You’ve no doubt heard about the study of “The Biggest Loser” contestants showing that most regained nearly all the weight they’d lost on the show. Pretty discouraging, right?
Actually, given the extreme diets and exercise protocols used on the show, it’s not surprising. And it’s why I’m very suspicious when someone comes to me and says, “I need to go on a diet.”
There’s a difference between diet and lifestyle, and it has everything to do with getting sustainable results … or not.
By definition, a diet has a beginning and an end. It also carries with it a negative connotation. Generally speaking, we view a diet as a way we don’t prefer to eat but have decided that we’ll force ourselves to do it for a set period of time. What usually happens when that time is up? We go right back to our old habits. – I have been there and done that too many times in the past.
You can’t really learn anything about yourself by “going on a diet,” other than how miserable you’re willing to be and for how long. It’s an interesting study but not much else. And your friends and family may avoid you a little or a lot.
But by deciding to change your habits and lifestyle, you can unlock powers you didn’t think you had.
Your lifestyle defines you in ways that a diet can’t.
It opens your mind to new beliefs, which inform better decisions that support your lifestyle as opposed to gritting your teeth and temporarily punishing yourself with a day after day of unpalatable food. When you open your mind to a true lifestyle change that’s permanent, you’ll be a lot less stressed about the day-to-day ups and downs.
When life gets stressful, it can be easy to say, “I’m going off my diet this weekend.” A lifestyle change seems much bigger and more important because it is.
Think about how you view your personal efforts to manage your weight and health. Are you trying to tough it out so that you can finally get back to your normal patterns of eating? Or are you designing a lifestyle that makes keeping weight off not only possible but also probable?