Have a “No-Diet” New Year

Today’s post is by OYS contributing writer Melissa. See more of Melissa’s posts here.

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Quit smoking.  Save money.  Read more books.  It’s New Year’s resolution time, and the most popular one?  Lose weight.  I don’t usually make resolutions myself, and my feelings are kind of mixed about their effectiveness.  On the negative side, I think people put too much pressure on themselves on this one date to achieve a goal, which can lead to feelings of failure if that goal is not reached.  However, for some people, it might just be the motivation they need to make a significant change in their lives.  So for those of you vowing to eat better and exercise more in an effort to shed some pounds, this post is for you.

WHY DIETS DON’T WORK

First of all, kudos to you for deciding to live a healthier life.  Now I need to say it: Please do not go on a diet!  I know you want to lose weight fast and see some results right away, but diets are not realistic because you can’t be on a diet for the rest of your life.  Don’t torture yourself.  As Americans, we do everything at full speed, but this is one area where you really want to take your time.  Yes, it will take longer, but your weight loss is almost guaranteed to last if you do it the slow way.  Diets also don’t work because most restrict some type of food, which is ridiculous.  Food should never be considered bad or off-limits.  That only makes you want it more, and sets you up for a big, fat binge.  Also, once you have lost the desired amount of weight and you go off the diet, chances are you will gain some back.  Thus begins the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting.  Not a happy place to be.

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A LIFESTYLE CHANGE

Instead, you need to think of this as a lifestyle change, one that evolves a little bit at a time.  If you have been consuming sugary soda, candy, baked goods, chips, and ice cream on a regular basis, you are not going to just be able to cut all of it out at once.  Small changes are the way to go.  For example, cut back from 3 sodas a day to 2 sodas a day the first week, then down to 1 the next week, then to none the following week.  Replace that nasty soda with naturally flavored water.  You should know that even after 3 weeks, you may still not be over your love affair with soda.  Breaking habits could take a couple of months, but trust me, eventually you won’t want it anymore.  In fact, the thought of drinking a soda may even revolt you at some point.

DON’T FORGET YOUR MENTAL WELL-BEING

Once you identify the small changes you would like to make, you are on the right path, but you’re not done yet.  Now you need to add in the mental work.  Think of your best friend.  Would you ever call your best friend fat?  A failure?  Would you ever tell her she’s never going to lose weight?  Would you let her devour an entire bag of chips when you know she’s trying to lose weight?  I hope the answer to all of these questions is “no.”  So please don’t treat yourself that way.  You only get one body in this life, and if you treat it well, it will treat you well.  Be mindful of your eating and what it does for your body.  Squash any negative thoughts about yourself by focusing on what you love.  Okay, so I hate wearing a bathing suit because of the cellulite on my thighs that I cannot get rid of, but I love the way my toned arms and back look in a bathing suit, so that’s what I focus on.

I’m not going to tell you that this is all easy, but it is so worth the time and effort.  Your body will thank you for not putting it through an unnatural diet or cleanse.  Just live…eat…and enjoy!

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Comments

  1. started yesterday 🙂 having sugar withdrawal headaches 🙁

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