Over the short-term a diet can work well for jumpstarting weight loss and improving overall vitality. However, over the long-term diets simply don’t work. According to studies, 97% of people who lose weight regain the weight and then some after three years. Weight loss studies usually fail to disclose this as often the participants are tracked for 18 months or less.
The best long-term strategy is to create a lifestyle and nutritional plan that naturally results in a balanced weight.
There is a long held belief that if you simply take in fewer calories than you burn off each day you’ll lose weight.
This myth has led many people to obsessively counting calories, tallying points, bargaining (this cookie or cookies instead of dinner) or the famous thought, “I’ll run or walk more miles on the treadmill so I can have my cake or glass of wine.”
This mindset is a gross over-simplification.
The human body is FAR more complex than this. Sleep, stress, hormones, metabolism, and the quality of the food we take in matters greatly when it comes to weight loss.
Your body will receive and utilize vegetables or an egg FAR differently than it receives a slice of white bread or a bag of potato chips. Even if the calorie count of these foods are exactly the same.
Quality matters more than quantity.
The quality of the food you eat and the quality of your daily self-care habits such as; rest, exercise, stress management, and hydration levels all play an important role in your successful weight management.
Here are several tips for sustainable weigh loss:
Always eat breakfast. When breakfast is skipped we become energy deficient and end up eating more in the later part of the day to compensate for getting a slow start out of the gate. Eating breakfast daily minimizes the risk of overeating, and ensures that the body has a steady supply of energy from the morning on.
Become a food detective. Read food labels and understand that all food packaging is the food companies’ opportunity to market and persuade consumers to buy their product. The most important part of the food label is the ingredient list. Choose items that have five or fewer ingredients that are recognizable as REAL food. If grandma wouldn’t know what that crazy sounding ingredient is…put it back on the shelf! Forget about the calorie count.
Eat at home more. Restaurants foods are generally higher in fat, salt, sugar, and preservatives. They also serve much larger portions than needed. Cooking at home allows us to eat fresh, whole foods that are high in nutrients and in moderate amounts.
Identify temptation foods. It’s best not to keep temptation foods in the house or office. When tired or stressed it becomes too easy to replace fresh healthy foods with the ones we crave for either emotional or physical reasons.
Drink plenty of water. By replacing beverages such as soda, alcohol or coffee you’ll naturally cut back on nutrient-devoid calories and most importantly sugars that feed and stimulate unhealthy addictions.
Creating lifelong healthy eating and lifestyle habits are essential to achieving and maintaining your desired weight. And…let go of counting calories…it’s not necessary. With your newfound time and energy you can go enjoy yourself doing something fun!