One of the common themes that you’ll hear from the most successful weight loss advocates is that you need to be able to create a brand new lifestyle for yourself, rather than going on a diet. Weight loss isn’t about temporarily starving yourself or beating up your body with exercise so that you can get skinny, only to pack back on the pounds. Weight loss is about changing your life, in many different ways, so as to be more healthy overall, live longer, be happier and, of course, lose weight as well.
Here are some principles you need to keep in mind if you intend to live the weight loss lifestyle:
- Fix your food attitude. Food is fuel for our bodies, first and foremost. You need to break out of the mindset that food can comfort you, or that you need to overindulge in order to enjoy a meal. It is possible, believe it or not, to celebrate good food and good tastes in moderation. For example, a slice of your favorite coconut creme pie might be 500 calories. A small sliver, however, might be 150 calories. You need to get out of the mindset that with food bigger is better, because it isn’t. You can enjoy quality without quantity.
- Exercise is imperative. You need physical activity to be healthy. Forgetting weight loss for a moment, remember that exercise helps your overall health in a number of ways, from stress reduction to lowering your risk for heart disease. On top of that, exercise is the best way to lose weight. You can only cut so many calories out of your diet when you’re trying to lose weight, but you can burn off many more calories by spending time in exercise.
- Practice smart maintenance habits. Once you’ve hit your goal weight, you need to bump your caloric intake up enough to stop losing weight and maintain. You may be able to reduce your exercise regimen. However, if you totally let go of your good eating habits or if you stop working out, you’re causing yourself huge problems in the long run. Studies have shown that the yo-yo weight loss and gain cycle is unhealthy, and may be even more unhealthy than just being overweight.
In the end, your weight loss lifestyle depends on you making some attitude changes, developing habits that are healthier, and determining that you’re going to stick with the positive changes that you have made in your life.