I totally understand the overwhelming feeling of embarking on a new healthy lifestyle! People tend to make it sound like you'll just fall in love with it, and you'll be asking yourself why you didn't do it sooner.
What worked for me is asking a series of questions. For example, regarding foods, I'd ask myself "Can I eat this way for the rest of my life?" If the answer is "yes", then ask myself "is it healthy?" If the answer is "no", then I make adjustments. This prevents me from going crazy and giving up ALL sweets and ALL junk foods. As of the beginning of May, I chose to stop eating all white breads and starches. They were making my stomach hurt, and most of it is unhealthy anyway. While I'm only doing it for a month, just to see how my body reacts, I will at the end of the month ask myself "Can I do this for the rest of my life?" The answer of course is 'no', so instead of giving it up forever, I'm changing my definition of 'moderation' to mean once every couple months rather than a couple times a week or "as long as it fits into my calorie range".
As another poster said, use that obsession. Use it to plan meals and try new recipes. That way you're not constantly wondering all day what you're going to eat next. I've kind of got the meal planning down, and even though it's not perfect (I can usually only plan about 2 to 3 meals in advance before recognizing that I'm overwhelming myself) it has helped me not obsess over it. I guess it's because I feel secure in knowing the calorie count of meals I plan on eating, and knowing how they'll fit into my calorie allowance.
Small changes stack together to get big results. Rather than focusing on taking on a whole new lifestyle and expecting it to stick, I've been trying to work on building just a couple of new habits at a time. I started with making sure I was taking 10,000 steps a day. Then I made sure to log what I eat in the food tracker. Now I'm working on getting enough sleep. Making sure one habit sticks, then stacking on another one, doesn't seem quite so daunting. And when I have an off day with one habit, the others are so routine that I don't worry about everything collapsing. Good luck!
Fitness Minutes: (48,271)
5/16/13 10:19 A
You are on the right track: embracing lifestyle vs diet w/ have the best hope of yielding results, and more permanent results at that.
You mentioned you "eat healthy" 90% of the time and the other 10% is causing you to fail at weight loss. I think your answer lies in that sentence.
In my journey (and you w/ read this a lot on this site), losing weight is about 80-85% nutrition and 15-20% exercise. People can lose astonishing amounts of weight just by changing what they eat & being mindful of the portion sizes. Even w/ no exercise. However, your overall results and tone of the body w/ be more favorable w/ exercise, and if you want to be fit you'd of course include exercise in your plan.
So, that takes us back to the nutrition aspect. If you are eating healthy 90% of the time and still not losing weight, I'd focus on that 90% and not so much on the 10% (at least for now). What constitutes your healthy eating for that 90%? Therein lies the key, and that is why people suggest tracking.
I know for me, in past attempts, I *thought* I was eating healthy but my portions were way out of whack. Or I'd eat things that appeared healthy on the surface (example: high fat, sugar & calorie dense granola or sugared / flavored yogurt) but in reality were not. I also was not a huge vegetable fan at all....could go weeks or months w/out 'em! Fruit was okay, but it was just so much easier to grab a packaged something and not bother w/ even the minor prep of healthier options like fruit.
I lurked on this site for months, soaking in the wisdom of those who had traveled successfully before me...what did they seem to know that I obviously did not? What did I seem to hear again & again, over & over?
Probably the biggest thing was 6-9 servings of fruit & veggies. ATOMICS, once I finally decided to just try that for a week, I was hooked. The weight started flying off unlike any time I tried before. My skin & hair got better and I got colds less often. It was like I tapped into a secret, even though it was right before me all these years.
With this new found tool, I vowed never to "diet" again. Never to eat boring or what I considered sad diet food. I'll give you an example: some people love plain carrot sticks. Not me. I always get hungry after eating them, and bare naked carrot sticks or celery sticks smack of sad diet fare to me. So I don't eat 'em!! If I do have celery, you better believe it has some almond butter on it or some lite cream chipotle cream cheese. Find what you like that will work for YOU. Look at this like a challenge; a game. Have fun with it and learn new ways to prepare things.
