"Diet" vs "Lifestyle Change"
The word "diet" implies at some point the diet will be over, resulting in weight gain if old habits are taken up again. Instead of looking at "dieting," consider healthy changes in your eating to be "lifestyle changes. These "lifestyle changes" and new attitudes should not be too restrictive. When combined with a new attitude, exercise, behavior modification, social support and a maintenance plan, these changes produce a life plan of sensible eating that allows for periodic indulgences. These indulgences should not be considered large binges, which offset all the healthy changes one is accomplishing. Over time, these guidelines can become a natural part of a new permanent eating pattern and total lifestyle.
Think Safety First
Take a close look at your present eating habits. How safe are you? Are you eating sensibly? Are your goals sensible?
- Does it provide balance and variety to ensure adequate nutrient intake (all of the food groups with the recommended number of servings)?
- Does it provide a safe level of calories (not less than 1200 calories/day; target weight loss of no more than two pounds/week)?
- Does it include common foods that are readily available, rather than special and often expensive pills and formulas?
- Does it incorporate regular exercise and activity?
Any change requires effort and motivation. Enlist the support of others. There are many exciting food products on the market today and plenty of activities from which to select. Choose a plan that works for you, is safe and can become a life-long habit.