By: Rick Bellanti – May, 2018
Did you know there are many diets out there that claim you can lose weight? Did you also know how many there are? Or how many even work? To put an answer on that question is like asking how many songs have been written? Or how many stars are in the galaxy?
There are just too many to mention and way more than we need to know about. Many diets may work on the short term but quite frankly most diets just don’t work for long term health benefits. Recent studies have shown that more than 60% of the world’s population is on some type of diet. Although some weight loss can usually be achieved through food restriction and/or increased exercise, the overwhelming majority of people regain the weight that they have lost over the long-term.
Most assume that when a person regains their weight it was because they stopped their diet or exercise, lost willpower or maybe they just did not know better and they were not properly instructed on their diet of choice. Many seem to think that it’s a behavioral or character trait that cannot be changed in the short term which leads to regaining the weight.
Last year I did a column on your home scale and (tongue and cheek I said) how it constantly lies to you, it is not your friend even if it shows an improvement in your weight, and let’s be honest our weight changes from day to day or week to week. My weight recently had a ten-pound difference from my home scale to my doctor’s scale (on the same day). Throw the scale away, or at least just weigh yourself once a week or month, but remember it’s just an average of the past week or month, not 100% accurate. Do not get discouraged by a number.
You have to realize, our bodies have a lot of stored energy in fat and sugar. Weight gain or loss is a very slow process resulting from your total food intake and the amounts of exercise over many days, weeks and even years. Sure a scale is a good idea and it may give you a starting point if you are looking to lose weight, but to obsess over it every day weighing yourself, in the long run puts continuous stress on your body (and mind). Thus, setting you up for diet failure. Go by how you look, feel and how your clothes fit. All non-scale victories.
The behavioral change you have to make is not a short term diet (even if you just need to lose a little weight). The change you need to make needs to be a lifestyle change. Lifestyle changes are more effective long term than starting any fad diet. Adopting a new lifestyle refers to not only the foods we eat, but also the activities you choose to participate in and how you live your life. Taking away processed foods, sugary sodas and limiting alcoholic drinks is a great start, but also smoking, not exercising regularly can put stress on your body hindering your new lifestyle you want to adopt. Good eating habits should combine with a regular exercise to achieve your optimum new healthy lifestyle.
By eating processed foods, you are getting highly concentrated portions of mostly sugar, fat and sodium, which causes cravings, then overeating and finally weight gain. The diet industry is a billion dollar business, but did you know the best “diet” for your health has the lowest cost? That’s because it’s changes, simple changes, that you can make on a daily basis. No one is forcing you to eat a cupcake for breakfast, it’s up to YOU to make the choice.
The most healthy “diet” recommended today is just a well-balanced healthy lifestyle choosing whole grains, proteins, nuts, organic fruits and vegetables and lean meats. If you want to make a permanent change in your life, then you need to make a permanent change in your lifestyle. Typical fad diets are no longer the answer, you need to revamp your new lifestyle to include well rounded meals and daily exercise. Making these lifestyle changes does not always equal immediate weight loss results, but for most, the weight will start to come off. Just stick with it, and make slow gradual changes that are going to become new permanent habits.
Rick Bellanti is a wellness columnist and is on a journey himself to lose 240lbs, and has lost 160lbs since the start of 2015. If you have any questions or comments, please post them to his Getting Healthy with Rick Bellanti Facebook page and once a month he will address a few of the topics here.