Healthy Habits + Realistic Expectations = Weight Loss

by Tiffanie Grady-Gillespie, Certified Physical Trainer, CPT, WickedFiTT

I think we can all agree the excitement of starting something new and exciting gets us pumped with motivation and thinking we’re ready to dive in head first, going from 0-1,000 mph … faster than a speeding bullet.  This can be especially true when it comes to fat loss and of course the exercise and dieting that tends to come along with it.

What’s so intriguing about some of the fad programs out there, such as The South Beach Diet, The Atkins Diet and The Cabbage Soup Diet, is that all you have to do is exclude certain things from your diet and eat exactly how they tell you… annnnd, BOOM, BABY! … You’ll see instant results, which of course brings that oh, so wonderful instant gratification we all love.

The thing that seems to happen, as studies have proven, is that more often than not, people who lose weight using these “quick-fix” methods tend to gain all the weight back. Oh, but it gets worse, they gain all the weight back, and sometimes even more, in six, nine and 12 months down the road.

Why do you suppose that is? I have a few ideas. For starters, these “diets” just say what we can and cannot eat. We are not left to think or be responsible for ourselves, it’s just, “Well, this is what my diet tells me to do or not do.”  Call me crazy, but wouldn’t learning basic habits be a better idea, such as how to read a food label or measure portion size?

Whether you’re just getting started or starting over, the feeling of being overwhelmed with trying to figure out how to get past the hurdles that have stopped us in our previous attempts to reach our goals can seem scary. Having realistic expectations increases your chance of maintaining healthy lifestyle habits.

Here’s how easy it really can be. If we work on building basic everyday habits, there’s no way to say, “Oh, umm that didn’t work for me,” or, “This plan isn’t for me right now.” Because, let’s be honest with ourselves, it all starts with something you can do. Motivation will come and go, which makes developing daily healthy habits so beneficial. 

Here are a few ideas we can all try:

  • Keep unhealthy foods out of the house, or at least out of sight, which can increase your chances of staying on track.
  • Simultaneously beginning to exercise and changing the way you eat increases your chances of success.

Believe me, I’m not a big fan of  the word “diet”  — that  word  conjures up images of hunger, chewing on celery, some kind of crazy fad and sadness — but I do believe in trying to make  healthier, cleaner food choices.

Don’t diet, but do stick to a healthy diet. Review your activities and find one or two habits you can carry out each day.  Build up to an entirely new outlook that hopefully fills you with positive energy and a healthy new lease on life.

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