Throughout my life, I have tried several different diets. My main goal was to lose the most amount of weight in the quickest amount of time. I would usually hear about these diets from others who had tried them and successfully lost a lot of weight. If they could do it, so could I.
There was the HGC diet. I could eat 500 calories a day and a tiny drop of HCG under my tongue would do the trick. I lost 60 pounds in 60 days. It was the quickest amount I had lost in the shortest amount of time. I didn’t think about the fact that I was starving myself. I had the motivation and it worked!
In the 80’s the big diet was the low-fat diet. All the manufacturing companies jumped on this bandwagon and relabeled all their food with “low-fat”. I just remember eating boxed cookies every day because they said low-fat. I’m not sure this fad was successful for my weight loss journey.
A couple of years ago I tried the low-carb diet fad. I was successful at losing 50 pounds but I was so sick. For some reason, I could not correlate the fact that I was so sick with this diet. I was in and out of the doctors looking for answers. I had multiple tests done and no one could figure out what was wrong with me. It wasn’t until I started adding carbs back into my life that I suddenly was feeling better…and of course, I gained everything back.
I am not saying these diets don’t work. I obviously lost weight every time. I had the motivation, I followed the plan, and I lost weight. But what happens after the “diet” is over? This is where most people, including me, go back to old eating habits and gain everything and probably more back.
I am currently doing WW because I know it is the healthiest option for me. I have done WW many times in the past and have been successful in losing weight. I have also quit WW and gained the weight back because my mindset was this was a “diet”. I see people getting so frustrated with this plan because they only lost 2 pounds in a particular week. They want to give up because they want to see a bigger loss. I always wonder why they think giving up will be more successful for them. They will return to their old way of eating comfort food and gain that 2 pounds back pretty quickly.
We have to come to a place where we realize in order to lose weight and keep it off we have to change our lifestyle. Dieting can get the weight off but changing our lifestyle will keep it off.
The first step to doing this is changing your mindset. You have to get the word “diet” out of your mind. Second, you need to figure out what you can realistically do for the rest of your life. This means every single day, including weekends, vacations, holidays, parties, sporting events, date nights, etc. When most of us read that it probably makes us sad because we think we have to “diet” for the rest of our life and we will never have any joy again. Our joy is so closely related to the food we eat.
When you change your lifestyle, you will find that you can still enjoy life and food. You just have to incorporate your eating plan into everything that you do. First, I would recommend trying to find joy in the event and not the food you are eating. Second, I would plan ahead and think of how you will incorporate your eating plan into your day. Do you plan on going to a movie with a friend? Pack a small bag of popcorn instead of going for the big buttery box at the theater. Going out to dinner? Look up the restaurant online ahead of time to view the menu to make sure they have something you can eat that is a part of your plan. Going on vacation? This should not be a free for all. Try sticking with your plan and incorporating a treat here or there. Going to a party? Bring a dish that you know you can eat.
I absolutely love nachos. Doing low carb didn’t seem like a forever plan for me because it did not include nachos. Yes, you could make a low-carb version but it would not bring the same fulfillment of chips and cheese and all the yumminess I want. So, my lifestyle has to include nachos. Now, that does not mean I can eat them daily or even every week but I can still incorporate them into my life.
The idea is to include foods you enjoy, but probably in moderation. I have also learned that your tastebuds can change. I have never loved fruits and vegetables. Since I am trying to become healthier and not just lose weight, I have introduced many new food items into my life. I have noticed how I am craving fruits and vegetables now. I can eat the majority of my food with healthier options, and enjoy them and feel satisfied.
I just want to encourage you that you can change your lifestyle. You don’t have to look at eating healthier as a prison sentence. You can still enjoy food, lose weight, and maintain weight loss. It’s all about finding the right plan for you and changing your mindset to implement these changes.