Bite it with Britt column: Turn dieting into lifestyle changes
Bite it with Britt
Let’s be real. If it’s a “diet,” you’ll only do it for the length of the diet and then quit when it’s over. This is not working. You must make proper eating and exercise into a full-time habit. Full-time habits turn into a lifestyle.
The yo-yo dieting and exercising is not only hurting your body, it’s hurting your psyche because you just can’t make it part of your life. To make something part of your life, you have to practice often and keep it consistent.
Diets don’t work because we don’t use them properly. Maybe the “diet” is a chance to start a positive behavior change that becomes and good habit. We use diets differently. We think of them as a short-term punishment that we must do to look good on vacation. Once it’s over we can go back to our bad behavior, until the next vacation.
Any diet that sticks to certain basic criteria (whole foods, lots of veggies, organic foods, etc.) is a good place to start building a healthier lifestyle. Evidence proves that humans can thrive on many different sources of food, and there is no one single way for everyone.
Here are some tips to turn a “diet” into a lifestyle:
Stick it out: You must stick out the diet long enough. Many people give up too early because they make it too hard on themselves. Everyone’s habit breaking/making time is different. Find yours and commit to it.
Change slowly: Don’t make too many changes too quickly. Minimize stress by slowly eliminating one bad diet and exercise behavior at a time. Add small changes like slowly introducing whole foods and eliminating processed foods. The more processed food you can eliminate, the healthier you will become.
Hydrate: Increase your water intake. Most of us are chronically dehydrated. Your body can’t make any new energy without adequate water. Drink water throughout meals and any time that you feel like you need an energy kick.
Patience and flexibility: Not everything is going to work. You must experiment with all diet variables. It takes a long time to get out of shape, so cut yourself a little slack. Don’t let any short-term disappointment keep you from giving up.
Avoid fad diets: If it looks too weird and extreme for you, it probably is. Remember that a diet becomes a lifestyle only if it is sustainable and realistic.
Brittney Glock is a performance fitness nutrition specialist and personal trainer at Midland Fitness. Her expertise in women’s fitness and nutrition is based on years of living a healthy lifestyle as a working mother of three. Contact Britt at 945-4440.