By Gina Stallone and Miguel Villafane
“Diets don’t fail – people do.” This old adage couldn’t be more true. We have become very accustomed to having everything at our finger tips and having everything right away. However, when it comes to creating a healthier lifestyle, it takes time to figure out your individual needs and determine what will work best for YOU in the long run.
There is an abundance of misleading information on the internet. People want a quick fix so they will believe pretty much anything they read as long as it comes from a person who looks the part. Unfortunately, those people may not be a credible source. There is no quick fix. It took you many years to form these unhealthy habits…and in some cases it’s been an entire lifetime. Therefore, it’s important to understand that it will likely take time to develop long-lasting healthy habits.
The word diet itself tends to have negative connotations but it shouldn’t. People often equate the word “diet” with starvation or deprivation when, in fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The word diet refers to what you eat daily. This consists of your macronutrients (protein, carbs, fats) as well as micronutrients (vitamins & minerals). The quickest way to fail is to eliminate things you love. You will end up eating those things again at some point…only instead of a normal portion it will be a binge-fest. Don’t deprive yourself! Figure out ways to create healthier alternatives of your favorite foods. This will allow you to still eat the things you love…without realizing that it’s good for you!
You can go through a series of tests to determine what nutrients your body lacks and go from there or you can just start off simple. The average person wants to just lose a few pounds and/or get healthier…maybe feel better or more confident. Make small changes. This can be as simple as switching from white rice to brown. Start incorporating complex carbs over simple and aim to have a higher protein count above all. Meal prep to avoid the common excuse “I had no time” – we all have time for what we want. If you want to be healthier or lose weight, make the time even if it’s when the kids go to bed or during a nightly program. It could even mean preparing a little extra during your nightly dinner preparation. Little steps will equal big success in the long run and will help create healthy habits that last a lifetime.
Take some time to determine your motivation for this diet. Once you figure that out, you will see how easy it is to stick to it! That motivation will help keep you going if a slip-up happens or if you find yourself becoming discouraged. Surround yourself with supportive people. Having a genuine system around you will not only keep you accountable but help you reach your goals. The whole process can seem very intimidating but if you make it work for YOU and understand that NO diet is perfect just like no person is, things will seem a lot less scary.