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Diet vs. Lifestyle Part II

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About six months ago, my friend lost a lot of weight (25 pounds or so).  She didn’t do so for vanity reasons, she did it for health reasons and to make a positive change in her life.  Further, she did it in a healthy way:  She made lifestyle choices (instead of dieting).  Some of the changes she made were really basic, but obviously had a tremendous impact.  She:

  1. Stopped drinking soda and started drinking more water.
  2. Started eating more fruits and vegetables, and passed on the fruit juices.
  3. Started eating more balanced meals, incorporating healthy proteins, veggies and whole grains.
  4. Started cutting out fried food.

She lost a good deal of weight, and got a great boost in self-esteem as an added bonus.  I was so proud of her.

This past month, however, I started noticing that she has been gaining the weight back (about 5 to 10 pounds in my estimation).  I also have noticed, her once nutritious choices are not so nutritious.  She has been drinking a lot of soda, eating fried foods, enjoying the sweets she used to pass on and, well, getting back into a groove that she used to fall into.  When I noticed this, I was bummed.  I know how hard she worked and how happy she was about the changes she was seeing, and yet, here she was, falling back into her pre-weight-loss mode.

I can’t emphasize enough, how important it is to actually believe in the lifestyle changes you make.  If you don’t, you are in fact…dieting.  And why is this bad?  Because dieting is not sustainable.  It is a temporary solution to a problem.  Would you put a band-aid on the hoover dam if it was leaking?  Probably not.  You would need to make some well-planned structural changes to ensure that the ‘fix’ would last.

I truly believe my friend thought she was making lifestyle changes, but in reality, she wasn’t.  Why am I saying this?  Because lifestyle changes, in actuality, mean life changes (hence the word ‘life’).

Lifestyle change implies permanence and consistency.  I am not saying that if you decide to eat healthfully, that you can never, ever indulge in less healthy choices.  That is ludicrous.  But, I do believe, that in order to make lifestyle changes, you need to believe in the change and stick to it 90% of the time.

Have you made ‘lifestyle’ changes, and in reality, realized you actually were dieting?  Did you ‘catch’ yourself, or have you not been able to get into the lifestyle mode?

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