Diet vs lifestyle change

Do you know the difference between a diet and a lifestyle change?  For many people the real difference isn’t as important as quick weight loss or fitting into the swim suit or dress. The problem is that, all too often, when the weight finally comes off, we return to our old habits. The same old habits that caused the reason for losing weight in the first place.

Too many times people are sucked into the promises of quick loss with fad diets that don’t provide enough nutrition to support a health body and deprive the individual of foods they truly love and appreciate.

This deprivation can only last so long and ultimately leads to quitting the diet and returning to those old habits.  Unfortunately, this can also lead to an increase in weight above what was lost in the first place.  The reason a person puts on even more weight has a basis in physiology.

When we originally lose weight on a diet, we often lose lean muscle mass because of the nutritional mistakes associated with fad diets, too little calories or depriving the body of the fuel it needs to survive.  When we finally get tired of being tired, over exercising or depriving ourselves of our favorite foods and activities, we turn back to those old habits, and in overabundance.  In other words, we over eat, over indulge and forget about the workouts.

This reversal in nutritional intake results in a weight gain of fat instead of the lean muscle mass originally lost.  Muscle is a great fat burner, so that loss of muscle from the short term diet is a double whammy. Even worse, the metabolic rate of fat is lower than muscle, which means that it takes a lower amount of calories to gain back the weight lost and then some.

So, as you might imagine, diets are not good long-term solutions.  A much better option is to make permanent lifestyle changes that result in weight loss, overall improved health and no rebound weight gain.

Nutritional changes are best accomplished in moderation.  This means that totally depriving yourself of things you love like ice cream or pizza will only lead to another yo-yo game that you eventually lose.  Instead, it is important to accomplish changes in nutrition slowly, methodically and deliberately.

By acknowledging that your previous dietary habits have led you to a place where it was necessary to consider losing weight, you can also help yourself to find moderately small changes in your diet that will lead to a successful end goal.  For instance you may start by decreasing the amount of ice cream or sugary drinks that you consume each day.  You can also replace that morning bagel with a cup of yogurt.

By slowly changing your habits your weight will not rebound and you will not have difficulty with food choices in social situations

Permanent dietary changes and nutritional intake are your goals when your ultimate goal is to lose weight and gain a healthy lifestyle.  You can only accomplish this through diligent work and not quick fad diets or promises of numbers of pounds lost each day.  Do not get sucked in by advertising promises, instead remember that you are caring for the only body you have – a body that has been built to last your lifetime.

Get in touch today and let’s get you off that diet roller coaster, once and for all.

Jeff Spitzer, Nutrition In Focus

Content used with permission.

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