Diets don’t work, but we keep trying them because we want to look and feel better. It’s time to ditch the diet and get started on real health!
Now that January has come and gone, have you succeeded with sticking to your new year’s resolutions? Every New Year, millions of people place high expectations on themselves, and they dive into those expectations full force. They try to go to the gym seven days a week and do cardio for two hours with a newly adopted no carb, sugar free diet, hoping to lose ten pounds in two weeks. Is it no wonder we fail to stick to our diets? Staying true to your New Year’s resolutions is not always so easy when you place unrealistic expectations on yourself. With so many diets out there from Atkins, Zone, GI (Glycemic Index) Weight Watchers, Blood type, Paleo, it’s no wonder we are all so confused. However, most diets do not work, and eating too little food by restricting calorie intake is not the best way to help you lose weight, especially in the long run.
Instead, keep it real and ditch the diet. Think healthy and be realistic. You don’t have to jump into a Paleo or raw food diet cold turkey. Making gradual changes overtime may prove to be more beneficial and one may likely stick to the changes. Here are some tips on how to ditch the diet and get back on track with ease.
A simple and very realistic routine is to drink water every day first thing in the morning. Within minutes of waking up drink a glass of water first. You have been sleeping for seven to eight hours and have had no water. Even though you may not feel thirsty, your body is probably dehydrated. Drinking water in the morning can boost your metabolic rate. With a little bit of lemon or lime, it can add some cleansing benefits to boot! Drinking water throughout the day can also help with weight control. Often times, we mistake being hungry with being thirsty. Water is your best friend. Drink a nice tall glass of water before you turn to food. You may realize you were not hungry after all.
Take inventory, look in your fridge and cupboards and take a look at what you have. Get rid of all packaged and processed foods. If junk food is what you have in your house then junk food is what you’re going to eat. I tend to have a sweet tooth and so I have a “no sugar” rule in my house. If I feel a craving coming on and I want to satisfy that craving then I will need to leave the house and figure out where I am going to go to satisfy that craving. As such, I have to work a little harder to satisfy my sweet tooth. In the end I usually don’t bother. If the food was already in the house then it would be more readily available. Best thing you can do is clean all the junk out of your kitchen and restock it with healthy, wholesome, nourishing foods.
Regardless of how many diets are out there, the easiest thing you can do is just to stick to eating real foods. Real foods consist of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and other unprocessed fats. If you are not a vegetarian or vegan, then it can include some wild fish, lean meats and eggs, preferably organic and free-range. Keep your diet varied so it includes all the nutrients that your body recognizes and knows how to digest. Here’s the easiest way to know if your food is real or not. Real food doesn’t come in a box!
Include more raw foods in your diet. They are high in vitamins and minerals and have live enzymes that make it easier for your body to digest. Salads may be the most common way to include more raw foods into your daily diet. Adding fresh smoothies and fresh juices is another way you can incorporate more raw foods. Eating more raw foods is a great way to help you lose weight and have more energy.
Eat more green, specifically leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables. Loading your plate with leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables can help keep you satisfied longer. They are high in fiber and are very nutrient dense. They are low in calories yet high in vitamins and minerals that our body needs. Furthermore, greens are also high in phytochemicals and carotenoids that help protect us against cancer. Here’s an easy tip, fill your plate with greens, eat them first, and then see if you have room for more food.
Kick the can
Quit the soda. Sodas are absolutely loaded with sugar, fructose corn syrup, or aspartame. People mistake diet soda to being a better alternative. Unfortunately diet sodas have artificial sweeteners such as aspartame that contain chemicals that are potentially toxic to the brain and nervous system. Regardless, diet sodas do not aid in weight loss and may still spike insulin levels keeping that belly fat hanging around longer than you would like.
Move that body smarter not longer. Many believe that doing long cardio sessions is the way to lose weight and stay fit. But doing excessive amounts of cardio may not always be the answer. Actually too much cardio can lead to an increase in hunger and can raise your cortisol levels due to repetitive training stress. Instead of long cardio sessions try interval training. With interval training you are working harder not longer. Strength training also has amazing benefits it is important that you add that to the mix.
Lose your unrealistic expectations and set realistic goals for yourself. If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, stop trying to figure it all out and get some help. Hire a coach, nutritionist, or personal trainer to help you get started on the right track.
You do not have to go wild and incorporate all these tips at once. You can take your time and go at a pace that is right for you: one per week, one per month, or whenever you feel ready. Start to know thy self. Find what works best for you. Everybody is unique and has different metabolic needs, and preferences. Adding simple changes overtime can outweigh any crash diet. Focusing on lifestyle changes will have a more positive outcome for you in the end.