Diets garner immense popularity at the start of the new year and make a resurgence in the months prior to swimsuit season. Some fads encourage us to eliminate food groups or restrict calories. Other experts insist we can indulge in a specific type of food while avoiding everything else. The stricter the rules, the more crazy the imbalance, the more attention the diets receive. The masses flock to these wild and seemingly innovative eating guidelines after hearing promises of quick and drastic weight loss.
Americans struggle with health and nutrition, so the desperation to shed unwanted pounds increases each year.
Maybe you rushed in with the masses on January first. Perhaps you opted for one of those diets which promised a miraculous result to those who remained faithful to a set of impossible standards. You might be asking your reflection the cliche question, “How’s that working for you?”
If you’ve seen your health resolutions sag and die before the FAT TUESDAY lady sang, don’t despair! You’re not alone in having failed at your weight loss goals. In fact, the popular crash diets many people attempt to follow could do more harm than good.
Research suggests the elimination of an entire food group could strain the body. Too much of one element without the balance of others might cause dangerous side effects, such as liver toxicity. In addition to these risks, those who try fad diets typically gain more weight at the end of their failed attempt. Scientists point to an average gain of twenty percent more than their original weight within a few months.
Before you groan at the bleak outlook of these weight loss crazes, allow me to reassure you. A much better option exists. You can live a healthy lifestyle and enjoy the benefits of nutrition and exercise without dieting. FIRST, we need to let the diets die.
Unlike a healthy lifestyle, diets promise short-term results through unsustainable patterns of eating and activity. A lifestyle upgrade encourages a series of minor shifts which you can maintain for the rest of your life. Small steps allow us to continue focusing on the priorities of blessing others rather than obsessing upon a rigid diet. When we live to nourish our minds, hearts, and bodies, we gain the wellness, mindset, and energy to live our purpose.
Today’s video emphasizes the following upgrades we can make in baby steps toward cultivating our healthiest lifestyle:
- Trade up Toxins for Nutrients
- Taste the rainbow
- Switch out Empty for Beneficial
- Keep it real
- Do something fun while waiting to see if you need that next helping
- Add exercise in small bites and at low impact
- Breathe deeply and stretch while praying AM and PM
- Eat and walk with others
We covered a wide range of topics during this series, but remember to add new habits in small increments. Do first what you need most and add other lifestyle changes later. It takes at least three weeks to anchor a habit.
What are your favorite tips for living your best? Whether you plan to include today’s tips or something from another post, feel free to share your feedback. And if you have additional suggestions to offer, please type them into the comments below. Others might benefit from your insights. As always, I love to read your suggestions and comments.
For more tips on maintaining a healthy body and weight perspective, check out next Friday’s Flourish-Meant episode on Nourish a Healthy
Body Image with Erin L. Todd.