We all know or most of us know that diets don't work. Oh yah, for the short term we may see some results, but for the long term, they just aren't sustainable and hence the weight comes back. So why do we continually look for the easy way of losing weight, for the next fad diet that promises results that have never been attained before??
Some like the rigidity that a diet demands - you can only have this, you can't have that, 'good' foods vs. 'bad' foods, measurements are required, etc., rigidity, rigidity, rigidity ... but despite all the rigidity and rule-following most dieters (stats say 95% or more) put their weight back on. And then there are the diets that say they aren't diets at all, but...they are. Yet so many of us still cling to the diet mentality.
Lynda Cohen, a dietition, lost 20 kgs. (44.1 lbs.) not by dieting but by following lifestyle habits. 'Habits' - I like that - sounds so much more appealing than 'changes'. She recommends incorporating the following - simple, easy, and basic, healthy eating and lifestyle tips that will get you to your goal and help you stay there.
Now this is quite the list (33 in fact) and all may not fit your lifestyle. That's OK, just pick what works for you and don't overdo trying to take on more than you can handle. Start with a few and then you can build on that base.
1. Aim to get 10,000 steps each day. Download an app or get a fitness tracker.
2. Cook at home one additional night each week. Schedule it in your diary.
3. When you make vegetables, make twice as much for a healthy lunch the next day.
4. When eating a meal, start with your vegetables first.
5. Buy a large water bottle and keep it on your desk or in your bag.
6. Halve the amount of sugar in your coffee or tea.
7. Aim to eat two pieces of fruit every day. No fruit is off-limits.
8. Eat when you are hungry - not by the clock.
9. Before bed, think of three things to be grateful for.
10. Sign up for enjoyable exercise - whether it’s yoga, dancing or a team sport. If you enjoy cardio - great! Move because it makes your body feel good, not to lose weight.
11. Embrace a meat-free meal once a week (like meat-free Monday).
12. Reduce aimless social media or email checking by deleting apps off your phone that don’t serve you.
13. Stop weighing yourself. Focus on how you feel instead.
14. Make an appointment with a counsellor or psychologist.
15. Swap catching up friends over coffee or cocktails for a walk.
16. Fill your shopping trolley with 50% veg and fruit (and you will eat 50 per cent veg and fruit!)
17. Stop eating in front of the TV.
18. Buy one new healthy ingredient each week that is outside of your comfort zone and Google a recipe.
19. Swap soft drink for water.
20. Get to sleep 30 minutes earlier.
21. Always order a side salad and veg when eating out.
22. Find reasons to walk. Walk to buy your groceries, get off the bus a few stops earlier, or for 20 minutes on your lunch break.
23. Start a herb/veggie garden, and be inspired to cook more.
24. Unsubscribe from social media accounts or websites that make you feel bad about yourself. Unfollow people who make you feel unworthy.
25. Eat seasonally by buying 'local' and looking for cheap produce.
26. Don't keep treat food in the house 'in case'. Buy purposefully instead.
27. Schedule time for you. Turn off technology. Don't make any appointments. Don't compromise.
28. Eat one cup of legumes eat week. Start by buying a tin of chickpeas, lentil or another bean you like, and throw into a salad or soup.
29. Order your favourite foods with friends and family rather than feeling the need to eat them in private.
30. Eat the rainbow and focus on filling up on the good stuff.
31. Invest in a standing desk or set a reminder on your computer to stand up and walk around every couple of hours.
32. Add one more serve of greens to your dinner plate.
33. Don't say nasty things about other people’s bodies. And don't say nasty things about your own body to yourself – or anyone else.
Yes, all simple, easy, basic, healthy eating and healthy lifestyle tips that are doable and most importantly sustainable.
"We first make our habits, then our habits make us." ~John Dryden