You say you can obsess? Work with that and not against it! Meaning, use that drive to focus on new ways to prepare your old favorite recipes. Try new spices (visit a spice store if one is in your area - they are marvelous). Another example: I love chocolate. No way will I last in this journey if I deprive myself - that's part of the silly all-or-nothing thinking that never, ever works and just drives people bonkers. Instead, I figured out healthier but equally yummy ways to include it and enjoy it.
I always say: while we all will face some challenging times, if you are miserable more than not, you're doing it wrong! Work on finding ways to make this work without being miserable and you will succeed.
Other examples: some people rely on weighing themselves w/ a scale to monitor their progress. I haven't set foot on a scale except at the very beginning to get a calorie range from Spark. I know me, and I will get too caught up in the drama so who needs that? Seeing clothing sizes drop and then gaging how they fit works fine for me.
Also, I can mindlessly snack w/ the best of them. Especially in times of stress. Rather than work against myself w/ that tendency, I work with myself by having a prepared bag of over a pound of sliced veggies ready to go. I give myself permission to mindlessly eat that. So when I'm stressed, it's a win-win: I get to chow down & the veggies quotient gets met. Bingo.
You're on the right track; keep experimenting. Study the success pages...check out the recipes and the motivational pages...soak it all in and keep one foot in front of the other. Don't try to fit a square peg in a round hole. Find what resonates to YOU.
This is all good advice.....Keep at it...One day at a time, one step at a time...Keep reading on this website...Keep sparking, keep tracking, keep exercising....Keep on and don't give upI It takes time for the good habits to kick in....If you give up too easily....you will be right back where you started...and may even gain weight....So hang in there...be patient.....your success will arrive! You are on your way to a longer, healthier life due to your lifestyle change!
Fitness Minutes: (300,953)
5/15/13 5:52 A
I give all new members one piece of advice and it's this,"Don't look at good health or weight loss with an all or nothing mentality". If the only healthy thing you did for yourself today was drink 8 glasses of water, that's still a step in the right direction.
Stop trying to be perfect. You don't have to be perfect to be healthy and you certainly don't have to eat right 100% of the time either. Think moderation, not deprivation. You don't have to deprive yourself of foods you enjoy, but you do have to be mindful of that portion size. And that's the real Holy Grail of weight loss. It isn't just about eating right all the time, it's about being MINDFUL.
Remember, you're trying to change habits learned over a life time. that's not going to happen overnight, a week, a month or even a year. Change takes time, thus the need to be patient with yourself and your body. This is why Spark People encourages its members to start with simple changes first. Don't try to do everything at once or you will end up frustrated.
Lose the "all or nothing" mentality. If you can do that, you will start to change the dieting mentality. Like I said, you don't have to be perfect to be healthy.
Think progress, not perfection.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
55 5/15/13 4:26 A
Begin by focussing on the things you are trying to eat more of and let the healthy choices continue displacing the less-healthy ones over time.
It sounds like you're already doing that, just not progressing as fast as you would like to along that path.
Ultimately, I think the difference between a "diet" and a "lifestyle change" is that the latter is a slower process - you need to stay on the case, but be kind to yourself.
Fitness Minutes: (36,342)
2,545 5/14/13 10:19 P
Its hard to change the mind set. It takes a while for it to become habit.
A couple of thoughts..If tracking your food is stressful maybe use the tracker as a meal planning tool. So use it before eating instead of after.
Think about why you want to be healthier. How do you want to feel when you are 50? 60? 70? Are you ? Diabetes?
Think about how you feel when you eat healthy. I feel good. When I eat junk I feel slow asnd sluggish and ick.
Think about how good you feel when you exercise and how slow you feel when you don't.
Remind your self that being healthy is worth the effort.
And sometimes...when all else fails....FAKE IT!
Fake it till you make it! Talk healthy, shop healthy, read healthy articles etc and you will get there.
5/14/13 10:09 P
I've heard it over and over again...don't think of it as a diet, think of it as a lifestyle change. I'm just having trouble changing my mindset. I eat healthy most of the time...it's just that 10% of the time that is causing me to fail at weight loss. Seems tracking my food is a good thing. However, I find that anytime I track my food, I become more food obsessed which then leads to more feelings of deprivation. I really wish I could see this as a lifestyle change, but I'm having trouble figuring out how. I know what I'm supposed to do. I'm just having trouble following through! Any help is appreciated :)