Honestly, how happy are you with your current diet?

Sometimes we have to slow down a bit and actually assess what we’re doing and see if it’s working for us. This can be hard to do because we may not always like the answers we find, particularly when it comes to our diet. What if we determine what we’re doing isn’t working for us? That we aren’t at a healthy weight. That we don’t feel good. That our current diet makes us miserable. If we decide somethings not working, that means we may have to do something to change it. We may have to try something new and trying new things can be a bit scary and feel pretty overwhelming. What should I do? How do I start? What if it doesn’t work? What if I FAIL AGAIN.

First of all, you’re not failing! You’re learning what diets don’t work for you!

I hear people say all the time that they’re going back to Weight Watchers or Atkins or the Zone diet because “it worked for me in the past”. But let’s be honest, if we try something and it “worked for us in the past”, we’d still be doing it. If it worked, we’d still be at a healthy weight. If it worked, we wouldn’t have to worry about going on a diet again. But just because it didn’t really work for us in the long term, that doesn’t mean we failed. It just means that particular  diet didn’t work for us and for our lifestyle. And that’s the key. Finding what works for you and for your lifestyle. 

Because  “diets” don’t work.

diets don't work

Making small changes toward better health that we can stick with during our real lives works.

Diets have a start date and usually an end date (we achieve weight loss or we give up because the diet sucks!). It’s the end date that makes diets unsuccessful. Because what happens after the end date?  We go back to our  “normal life” and the weight comes back or the health risks come back. So we don’t need another diet. We need another “normal”. 

Accepting some realities (hint – diets don’t work)!

Because people have a hard time sticking with a particular diet for the long-haul, even if they experience some short term success, I get asked a lot about what diets are best for weight loss, for health, for cholesterol, for pain, for allergies, for immune function – you get the picture. And hopefully you’re seeing that the picture is pretty complex and will be different for every individual.

That’s why there is no “best diet” that applies to everyone. There are some common principles that can apply to all of us but there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

That’s hard for a lot of us to accept because one-size-fits-all is way easier to grasp. But remember – the one-size-fits-all doesn’t work! And just because figuring out the way that’s going to work for each of us an individual is not simple, it doesn’t mean that’s it’s hard or that we can’t make some profound changes through some pretty small changes.

There is no one-size-fits-all diet

Moving on to your reality – a way of healthy eating that works for you and your life!

 

Step 1

Take stock of what you’re currently doing and seeing if you’re where you want to be. Are you at a healthy weight? Are you feeling good? Are you happy? Are your health risks low?  If so – that’s frigging fantastic! You’ve found what works best for you so stick with it! If something changes down the line, revisit the following steps to reassess.

Most of us have a little something going on, though. Things that can be greatly affected by what you  eat include your weight and diabetes risk;  your blood pressure cardiovascular or stroke risk;  pain and inflammation, including things like arthritis and joint pain;  GI issues like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, IBS, leaky-gut, acid-reflux, GERD, gallstones, kidney stones, food intolerances or allergies, and stomach pains; skin problems such as psoriasis, acne, and eczema; neurological issues like memory loss, brain fog, sleeping problems, depression, and anxiety;  and a whole host of other not-so-desirable things!

If we take stock and our health and happiness aren’t where we want them to be, move on to step 2.

Step 2

Promising ourselves not to go on another “diet” plan that doesn’t work for us now AND in the future.

Step 3

Make some small changes each week that we know we’re confident we can stick with – that’s the key! The change should be something we KNOW we can stick with for the week (and beyond!!). And the change should be one that move us toward a healthier way of eating and happier way of life :)

Step 4

Your new normal. A way of living that makes you feel better, feel happier, and feel confident that your making choices you can sustain for the long haul.

Happy - courtesy of healthysouthshore.com

Now I know if I leave it here some people will be mad at me for not giving specific guidelines. But I promise that there is a lot more to come in the way of some of the small steps we can all take toward better health and happiness, so stay tuned!

But I won’t leave you totally hanging until the next post. I did say earlier that there are a few basic principles we can call follow to eat better in our daily lives. Not a diet plan, mind you, just ways of assessing our food options and choosing foods that offer us the most in the way of nourishing our minds, bodies and spirits.

And it’s simple.

Eat Real Food

 

My next post will go over what this means to me and hopefully give you some ways to use some simple principles to eat a bit healthier and feel a bit better!

In the interim, if you want some small change ideas or would like me to send you a new one on a regular basis, just let me know! Leave a comment, send me an email, or hit me up on facebook!

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2 Responses to "How’s Your Diet Working Out For You?"

  1. Small changes that you know you can make is the way to go. There is a lot of science behind this strategy. Ones confidence in their ability to make the changes they set out to make pretty much predicts their success. It is also important to frame these statements we make to ourself in affirmative, present tense declarations. Rather than telling ourselves what we won’t do in the future (“I will not eat sweets”) it is important to say what we are doing (“I am choosing to avoid sweets”). As complex as our brains are, they do not detect negatives words like “not”, “don’t”, and “no”. “Don’t eat sweets” gets interpreted as, “eat sweets” in our inner self-dialogue.

    • Small changes are so powerful and will result in profound long-term results. I will be writing more on self-talk in future posts, too. It is one of the topics we have been discussing in my Applied Sport Psychology class and there are some great tools people can use to not only eat healthier but to also take other actions that will result in happier, healthier lives! Thanks for the comments and the input!

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