People so often are looking for a quick fix, a crash diet, or a “magic pill” when wanting to lose weight. We often fail to realize that there is no healthy or long-term way to drop lbs quickly, just like no one gained all those lbs over night. Because the quick fix method is sought after far too often, lots of ideas, products, and plans are on the market that don’t work for long, or at all. I get that it makes it much easier to commit to something if it’s not hard, doesn’t affect your life very much, or gives you results right away. Think back to how many times you have committed to something like that? Now just imagine if the very first time, you had committed to a lifestyle change instead. Sure – it takes longer, requires effort and hard work, and is a full change in routine. But does it really take longer than starting and quitting lots of different things? Are healthy groceries really more expensive than dozens of different wraps, shakes, pills, and powders? Is the hard work you have to put in now HARDER than being uncomfortable in your own skin or feeling sluggish and sick daily? I encourage you to plan out a lifestyle change NOW. Don’t wait until a week before your vacation, wedding, graduation, etc. to crash diet – Go into this knowing that it will take time, and start now! And with that being said – 7 ways to change your lifestyle instead of committing to another crash diet.
1. Do not follow a completely restrictive meal plan. A lifestyle change is exactly what it sounds like. If you are following a plan that restricts you to eating 100% clean 100% of the time, YOU WILL NOT SUCCEED. And even if you could follow a plan like that, why would you want to? You can achieve goals by eating clean 80-90% of the time, and saving those other meals for treats or things you don’t want to give up completely.
2. Don’t have one last “binge”. There is no reason to go out and consume nothing but garbage for an entire weekend in preparation for a “fresh start”. If you are really looking for results and to make a change, why would you be tacking on an extra several pounds and putting your cravings into full effect in the final hours before attempting to make a complete 180? If you are following an 80% clean eating plan like mentioned above, you will still be able to consume some of your favorites regularly, so don’t try to cram them all into one unhealthy and uncomfortable weekend.
3. If it doesn’t involve a pretty major change in your life, it probably doesn’t work. With so many new products on the market, it’s easy to get caught up and believe that something magical will happen in 45 minutes. I get it, it’s human nature to believe that the easiest route WILL work. Before getting caught up in the hype, take an hour to think logically. Ask yourself HOW this product, pill, or diet would cause you to lose weight/get abs/be healthier. If the answer isn’t hard work and clean eating – it’s probably a scam. IE; if the fat “falls off”, does that mean it comes with a mop to get off the kitchen floor? No? That’s because the floor won’t need mopped. Keep your money and have a come to Jesus moment – you are going to have to work for this, it’s not going to be easy.
4. Make sure your plan is sustainable. Cleanses and detoxes are great (if they are natural and not filled with chemicals, or they aren’t starving you to death). However, what’s next? Our bodies are made to run by fuel, which equals FOOD. If you are planning a long term starvation diet or drinking most of your meals; you are not going to be functioning at your best, and this is simply unhealthy. Not to mention, why would you want to starve when you can be FULL and satisfied from real food? Be cautious of anything that offers you a quick solution from a pill, wrap, or liquid only diet. If you can’t do it for the foreseeable future, why rely on it now?
5. Educate yourself. Maimonides said “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” However you decide to start your new lifestyle, if you don’t invest the time to learn about nutrition, you will never be able to make an educated decision about your own body. While there are a lot of products, gyms, trainers, and coaches who are out to scam and offer a quick fix, there are also a lot of the above that really do assist you in your journey. You will never know which is which until you educate yourself, or until you’ve wasted time and money finding out the hard way. Never base your decision on what one person tells you. Listen to those you trust or believe in, and learn about the information they’ve given you. After that, if you still want to make this coach, product, or meal plan part of your new lifestyle, then go for it! I absolutely believe that there are a lot of people and products that will be highly beneficial to you – the key is finding the right one.
6. One size does not fit all. Just because something doesn’t work for a friend or neighbor, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. And vice versa. Keep in mind that we are all different; each and every person on this planet has a different set of DNA and also a different version of their story. A certain program might not have worked for a friend because she didn’t follow the meal plan completely, or because she has an undiagnosed thyroid issue. There are many reasons that people see or don’t see results, and we will never know all of them. So never believe a claim that one product works for everyone. Again, education is key.
7. Public opinion is worthless. With exercise and nutrition being all the craze, it is easy to get caught up in what’s on TV or what’s trending on Instagram. Lots of people have lots of opinions, all of which should be taken with a grain of salt. Most people speak before learning. Trust those who give their opinion when asked, instead of broadcasting it recklessly. Just because you have read something on Instagram doesn’t mean a product, program, workout does/doesn’t work. Imagine all the things or people you’ve prejudged before ever trying it or meeting them – and now think about how your opinion has changed about those things after trying them. You probably discovered you loved a few things you expected to hate, and hated a few things you were sure you’d love. Closed minds and open mouthes should not guide your choices. Choose a plan that’s right for you and your lifestyle, that’s what matters.
And most importantly, realize that when committing to a new, healthy lifestyle – there are no failures. Don’t give up or be discouraged – every day is a fresh start. Don’t define your worth by a number on a scale or the size on your tag. It’s a long, beautiful life – whatever allows you to live it feeling good, spreading love, and inspiring others simply must be right <3