Health Tip:

4 Ways to Turn a Diet into a Diaeta (Lifestyle)

Learn how to set yourself up for life-long success.

I can say with some certainty that the majority of people go into a diet or nutrition program with the intent of losing weight and keeping it off. I haven’t heard many people - with the exception of wrestlers - express interest in losing weight and then quickly putting that weight back on again.

But weight regain is exactly what happens when we only make temporary changes. Giving up bread and pasta for a month might induce some weight loss, but what happens when you start eating it again a month later?

Enter the concept of "lifestyle change.” In other words, a new lasting set of habits that are seamlessly woven into one’s life. For some people, that kind of change can seem like an overwhelming concept but in fact, lifestyle change is often easier to accomplish than you might expect.

Here are 4 useful hacks to making changes that actually last

#1: Set a foundation.

Before you begin a new weight loss program – before you make any changes at all – take some time to prepare yourself and those around you. Although you’re likely anxious to get started right away, those few extra days of prep work will go a long way. This looks like:
  1. Cleaning out your pantry and refrigerator of all temptations. Even if this means wasting a bit of food by tossing a half-eaten box of crackers, do it anyway. Willpower only goes so far.
  2. Refill your pantry and refrigerator with staples that are on the new plan. Always keep good options on hand for easy meals you can throw together.
  3. Tell everyone you spend time around (family, friends, coworkers, the dog…) that you are going to be making some changes for your health and request their support (or at the very least their commitment not to sabotage your progress). Note that support does not mean that your friends and family have to make changes with you - although it always helps.

#2: Constantly build your low carb variety.

Variety is the spice of life after all! If you are making significant changes to your diet, identifying Dish of baked vegetables dishes you like will take time and experimentation; however, do not fall into the trap leaning back on a few easy options and repeating them over and over again. Yes, doing that requires less effort, but eventually you will get bored and stray from the plan. I recommend making one new dish every week, or at the very least one every other week. Don’t worry, not every dish has to be an elaborate cooking adventure. Simply trying a different sauce or spice combination can turn one meal into a whole new experience. Be creative! If you don’t like it, just move on to the next recipe.

#3: Prepare for bumps in the road.

Celebrations Let’s face it, holidays, gatherings, and parties are going to happen, and you will be faced with temptations. This can be difficult for even the strongest willed among us. However, just taking a few extra steps to prepare yourself mentally and physically can make all the difference. Beforehand, acknowledge that there will be temptations and remind yourself that you are stronger and more important than the cravings. You can also set yourself up for success by eating a little something beforehand so you’re not starving and tempted to indulge. And if appropriate, bring a dish that is suitable for your new dietary needs (this serves as a bonus education opportunity to show your friends or family just how delicious healthy food can be!)

#4: Practice practice practice.

Finally, but most importantly, in order to make changes that turn into a new “Diaeta” (Greek for Lifestyle), you must commit to practicing these new skills until they become second nature. The more you practice, the easier the behaviors become. This does NOT mean perfection – despite popular belief, practice does not make perfect, practice makes habit. We are all human and are therefore likely to fall off track from time to time. But, if you commit to practicing new healthy skills regularly, you’ll be fully equipped to easily get right back on track when you make a mistake.

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Hi there! I’m Gabby, head registered dietitian at WellnessFromFood. If you have questions, please email me! Want to lose weight with me? Click here

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