong lifestyle for your goals. You should never go back to it.
What does making healthy changes to your lifestyle with the long term plan of slowly going back to normal do for you? All it does is get you a front row seat on the roller coaster of what is constantly referred to as yo-yo dieting.
It is no secret that this is the most common result of diets. You lose weight only to put it right back on. I contend that the birthplace of this problem isn’t necessarily the diet itself but the mindset of adopting a temporary change to get your result.
If you truly desire to change, then you can’t use the word temporary. The necessary word is forever. (I think we need to go to the movie Sandlot for this one)
You must get to the point of accepting, and then embracing the idea that if you want to reach a goal and stay there that the changes needing to be made to reach that goal must be permanent. Those changes are not just for a short period of time they are to be done for the rest of your life.
For example, a shorter female would have to re-set her appetite from eating *2400 calories a day to eating an average of 1500-1600 calories a day and stay there indefinitely. She will never go back to eating so much. This isn’t a diet. It is realizing that what she was doing before was eating too much and that she only really needs to eat an average of 1600 calories a day, ever. Eating over that is overeating, something that she must choose to no longer do.
You need to realize that daily physical activity is now your norm. You will always perform a few strength training sessions a week and get more movement every day. Breathing hard will now be as familiar to you as your pillow.
This is your new life. It is not just the next three months.
If the three preceding paragraphs seem restrictive or harsh because they don’t ever allow you to go back to “normal,” then you aren’t in the right mindset to make lasting change. If you want to change where you currently are, then you need to accept that your current “normal” is wrong for your goals and that it needs to change indefinitely. You can’t go back. For most people this is a huge revelatory way of looking at it, but it is the only logical way to look at it if you want lasting change.
Now I am not saying that you need to eat 9 servings of fruits and vegetables and exercise every single day starting today. What I am saying is that you need to get your mind in the right state. You need to come to grips with this concept in your mind first.
It is a lifestyle that you grow into and will eventually become, never to look back. This lifestyle will never truly take root if you initially plan it on a temporary basis.
Not only is this realization crucial to building the solid foundation that will prove to be absolutely necessary in having long term success, but it is extremely helpful when deciding what behaviors to change and to adopt. It will help you to not go overboard by setting up unrealistic or unsustainable exercise and nutrition routines.
You do not need to perform marathon long exercise sessions. You do not need to only eat broccoli florets and lemon rinds. You do not need to eliminate fruit. You do not need to eliminate all carbs. You do not need to budget $100 or more each month to pay for some “special supplement.”
Pick habits and behaviors that you can see yourself comfortably and happily maintaining for the rest of your life. If you can imagine this, then the habit is good and you should begin. If you can’t picture it, then it doesn’t make the cut (be honest with yourself, you won’t be able to live without ever having chocolate again so don’t even try to tell yourself that). Keep it simple.
Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Seriously, I’m waiting…
Okay, write a short list of about ten small healthy habits that you can realistically see yourself maintaining for the rest of your life. List them in order of how easy they will be for you to implement. Start with the easiest one on the list. Consistently implement it for the next week to two weeks.
After mastering this new habit, move to the next one on the list. Continue this pattern until you have successfully implemented all 10 habits on your list. Start a new list and repeat until you have reached your goals.
Slowly and progressively implementing healthy behaviors will not only ensure your success in reaching your fitness and health goals, but it will facilitate true and lasting change. You will actually become the change you started out yearning for.
It is time we realize quick money is a hoax and stop allowing ourselves to believe otherwise. If you want lasting change then you need to make lasting changes–mentally and emotionally first, and then physically. Losing weight and/or getting healthy aren’t temporary endeavors. They are lifelong commitments that will completely transform you into a new and better person.