How many diets have you tried? How many diets have you given up on? They always promise quick results if you stick with their plan, but how long can you really stick to their plans? There are so many reasons that all those diets don’t work, but the biggest one is that they don’t fit into the real world.
- The recipes or prepackaged meals are designed to feed one person, but you need to feed two/four/six.
- Your kids/significant other/you don’t like these new, “healthy” foods.
- You can’t find the required foods at your regular grocery store.
- The rest of the world refuses to revolve around what and when you are supposed to eat.
The diet and weight loss industry is so successful because they’ve convinced you that you are the reason their program didn’t work. You didn’t lose the weight because you didn’t follow the rules. But look! Here’s a diet that is so much better/easier/faster than the last one! It’s an endless cycle and they are the only ones who win.
But what if you could be the one who wins? And what if you could win without depriving yourself of your favorite foods and last minute taco nights?
You can win!
You do not have to follow some ridiculous diet to lose weight. In fact, you will probably be healthier if you don’t!
I’ve tried all the fad diets and failed at all the fad diets. My weight has gone up and down and up again more times than I can count. I’ve even walked along the edge of eating disorders trying to get to the size I want. Last year, I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic due to my weight. (I know this does not sound like winning…I’m getting there!)
I’ve known for years that my weight was a challenge, but it really hit home when my doctor told me how it was affecting my health. I realized that everything I was trying wasn’t working and I had to find a sustainable way to lose weight and be healthy. I am very happy to report that I have already lost 24 pounds since the beginning of the year and I feel better than ever.
Here are the three big rules I’ve used to get fit.
1. Restaurants are special treats
I had a really bad habit of having food delivered or going through the drive thru on the way home from work. It was so much easier than figuring out what to cook, going to the store, cleaning the kitchen, etc. The problem is, by choosing restaurant food, I was choosing to give up control of what I was putting into my body.
In 2013, Drexel University studied the menus of 21 different restaurants. They found that the average restaurant meal provides 75% of an adult’s energy needs for the day, not to mention all the extra sodium and saturated fat (over 140% of the recommendation for both). In contrast, Johns Hopkins has found that people who usually cook at home consume fewer calories, less sugar, and less fat, even when they go out to eat!
What will your restaurant rule be? My rule is that I only eat at restaurants or order food from restaurants if I will be eating with other people. By limiting restaurant meals to special time with family and friends, I have gained a lot more control over what I eat (and am saving a ton of money).
2. Don’t think too hard
Menu planning is one of the most daunting tasks ever. There is an endless supply of possible things to make. And how am I supposed to decide on Saturday what I’m going to want for dinner on Friday?! This task alone has thwarted my attempts to eat better so many times.
Why not let someone else decide what’s for dinner? There are hundreds (probably millions) of food blogs out there, and a lot of them are all about easy to cook, quick to cook, and/or healthy to cook! Find one or two that appeal to you and let them tell you what to make for dinner! (Check out this post for some suggestions!)
I use the Skinnytaste blog for most of my meal planning. It provides tons of healthy and balanced recipes that are super tasty and even has more than a year’s worth of weekly dinner plans! When it’s time to plan dinner and I’m not craving anything specific, I just go to the site and make the first recipe that pops up. Not only does it make it a lot easier to decide what to make for dinner, but I’ve also discovered fantastic recipes that I would have been too intimidated to make otherwise.
3. Get moving!
Come on…you knew this was coming!
Eating better will do a lot of the work for you, but working your body will help you see the results a lot faster. You don’t have to run a marathon. Just move more. Check out this post for tips on finding a good workout for you!
If you decide that walking or running is your thing, I recommend the Running for Weight Loss app. It has walking and running plans built in for every level and takes away the stress of figuring out how long/far/fast you should go next. They also have apps for walking, cycling, and strength training.
It is possible to make a healthy lifestyle fit into your real life! Just take one step at a time and you’ll start seeing a change before you know it! Leave a comment to let me know what your first step is going to be!