WebMD lists over 100 diets. This is fabulous, right? Because there are over 100 diets, where do you even begin? And if one doesn’t work, do you simply move on to the next one? Keep reading how you can begin the process of making sustainable lifestyle changes.
The truth about diets
Most people treat dieting as a short-term excursion from typical eating patterns. So the truth about diets as that none of them truly work. Anything temporary about the way we move or eat only creates temporary results. A recent study followed people for two years after dieting (for weight loss) and found that 83% of them gained back more weight than they initially lost.
Weight cycling or yoyo dieting is not only ineffective but harmful to your health.
- Traci Mann, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), analyzed 31 long-term studies that followed individuals on a variety of diets between 2-5 years. According to the results she published in the journal “American Psychologist,” she concluded that “most people would have been better off not dieting at all.” Stating, “Their weight would be pretty much the same, and their bodies would not suffer the wear and tear from losing weight and gaining it all back.”
- Repeatedly losing and re-gaining weight is extremely hard on your system. Studies have shown this pattern to contribute to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, compromised immune function, and even cancer. This pattern can literally kill you.
Ironically dieting is also likely to produce increased cortisol levels in the body. When cortisol increases, we tend to pack on weight.
So what do we do??
First, you want to take a good hard look at what lifestyle changes would create the you YOU want to be. Once you have the big picture established, you can begin the process of making sustainable lifestyle changes:
- Start by making small permanent changes.
Cut out sugar, stop smoking, do a 30-day challenge, eat only anti-inflammatory foods, eliminate processed foods, something to level up from where you currently “reside” in your relation to your healthiest self.
- Seek the right guidance.
If you are very obese, you may not want to start with a personal trainer or even a health coach. You might need a personal coach or counselor to walk you through the emotional barriers to getting healthy. If you are overwhelmed and not sure where to start in choosing a lifestyle that fits your needs, talk with a coach to get yourself moving in the right direction. If your workouts are not producing results or you are not able to move well due to mobility issues, a mobility or movement coach may be your best start.
- Discover what brings you lasting joy in what you eat and how you move. Be willing to change your preferences and your surroundings.
Learn how to make healthy food taste naughty. Learn to move with freedom and ease. Take cooking lessons, look up fun recipes on Pinterest, do food trades with friends, join an Anti-Inflammatory recipe exchange group on Facebook, explore new healthy restaurants or take away items. Find an exercise you like to start and make it even more enjoyable. Spend time walking with a friend, listen to a great audiobook, or learn something new through a podcast. Use Spotify to create a playlist you love and dance your heart out. Whatever you do, create joy in your experience.
- Picture yourself at the end of your book before you start.
No matter how motivated you are, no matter how committed, you will have moments where the old habit “seems like a good idea at the time.” You must have a solid picture of how the benefit of where you are going is a better payoff than staying where you are now or going backward. When tempting moments arise, you will be able to ask yourself with different confidence, “is it worth it? And, what do I want more, this candy bar or a vibrant life with my loved ones?”
- When you stumble, stand right up, brush off, and forgive.
Picture yourself teaching a young child how to ride a bike for the first time; you see them fall, what would you tell them? Give yourself the same grace. You WILL stumble away from being perfectly in line with a healthy lifestyle no matter where you are on that journey to health. Allow that to be a moment, not days, weeks, or years. Then forgive yourself, dust off and hop right back on. Like riding that bike, in time, it will be easy and even fun!
Let us get you started on the right foot with a simple anti-inflammatory recipe that includes chicken, apples and walnuts – how can you go wrong?
Apple-Walnut Chicken Salad
- 8 oz cooked chicken breast chopped or shredded
- ¾ cup celery chopped
- ¾ cup apple chopped
- 3 oz walnuts chopped
- 2 Tbsp raisins craisins or chopped grapes
- Bibb or Romaine lettuce chopped
- ½ cup Italian Citrus Dressing see recipe below
- In a medium bowl gently mix chicken, celery apple, walnuts and grapes until well combined.
- Pour the dressing or mayonnaise over the mixture and toss gently to coat.
- Serve over a bed of your favorite lettuce.
Italian Citrus Dressing
- Blender or Food Processor
- ½ cup olive oil
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped or minced
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 packet Stevia
- 1 Tbsp dried tarragon
- 1 large tomato chopped
- Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend for about 30 seconds or until well combined.
- Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
If you’re interested in an anti-inflammatory lifestyle and more tips like this one, check out The Official Anti-Inflammatory Diet Masterclass. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.