Healthy Lifestyle, Not Diet

healthy life styleWe hate that four-letter word: DIET.  The word itself is loaded with preconceived notions about starvation, deprivation, discomfort and struggle.  Who wants to go there?  Not many of us.

Rather than starting another “diet,” why not change your outlook about eating and exercise, and start seeing your daily choices as components of a healthy lifestyle?

Healthy Lifestyle Choice #1

The first thing to keep in mind is that strict “diets” don’t work.  Oh sure, you can lose weight by sucking down a gallon of cabbage soup every day for a week or two – but what happens when you start eating other foods again?  You gain the weight right back.

Rather than embarking on strict, unrealistic eating plans, a healthy lifestyle includes plenty of food options that you can easily continue eating for the rest of your life.  Remember, your goal isn’t just to “lose weight” but to keep it off!  The best way  to do that is by making moderate choices that you can live with forever.

Healthy Lifestyle Choice #2

Have you ever started a diet plan that included an intense, challenging workout routine?  It’s not fun, is it?  If you were lucky enough not to strain muscles or otherwise injure yourself, you probably still felt exhausted and sore and vowed never to exercise again.

Fortunately you don’t HAVE to work out like a pro athlete in order to get in shape.  Just moderate exercise several times a week is enough for beginners.  As you get stronger, you can definitely increase the intensity and/or length of your workouts – but let your body be your guide about how much it can handle!  An  feelings of pain, dizziness, or extreme fatigue are signs that you’re doing too much.  (It’s a good idea to speak to your doctor before beginning an exercise routine, just to be sure you don’t have any health issues that could make exercise dangerous for you.)

Healthy Lifestyle Choice #3

Indulgences are okay!  The last thing you want to do is restrict all of the foods you love for the rest of your life.  Even if you think having a thin, sexy body would be worth the sacrifice, you’re going to be miserable if you don’t allow yourself a little flexibility in your eating plan.  (Have you ever noticed that naturally thin people indulge now and then too?)

The key in keeping indulgences under control is to have SMALL indulgences, and only occasionally – perhaps once per week.  Rather than eating a monster slice of chocolate cake, you could try just a few bites while savoring them immensely.  You’d be amazed at how satisfied you can be with a small serving of something yummy if you take your time eating it and really enjoy it.

This all sounds so much more appealing than a strict, inflexible, deprivation “diet” doesn’t it?  This type of approach works even better than a “diet” and is so much easier to stick to, which dramatically improves your chances for permanent weight loss.

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