Nutrition Articles

13 Weight-Loss Rules You'll Love to Follow

How to Make 'Dieting' Fun!

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13. Don't diet. This may be the most important rule of all. "Going on a diet" implies a start and a stop, but that's not how sustainable weight loss is achieved. Diets often slow down your metabolism due to the drastic cut back in calories your body is used to, and many diets that are advertised today are just plain unhealthy. Following rigid plans requires constant willpower, something we know humans have only a short supply of! Change and adjust your lifestyle habits a little at a time and you will lose excess pounds and achieve and maintain the healthy body weight that is right for you. From now on, define the word "diet" as the food plan you use to maintain a healthy body weight, supply you the energy to support your busy lifestyle and keep you well.
 
Sources
Dweck, Carol. 2006. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Ballantine Books.
 
Psychology Today, "Why Diets Don't Work...And What Does," www.psychologytoday.com, accessed on October 3, 2013.
 
WebMD, "Coping with Excessive Sleepiness: Sleep and Weight Gain," www.webmd.com, accessed on October 3, 2013.
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About The Author

Ellen Goldman Ellen Goldman
Ellen Goldman has bachelor's and master's degrees in health and physical education. An AFAA-certified personal trainer and certified wellness coach, she is also the founder EnerG Coaching, LLC. Through one-on-one and group sessions, Ellen helps individuals make positive lifestyle changes, lose weight, manage stress and attain work-life balance. Visit her at www.EnerGcoaching.com.

Member Comments

  • #3. I'm always amused by the "find an activity you like and do it". Well, I don't enjoy working out. I do it because I have to, not because I want to, so it's a constant struggle. I can't walk for long periods of time, treadmills are completely out of the question. I don't jog and I don't do windows. The only cardio I do is the recumbent bike and that is soooooo boring! What good is doing exercises that you absolutely can't stand, and the ones you used to do (walking) have just been about eliminated. How do you handle that? I dare someone to answer and give me some good suggestions. - 10/23/2014 9:48:58 PM
  • 11. Hang with your friends.

    This one is dangerous! I like that they mentioned "friends with similar goals." If you're trying to be healthy by eating right and exercising, yet all your friends are constantly dining out and begging you to come watch movies/play games, then it is very hard not to cave under the peer pressure and return to your bad habits. No one wants to be left out or alienated from their friends over something like diet and exercise. - 10/22/2014 4:38:23 PM
  • There are so many good points here.
    Speaking of gadgets, I just got a great little scale to have on the table. My husband, who used to tease me about measuring food, loves the technical aspects of the scale and is disappointed when I am not measuring now.
    People I meet at my exercise classes are new friends and it is fun just to go to those classes.
    - 10/22/2014 1:08:51 PM
  • Good article. The word "diet" caused many great distress. There is the dictionary meaning of the word and then there is the connotation. Since the main focus of the article is making dieting fun, I read the word in it's connotative form. Life is far too short to be that serious. - 10/22/2014 12:24:25 PM
  • Your diet is the food you eat. If you don't have a diet, you'll starve to death. That's true.
    However, going on a diet, as mentioned in this article, often means restriction of certain foods for a period of time.
    I do not agree with the person who is saying all carbs are bad. If you believe that, than you don't realize how much fiber, potassium, folate, iron, vitamins, and all other good things are in a baked potato. - 10/22/2014 4:43:20 AM
  • TUCKEYCHICKEN
    I agree with most of this accept for the part that says don't diet. I have to diet or I will starve to death. What we need to do is use a dictionary and we will realize that the word diet doesn't just mean to restrict what you eat. The first definition of the word diet is: what a person or animal usually eats or drinks. So what we should do is start eating and drinking healthier. - 9/28/2014 6:08:16 PM
  • how true I haven't read all of this but I just love number three its SO TRUE. Stop obsessing about not doing the right thing and just do something, Walking is virtually free and so are calisthenics.All you need is the space and will power - 8/27/2014 9:45:30 PM
  • The article had a good point- treat yourself with kindness, and it was appreciated . But I have often gone overboard and find it difficult to find a balance. There is NEVER one treat for me, so I do well avoiding cookies.... - 8/23/2014 9:22:12 AM
  • FUTUREMRS7
    Good article! This was helpful!! - 8/22/2014 4:25:12 PM
  • Great article! - 8/22/2014 1:53:31 PM
  • I noticed that one of the references is Dweck's _Mindset_, which is an excellent study on how our thinking limits us, as stated at the start of the article. Changing our attitude toward food and exercise is the start to a lifestyle change toward health. I have read other studies that show that deprivation leads to excess. It's all mental. It'll take time and effort, though, to change the thinking about food and exercise, but it can be done by being conscious of our thoughts and attitudes. Journaling is great for this! It can bring to light what's hindering our progress toward health and lead toward change, but it does have to be a conscious act. - 8/22/2014 11:46:59 AM
  • EXCELLENT Article ! I TOTALLY agree ! This is what I've done over the past 2 years with SparkPeople and I've lost 40 pounds, lowered my cholesterol/trigl
    ycerides and blood pressure, and gotten HEALTHY ! Thank you SparkPeople ! I LOVE SP !

    - 8/22/2014 9:40:13 AM
  • Gotta disagree about the carbs. May be true of some people but not others. I tried the Atkins Diet, didn't lose a thing, and got so sick and dizzy that I had to give it up so that I could function at work. I have tried many diets through the years and found that the one that worked best for me was a high carb diet. Of course, the carbs were limited to vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, and I had to walk 3+ miles at least six days a week. I lost 65 pounds on that diet, was able to stick to it and maintain my weight loss in excellent health for five years, and never had an illness during that whole time. Foolishly, during a period of personal crisis, I let myself go and regained so I am now starting over. A high carb diet does not work unless paired with a faithful exercise. Also whole grains, as well as the fruit and vegetables, contain many antioxidants as well as the fiber, associated with cancer-prevention
    . It has been known for decades that people who eat whole grains have a lower incidence of cancer. So why don't nutritionists not come out en masse condemning carbs as unhealthy, because it just isn't true. It is the refined carbs that are unhealthy and nutritionists have risen en masse to condemn those. - 8/22/2014 9:38:47 AM
  • MMGAGE1701
    Eating carbohydrates of any kind raises your insulin levels. When your insulin is up, your fat stores are locked down and can't be used for fuel (which is why they exist in the first place). The truth is ALL carbs are bad. There are numerous scientific studies which demonstrate this while there's not ONE to demonstrate any benefit from them. I don't understand why "nutritionists" keep ignoring this. - 8/22/2014 8:20:10 AM
  • Great article! - 7/15/2014 8:25:33 PM

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