Ha! Sustainable Dieting. That sounds like an oxymoron! Dieting at its essence is restricting how much or what you eat. But limiting your food can send you into scarcity thinking…I won't have enough food! I'll starve! Not to mention, once you've restricted food, all you can think about is eating the food you’ve restricted. All this can lead to binge eating and cheating. Which makes you feel like a failure and returns you to your old way of eating...at least until you’ve recovered the will to change your eating again. This is not a sustainable way to eat or live.
So what is "sustainable dieting"? It's lifestyle changes. I know. Lifestyle changes sound way more overwhelming than dieting. Dieting usually implies (or results in) short-term restrictions, which seem way easier to achieve. Committing to giving up soft drinks for a month sounds totally doable, until 3 pm on day 3 of the soft drink cleanse. But if there is no intention of keeping the weight off or the sugar/cholesterol/blood pressure low, what's the point in dieting?
It is important when making any change to reflect on your "Why?". Why do you want to lose weight? If the answer is for a wedding or class reunion or some other event, ask yourself "Why?" again. If you're not happy with your weight now, will you be happy with your weight two months after the event? Figure out your why you want to change. Let that Why ground and guide your change.
Other ideas to help with your journey:
Ease into it with little changes. Trying to change too much too fast will likely lead to failure. Make a change you know you can do. For example:
Instead of eating chips out of the bag, try putting a handful in a bowl and eating out of the bowl.
Instead of drinking a 20oz bottle of a soft drink, drink a 12oz bottle of the soft drink and a 12oz bottle of water.
Instead of running 5 miles everyday (when you're not running any miles now), try walking 1 mile.
Build on your success. Once you feel as if the small change is no longer a change, it's just how you roll, make more little changes.
Set yourself up for success:
Quit buying chips and soft drinks. You can't eat chips right out of the bag if there is no bag of chips in the pantry.Plan your meals/snacks. It is hard to make a good-for-you choice when you're hangry.Keep your running shoes by the door. Then you don't have to go "all the way" upstairs to get your shoes to go for a walk/run.
Enlist a friend. Having the support of someone with like goals to talk to, exercise with, eat lunch with, etc. is invaluable.
What little changes can you make now to start your lifestyle changing journey? Let me know below or firstname.lastname@example.org.