Why is it so hard to get started with a diet? Because diets are temporary. They might last for a few days, weeks, or months, but eventually, they end. And when they do end, people gain back all the weight they lost and then some. Eventually
, people just give up and resign themselves to never losing weight.
It is hard to get started with a diet because we think we cannot be healthy — that we live in a way that makes it impossible *.
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There is another option
Instead of trying to change everything about your life at the same time, you can start with one thing and do it consistently. For instance, if you want to lose weight, you could start by always eating breakfast every day. It’s not as terrifying as it sounds; after all, you already eat breakfast sometimes (not always, but sometimes), so this feels like something within our grasp. Eating breakfast every day is such a small change! But doing it consistently is difficult (try genuinely trying to eat breakfast every day for a week and see how much food you over-consume over the course of the day as a result; then, try skipping breakfast every day for a week and notice how ravenous you feel mid-morning).
These “small changes” that we present in this article all rely on consistency: eating small meals throughout the day rather than big ones (to keep blood sugar stable and prevent snacking), eating breakfast (which, if done right, results in fewer cravings because blood sugar is stable due to having previously eaten), doing aerobic exercise or walking before dinner (so one isn’t too hungry at dinner time). Each of these things is simple enough — but doing them consistently is hard. But here’s something no one ever tells you: consistency is the most important part of dieting. Doing it consistently can result in huge changes, despite doing it for a relatively short period of time.
They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day, but this isn’t strictly true. It was built brick by brick over hundreds of years through many people’s consistent hard work. And so too with weight loss and health improvements — they are not overnight successes but instead are achieved through each person’s consistent actions over time.
* For example: “I don’t like vegetables.” Or: “I’m lazy.” Or: “I live on fast food and microwave dinners; I don’t know how to cook – or where to start.” Or: “I don’t have time to exercise.”
For Quick Weight Loss
– For quick weight loss, cut out 300 calories per day. (To lose 1 lb of fat/week, you need to eat 500 fewer Calories every day.)
– Drink 8 glasses of water each day (not all at once).
Cut out Fast Food
– Cut out fast food and processed foods while adding more whole foods like vegetables, fruits, and lean meats. For protein, it is recommended to eat .8 grams per pound of bodyweight – so if you weigh 200 pounds then you should try for 160 grams of protein a day. Fiber needs should be around 30g for women and 40g for men; this means that 1 cup of beans has about 15g of fiber in it.
– Eat 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day rather than 2 big ones. (Eating even 2 hours before bed can result in poor sleep due to an abundance of food.)
– Try to take walks shortly after waking up and/or before dinner time (2 hours before). Walking raises cortisol which helps break down fat, so doing it before the largest meal of the day is most beneficial. Also, try to elevate your heart rate for 10 minutes by taking quick walks or jogging in place during commercial breaks when watching TV.
– Drink coffee if you are not a regular coffee drinker. Coffee will suppress appetite and raise metabolism.
The Main Problem
The problem isn’t the diet itself, it’s the way we think about them – in terms of short-term sacrifices instead of long-term rewards. [Include a paragraph that goes into detail about how most diets do not address changing our thinking from loss focus to goal focus.
So what’s the alternative? Just forget about focusing on losing weight and put your energy toward building habits you can stick with forever. [And include a paragraph on how exactly those habits could be built.]
At first, the thought of creating a healthy lifestyle that lasts forever might sound daunting. But just think about what you’re trying to achieve: eat healthier and move more so you can feel better and live longer. Those two things alone will improve your life even if they don’t result in weight loss. [Include a paragraph on how exactly those individual changes make up a healthier lifestyle.]
So instead of thinking of diets as short-term sacrifices for long-term gains, think of them as long-term investments for short or mid-term wins. It may take some time before you start seeing results from your efforts, but every day you stick with it is one step closer to reaching your goals and finally achieving the healthier lifestyle you’ve always wanted. [Include a paragraph on how this is one of those rare occasions where patience is rewarded.]
You don’t have to make drastic changes all at once; small, steady steps will actually work better than trying to change everything overnight. And if you do slip up every now and then, that’s okay as long as you don’t give up. The most important thing is sticking with your plan over the long term – it takes times before results start appearing.”
Note: There are many articles on eating healthy diets online already. This article does not offer an original topic or insights but instead is written in a way so as to be digestible for someone who has never thought about the concept of creating healthy habits before. The tone is less argumentative and more explanatory/informational, so as to appeal to audiences with varying levels of engagement in the topic.