Should you Change your Diet Habits?
What are the differences in the diet habits of
people who are close to their ideal weight and those who need to lose more than
20 pounds? Clearly, those who are within 10-15 pounds of their
ideal weight are doing a lot of things right, and perhaps just need to get to
adjust a few things about their diet or exercise routine. Those who are at (or
are close to) their ideal weight are practicing a lifestyle, or a series of
routines that keeps them from gaining extra weight. The difference between
"dieting" and developing a new lifestyle is huge - but it's the step that people
who want to reach their desirable weight must
"Do" or Diet?
There is a lifestyle associated with healthy or desirable body
weight. Regardless of age, sex, body differences, and any other factors like
work, school, stress, and personal relationships, people who maintain a healthy
body weight have very similar habits. They don't "diet" in the traditional
sense. They just "do"- they tend to eat the right amount of food for their body
weight, and the foods they choose tend to be lower in fat and calories. If
"dieting" is what people do to lose weight, why don't people who are at their
goal weight have to diet? The answer ...
...Diets don't work
Most diets are designed to be a temporary fix - a means to an
end instead of a true answer to preventing weight gain. Diet pills, formulas,
rigid diets that eliminate or reduce certain foods, or require the purchase of
packaged meals work only in the short term because that is what they are
designed for. No one can realistically expect to stay on such diets
indefinitely. So, once the "diet" is over, the weight returns.
Compare this to what people who have
maintained a healthy body weight do. They tend to eat normal food.
They don't eliminate or drastically reduce carbohydrates
(like many diets do), and they aren't consuming large amounts of animal fat,
meat, and dairy products like the popular low carbohydrate, high fat diets
propose. People around the world have been able to maintain healthy body weights
by eating a variety of real foods, not diet foods, and they don't have to take
special supplements, pills, or packaged foods to do this.
people who are at or near their desirable
body weight are not spending their whole day at the gym.
Instead, most people are moving more
throughout the day than their overweight counterparts. They walk instead of
ride, stand instead of sit, take the stairs instead of elevators, and enjoy
physical activities as hobbies. These are everyday habits, and not extreme. The
habits that lead to healthy body weight are not all that drastic!
Compare to Weight Loss That Does Work...
A good diet plan will help you lose weight AND maintain it. That requires
that the plan itself be one that helps you develop new habits - those universal
habits of people who are successful at maintaining a healthy body weight for
There are some very distinct habits of overweight people. These habits are
practiced over time, leading to weight gain. Some of the most common weight gain
Eating without being hungry (using food as a substitute
for other things, emotions, etc,)
Choosing dense, calorie rich foods
Eating beyond a sense of comfortable fullness
Spending more time being sedentary than moving
Chances are, the more "weight gain" habits a
person has and the longer they have been practiced, the more overweight the
person is. Think about your "weight gain" habits and how often you practice
them. The habits that lead to good weight maintenance are also developed
gradually - they take practice, too.
Any diet that promises...
to "melt fat away" or instant results without effort is missing the vital
component of habit change. It won't work in the long run, and is a waste of your
precious time and investment. (This includes most weight loss programs!)
Keep it simple, and make changes that you can agree to fit into your life
right now and make them your new habits.