Weight loss and looking youthful often go hand in hand and have become an obsession with people worldwide. No matter what age people want to look their best for a variety of reasons, and a trim figure is often seen as essential in that regard. Movies, magazines, schools, and social media all of have fairly consistent negative messages about being overweight or obese. Add to that the need to be socially accepted and health problems associated with being overweight it is clear there are ample incentives to losing weight. That being said it is important to not get stuck on the word diet and think that an uncomfortable and impossible to maintain regimen is the only path to permanently staying at your ideal weight.
Make sure you define and think of the word diet as it really is, the ingredients, preparation and amount of food that you consume. Almost always a diet is referred to as depriving yourself of the foods, you like, eating tiny portions of the foods that you crave, eating bland, tasteless “diet food” is measured amounts, going to bed hungry every night, giving up on desserts, or starving yourself sporadically. Discomfort, deprivation, and pain, are seen as necessary evils of a ‘diet”. Quite simply it does not have to be that way at all. Consuming nutritious, delicious well thoughtfully prepared foods that are satisfying and sufficient is easy to do once you know how. Is it more work than picking up fast food? Of course, but that work itself should be satisfying and gratifying, as you and your family get healthier, lose weight, feel better, and have guilt free delicious meals that contribute to your well-being instead of making you sick.
So give up your diet and adopt a plan to get healthy. Whether you start slow or jump in with both feet’ to lose weight and adopt a healthy diet you need to set a goal, commit to the outcome, gather the information you need to be successful and get started. Understand that adopting a new habit is hard for almost everyone, but that there is a process for effectively doing so that should be followed. Part of that process is the awareness that after an initial burst of energy and success, about four or five days into the new habit your body will urge you to give up and go back to what it has become comfortable with. Although this is a natural process very few people understand that there are also is effective process to ensure the desired change sticks. There is more on this subject here in this article: https://mediterraneandiet.global/change-strategies-for-adopting-the-mediterranean-diet/.
Changing the language you use can also be helpful, a good start is to use Way of Eating instead of “diet”. Instead of saying “I am going to start a diet, so I am going to enjoy this one last donut, or stuff myself at dinner, eat three full meals each day” you can say I am committed to my new way of eating. We do this when training puppies who someone has already tried to train using the word “come”. Come is as meaningless to a puppy who wasn’t trained properly as diet is to someone who failed to fully adopt a diet in the past.
The moral licensing is explained in the article referenced above, and does not work well for lasting changes. A better choice is to say to yourself and others “I am now a healthy eater” or “I am becoming and healthy eater”. This changes the paradigm from being someone who eats what they always ate in similar portions to “I am someone who always eats healthy” and “I prefer healthy foods” and “I get weight loss results from continuing my way of eating”. Other affirmations can be “my way of eating is working very well for my family and I”, I no longer crave sweets”, I don’t want to have a large evening meal”, or “I feel so much better now that I am on the Mediterranean Diet plan”
The key to success is the right attitude and mindset combined with the right information followed by action and behaviors that guarantee that success. Absolutely knowing that you are adopting the healthiest diet is also helpful in becoming and staying confident of your choice. The Mediterranean Diet has shown over and over since the first studies were done to be the most effective diet for attaining and maintaining a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy diet will cause nearly everyone to settle at a healthy weight. In recent cases where populations in the Mediterranean region that have always eaten well start to mirror the diet of the average American, those health benefits have eroded and obesity and resulting poor health have set in. So although it is no miracle cure, there is no miracle cure for obesity and eating reasonable portions of the right food prepared the right way at the right time of day will bring your body into alignment with how it is supposed to feel, and many people have symptoms and diseases ease and even disappear just from adopting the healthy diet, the Mediterranean Diet.
So forget about starving, eating crappy food, never having dessert again, fighting cravings, feeling bad about yourself for quitting, not being sure about how to start and which one to pick. Others have done the research, and quickly or slowly adopting the healthiest diet is sustainable, attainable, and is not about deprivation. In fact Facebook Mediterranean Diet members who have been enjoying the healthy diet for years including myself don’t really feel deprived and don’t even find old staples appealing. You can get to that point as well, change your language, do some research, gather some good recipes, and get cooking. You and everyone in your life will be happy that you did.