Health and wellbeing is a process. Yeah, yeah, how many times have you heard that? Have you tried diets? Have you lost weight, put it on, lost it, only to put the weight back on and then some? Here’s something to consider. Let’s presume that you keep everything about your lifestyle the same. The way you eat, drink and your activity level. What happens? Are you healthier today than yesterday? Probably not, if everything stayed the same. Hold this thought, we’ll come back to it.
Hundreds of medical and health professionals can write books, and they do, about how to lose weight. We’ve all seen the likes of them. Lists are made, self examinations are proposed, calories counted, etc. What’s the goal? Weight loss. It’s a broken record. Weight gain / loss is merely the sign. The sign of an un/healthy lifestyle.
In general as you start to modify your lifestyle and make healthier choices, your weight will be affected. The degree to which you make those changes will affect how dramatically you lose the weight. But the mantra should be, now and into eternity, “Healthier today than Yesterday!” This is not a self help article. It’s the start of a series of articles aimed at changing the conversation from weight loss to more consistent healthy habits. Jared and his Subway diet, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, South Beach, Atkins Diets, LA Weight Loss are all weight loss diets, not a way of life. To Jared’s credit he has kept the weight off for 10 yrs now. It often starts very simply. Some of my clients decide that water is what they prefer to start with, some going to the gym, others incorporate more fiber dense foods, and still others start simply with eating breakfast. Returning to my thought in the first paragraph, consider that everything you are doing remains the same except for one thing. That one thing can be any number of choices. If for example, you enjoy coffee and have more than one cup per day, I offer that for every coffee you have, you drink the equivalent amount of water. Water has a number of health benefits. On a day to day basis, consider that water helps you feel less fatigued, you feel less hungry throughout the day, and tend to avoid less healthy snack choices.
Which would you most like to have with a bag of chips; water or soda? Which do you enjoy with a muffin or donut? Water or coffee / tea? During the next several days and weeks as you maintain your healthy water consumption, you become more aware of what you are drinking and in turn it becomes a more conscious awareness of healthy lifestyle habits. After a couple weeks, most people start to find small additional ways to make their lifestyles healthier. Some people tend to stop snacking after 8pm, some others choose to change snacking choices. Such as instead of a handful of OREO cookies, they might eat a handful of ginger snap cookies (fewer total calories). These lifestyle changes are not about what the perfect person doing everything right would do. It’s about finding ways within your lifestyle to alter your habits.
You pick what works for you. I can’t make a list that I can guarantee you will stay consistent at following. But if you have no idea where to start and how to adjust consider starting with one of these few items: Increasing your water by at least one bottle compared to what you normally have, increase the fiber in your diet (even a little), buy a pedometer to track how active you are on a day to day basis, get a “buddy” to do things with (could be spouse, child, friend, neighbor). In each suggestion, it’s a matter of each day being a little healthier than the day before. Some days you’ll make really healthy choices, other days not so healthy choices. The sum total should be healthy.
It’s a mix and match world with lots of choices. Take advantage of it and don’t get yourself stuck in a rut and make excuses for why you can’t be healthy. Just because you made some less healthy choices today, doesn’t mean everything is ruined. Start making healthier choices at your next meal or snack. Remember: “Healthier today than Yesterday.”