Living Healthy is Not Convenient, Fast or Easy
But, It is worth the effort
Gord – Project Body Smart
I get it. You want quick changes that are fast, easy and convenient. The problem is, nothing like that exists that has lasting results. I’ve given over a decade of my life to helping people. Nutrition coaching, blogging, sharing healthy food recipes and providing free fitness programs to help even more people. Some of it has worked well and some has failed miserably.
I’ll confess that not all my advice or guidance was correct. Not purposely wrong, but not correct either. I struggle with some guilt around that which makes me even more determined to encourage change and support a more realistic approach to health and fitness. We all have our own wellness journeys to follow and helping people find and execute solutions for a healthier life is something I want to work at.
Diets that scream a quick fix or a time period to your best body don’t work long term. Yes of course you’ll lose weight. No one’s denying that. They won’t however keep you fit and healthy for rest of your life. Generally they have an end date or they are nutritionally deficient in one way or another or they don’t support your lifestyle or…… you get the idea.
Adopt a diet that is primarily made up of Vegetables, Fruits, Proteins, Nuts, Seeds and Grains. Not exclusively as you need to have enough flexibility to enjoy some foods you just plain like to eat. Like cake (mmmm cake). Making meals, desserts and snacks yourself helps control the amount of processed sugar, fats, chemicals and other less desirable ingredients in your food as well. Yes, it takes time and effort.
Fad Diets tend to have elimination and addition rules to follow. Although some food like substances probably should be eliminated it may not be something you do immediately but rather work towards slowly. You may find as you add in healthier options these food-like substances don’t appeal to your taste buds anymore. This approach may also work at easing the uncontrollable craving for whatever it is you tried to eliminate. Just because we can’t have something seems to make us want it even more. (damn brain!) You haven’t changed the behavior related to how you feel about that food or your perceived idea of what it provides for you. So, eliminating it may not be the best approach.
What’s the one diet that’s going to work for you? The one that gets you results, is nutritionally rich and you can realistically follow for as long as your body needs it. The reason I don’t say for the rest of your life is because as we progress through our ever-changing lives our health and fitness habits will need to adapt as well. As I’m sure you’ve heard most people who engage in temporary diets put he weight back on and even add a few more pounds within the next year.
Most folks lose weight or gain muscle or both over long periods of time. The more fat you have to lose the quicker it will come off in the beginning but it will slow as you get closer to a heathy body weight. Anyone who has tried to gain lean muscle mass knows it is not a speedy process (if approached with a healthy, non drug supported strategy). For weight loss, track your body fat percentage and your lean mass and if the general direction is down for fat mass and up or even for lean mass you’re doing great. You may also prefer to just track pounds and girth measurements. Whatever works for you. Weight management results are not linear. Most of the time our tracking looks like a roller coaster. Just look for trends over time that support your goals.
It’s not very exciting to lose a pound or two per week. It is however a healthy, sustainable rate at which to allow the body to get comfortable with new behaviors surrounding your diet and activities. Think about it over a longer period of time. After 6 months, an average of one pound per week for 24 weeks would be 24 pounds. That’s 24 pounds that is not likely to come back because we changed our behaviors or habits that led to the gain in the first place. Some weeks there may be no loss at all or even a slight gain. Don’t get frustrated. Remember the roller coaster analogy. You’re looking for an average of 1 pound per week and a general downward trend.
Be in it for a lifetime of healthier living. Slowly adopting healthier choices while still enjoying the odd dessert and favorite treat. It’s not a race. Just keep your long-haul goals in mind.
We’re running out of things to blame.
Lack of exercise
Snacking between meals
Late night eating
High Glycemic Foods
Maybe we should look at the chemicals in our foods, the all to easy to get prescription drugs or the over use of extended fasting strategies.
My point is that we can’t blame any one food or one diet or one type of exercise. We’ve become an industry obsessed with micromanaging our food and exercise in hopes of finding the ONE thing that will solve all the weight and health challenges of todays fast paced world.
On the other hand, we can keep on trying the latest greatest diet or workout promising to give us everything we’ve been dreaming of. A dream media has built for us through enhanced images, body manipulation and false advertising. Leading to disappointment, confusion and even depression.
This made me laugh. https://youtu.be/vrUQ0X7SI-M
I understand. You don’t know what to believe anymore. Is it superfood or is it causing cancer? Does it burn more fat or pack it on your hips? Is red wine and dark chocolate good for me or am I just an alcoholic with a sweet tooth? Ugh!
Yes, weight loss is complicated. When you realize, obesity is often a result of genetics, hormones, mobility challenges, diet restrictions and other complications it’s not so easy to find a solution. Calories do matter and so does food quality, selection, portion sizes, when we eat, how we eat, why we eat and the list goes on.
So, Now what?
Well, like I mentioned earlier we need to try and focus on behavioral changes that support how we want to live our lives. Habits that support obtaining a healthy body we can live life with. We need to work on putting aside instant gratification and expectations of immediate results and replace them with consistent and persistent efforts to move toward living better.
Don’t worry about eating foods you don’t like. If you can’t find a way to eat them that appeals to you then don’t. If a food is medically proven to affect you in a negative way, then eliminate or drastically reduce your consumption of it. Allergies and food sensitivities exist and can create real problems for some people. Don’t fall for the everyone is affected mentality. Do what works best for you.
Don’t believe everything you read from the so-called experts. Remember no one food is going to be the cause or solution to your weight management challenges.
I know. It’s exhausting sorting through it all. Want some help taking a step back and approaching life a little easier. Are you committed to the long term efforts to live healthier? Take a deep breath, clear your mind as best you can. Now start all over with a fresh approach to making small behavior changes for living life better.
Join the Project Body Smart Community. There is no cost to hang out online with us.
Or join me at Global Fitness and Racquet Club, Kelowna BC Canada.