A ‘diet’ is something you do temporarily. It’s a change you make until you achieve a specific outcome (which is mostly a specific weight goal) before returning to your original habits. ‘Diets’ involve changes in what you eat and drink and often include an exercise component.
Studies suggest that the issue is not about diets, but a lifestyle change that needs to be addressed. For the majority of individuals, achieving long-term weight loss success comes down to making changes that can be maintained over a long period and not due to a temporary diet change.
Dieters Do Not Stick to Their Diet for a Long-Term
The way an individual responds to any diet has absolutely nothing to do with their body type and has everything to do with their potential to stick to a sensible vegetarian or low-carbohydrate diet. Diets can help you achieve results quickly. But if you are planning to return to your previous habits, there wouldn’t be much point in investing in a lot of new clothes.
Dieters Often Gain Weight in the Long Run
If all you want is to look great for a high school reunion or on your best friends wedding and you don’t care about that, there is a variety of diets that work. This may be the right choice for you. If, however, you want to keep the weight off and maintain it, you might want to think twice about ‘dieting’ and instead make it a lifestyle. Studies have shown that nearly 70 percent of dieters regain the weight they lose while dieting.
Move your thinking from ‘how to lose weight’ to ‘how to improve your lifestyle’. A lifestyle change involves adopting healthy overall habits that promote long-term weight control and health. In addition, diets focus on food intake whereas lifestyle changes incorporate what you eat with some other factors that affect weight and health, such as physical activity. Where weight loss is concerned, diet provides a temporary solution and singular approach to a rather multifaceted, long-term health issue.
Lifestyle changes require you to maintain a certain level of dieting and putting restrictions on say how much fast food and junk food you can eat, etc., but there are not as many restrictions placed on it. If you surrender to temptation here and there, it’s not the end of the world but at the same time you are aware and might feel a little bit of guilt but are still aware of your actions without completely giving up. It’s very important to remember that moderation is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle without depriving yourself of things you want to have once in a while.
Lifestyle changes must be something you can do on your own.
Following someone else’s plan is only a short-term fix. Doing so for a long period of time would be truly difficult due to the loss of personal preference and choice. Determining how to plan healthy meals on your own is the more realistic option. When you know how to plan your meals, you can plan healthy eating anytime, anywhere, even when you’re on a vacation or at the office.
The small percentage of people who’ve maintained weight loss over many years have made serious lifestyle changes. That’s the key to success, not adherence to fancy diets.
What contributes to a lifestyle change? An action that you can stick to for the long haul:
- Eating healthy, nutritious and whole foods to nourish the body
- Carrying out moderation, not a restriction
- Exercising on a regular basis
- Depending on your body to tell you what you need
- Losing weight at a secure and healthy pace
When you focus on long-term lifestyle changes instead of short-term dieting, you will notice a few things. First and most important, you are being kinder to your body. You are less likely to face extreme hunger, food deprivation, weakness, exhaustion, and mental stress. Lifestyle changes teach you to listen to what your body is asking of you. You will see that even though weight-loss may be slower, it is more permanent. As already mentioned above, short-term dieters are likely to regain most of the weight they lost, if not all. This can be more disheartening.
If you are on the journey to manage your weight through weight-loss, try to focus on the long road ahead. It may be tempting to lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time, but this is bad for your body and will likely result in weight regain. Instead, aim for lifestyle changes that are focused on overall health and wellness. You will not be disappointed.