Are you a chronic yo-yo dieter? Have you tried every diet you’ve ever heard of, and never found one you can actually stick to long enough to reach your goal? Are you fed up with complicated rules, theories, and gimmicks that are “guaranteed” to solve your weight problems once and for all–but never do?
Well, I’ve got just the thing for you: a diet plan that you literally can’t fail at, even if you try.
If you’re starting to wonder at this point whether I’ve sold out to some well-financed new diet scam, good for you. That’s exactly how you should feel, because there is no such thing as a diet that can guarantee you the results you want.
But there IS a way to eat and exercise that will help you lose weight and get fit, without most of the problems, frustrations, complexities and difficulties that come with virtually every diet plan on the market. It’s a diet plan you can’t fail at because...well, it’s not really a diet plan at all. You don’t need to do anything special, and there's nothing that's right or wrong. All you need to do is to start eating and exercising today the way you’ll be eating and exercising once you’ve lost all the weight you need to lose.
In some ways, you could say this is an exercise in time travel, not dieting–you’ll just be jumping ahead into your own future, without all the trials and tribulations of going on a diet first.
If you’ve had problems with previous diets and weight loss efforts, you'll probably agree that the biggest problem is that these plans all involve ways of handling food and eating that just aren’t “normal” or natural. For one thing, they almost force you to become obsessive and compulsive about what you eat, way beyond a natural concern for meeting your own nutritional and health needs. You either have to become the equivalent of an expert with a Ph.D in nutrition and exercise science to figure out what, when, and how much you need to eat, or you can try to eat like a rabbit, hoping that drastically changing what you’ve been doing will somehow work. Neither of these is something most people can do for very long.
And then there are all those lovely mood swings, frustrations, and worries that plague everyone on a diet. It's being on a diet that makes you think you've "blown it" whenever you break one of your diet rules, and allows you to turn that into a rationalization for eating even more. It's being on a diet that makes you panic when the scale doesn't give you the number you want, and makes you feel like all your efforts are for nothing. It’s being on a diet that makes you feel uncomfortable around people who aren’t dieting, and causes you to wonder whether you can ever trust yourself around “normal” food at all.
But when you realize that what you're trying to do is to simply start eating and exercising now--the way you're going to be doing it from here on out--these things look a lot different. You don't need to do things perfectly every day to "stay on track," and it really doesn't matter if you eat a few calories more today and a few less on some other day--it’s not like you’ve got a deadine to meet or the world is going to end if it takes you an extra day or two to get to your goal. And you don't have to wait until you lose the weight to get on with your life. This IS the rest of your life, and all you have to do is the best you can to live according to your own values and goals--it's the process and the journey that matter, not the destination.
All you're really doing here is turning over the business of getting to your ideal weight to your body, which knows what to do, and taking the pressure off your mind, which often doesn't. If you can figure out roughly how much a person who weighs what you want to weigh needs to eat and exercise to maintain that weight, and start doing that today, your body will take care of everything else for you. It will use your stored body fat for the extra energy it needs until you get to the point where what you're eating is right for your body size and activity level. Then you'll shift into weight maintenance mode automatically.
Now, I'm not trying to say that making this mental leap into your own future is going to be real easy, or even simple. If you have quite a bit of weight to lose, you may need to set up some intermediate calorie intake goals instead of aiming for your final maintenance level right away, so you're not too hungry all the time. If you’re pretty out of shape, you may need to go slowly on getting yourself as active as you’ll want to be later on. If you've got medical issues that affect your metabolism or your dietary needs, or other limitations, you'll need to work with those. And even (or especially) if you've only got a little to lose, you're probably going to have to work hard on being patient with slower weight loss. There will always be plateaus and sticking points.
But all this is exactly the kind of work that really pays off in the long run, in terms of both reaching your goal and developing the skills it takes to create a satisfying lifestyle based on your own values, not someone else's standards and rules.
So, what do you think? Are you willing to ditch the diet mentality and try this approach?
Oh–almost forgot. I’ve been trying to think of a good name for this approach–have you got any suggestions?
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