Whether you’re just thinking about making a lifestyle change, or you’re in the thick of a weight loss plan, there are endless reasons to either begin or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Before I get into the specifics, there is a keyword that I’ve already mentioned that is absolutely key to one’s success in their fitness goals.
That word is “lifestyle”. Notice the word “diet” was not mentioned. In my view, a diet represents a short-term change that lacks any real long-term success or commitment. A “diet” often reflects a food plan that is very difficult to maintain, and often one that isn’t even healthy to begin in the first place.
What I’m talking about is a LIFESTYLE change. A lifestyle is how you live on a day-to-day basis over a number of YEARS. It is a long-term pattern of how you eat, sleep and live. Diets, and particularly “crash diets” do more harm than good. While they may provide quick short term results, they are counter-productive to your body’s overall health. Why you ask?
Think of your body like a furnace. You need to supply food to this furnace so it can produce the energy and nutrients that you need. Crash diets deny this fuel to your body by shocking it into receiving a small fraction of what is normally receives. Yes, it is true that if your goal is to lose fat then you need to lower your daily caloric intake. However, doing it all all at once shocks your system, actually lowering your metabolism.
So while, yes you will lose weight, crash diets are not sustainable and provide no long term benefits to your body. Even worse, when you come off of the diet and attempt to go back to a normal eating schedule, your metabolism has been slowed down dramatically, and you will likely gain a significant amount of weight back and in some cases even more that where you started.
A lifestyle change is a long-term sustainable plan. When it comes to fitness, this is not an easy change to make. This means you make the decision to completely alter the way that you are living, eating and exercising. The key word in that sentence is DECISION. Once you make that decision, find a supportive friend to workout with. This keeps you accountable. Studies also show that you are much more likely to succeed if you have someone that you need to be accountable to. If you don’t have a friend that would be interested, there are a bunch of support groups online that you can keep in contact with.
This will allow you to share progress, ask advice and help to keep you motivated. Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Remember, you see yourself everyday in the mirror so you’re not going to wake up one morning and see that 6-pack. My recommendation is to take 1 picture of yourself per week and follow your progress that way.
Stay away from diets and quick fixes.. Make that DECISION today to live healthier. Find what keeps you motivated and work with others to keep you on track.