Are you trying to lose weight but are unsuccessful? Do you feel like you are always “on a diet?” If this is you, keep reading! In this blog post, we will provide you with some tips to ditch the diet and focus on making changes that will help you maintain the weight loss you are seeking.
How many of you have been enticed by these claims in the media?
🔴 Shed 20 pounds in just 14 days
🔴 Detoxify your body effortlessly
🔴 No need to break a sweat with exercise
🔴 Melt away belly fat with a single superfood
We’ve all been tempted by these alluring diets promising quick and easy results. Sadly, they often lead us down a frustrating road where we might see temporary weight loss only to regain it later.
These claims often convince people that losing weight will magically solve all their problems. There’s a big reason why they keep pushing that message, and it’s to make money.
According to experts at Research and Markets, the global market for weight loss products was valued at about $254 billion in 2021, and they’re expecting it to reach $377 billion by 2026. But despite all the money spent trying to lose weight using these fad diets, obesity is still on the rise!
Recent figures suggest that roughly 35% of adults and 15–20% of children and teenagers in the U.S. are dealing with obesity. As this concern becomes more pressing, many are searching for quick fixes to shed those extra pounds.
What Does It Mean To Go On A Diet?
When someone says they are “going on a diet,” it usually means they are making a conscious effort to change their eating habits in order to achieve a specific goal, often related to weight loss. The term is commonly associated with efforts to lose weight, although it can also be used for other health-related purposes, such as managing certain medical conditions or improving overall well-being.
Going on a diet typically involves:
Many diets involve reducing the number of calories consumed. This can be achieved by controlling portion sizes, choosing foods with lower calorie density, or following specific diet plans.
A balanced diet includes a variety of nutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Dieters may focus on ensuring they get the right balance of these nutrients to support their overall health.
Dieters often pay attention to the types of foods they consume. This may involve choosing whole, unprocessed foods, increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables, and reducing the consumption of highly processed or sugary foods.
Specific Diet Plans or Fad Diets
Some people follow specific diet plans that prescribe particular food choices, meal timing, or macronutrient ratios. Examples include low-carbohydrate diets, high-protein diets, or intermittent fasting.
It’s important to note that not all diets are effective or suitable for everyone, and some can be potentially harmful. At Healthy Steps Nutrition we practice a holistic approach to nutrition and focus on long-term, sustainable, healthy eating habits rather than short-term restrictive diets.
3 Tips To Help You Ditch The Diet
Now that we know what a diet is, perhaps it will help you identify if you have been on one purposefully or subconsciously. We know that while the idea of “ditch the diet” seems simple, it is far from easy. With all the misinformation out there regarding the best diets, the best food groups, and the best exercise programs, it’s no wonder we all feel so overwhelmed and, at times, ready to give up.
It’s time to ditch the diet and outdated methods that restrict what you eat or require you to spend endless hours in the gym burning off calories. By the end of this article, you will walk away with some new found motivation to help you create lasting change and become the best version of yourself.
Tip #1 – Goal Setting
Before you start setting goals, we have to spend a few minutes thinking about our “why.” Your WHY is a way to understand the real reasons and motivations behind what you want to achieve. Having a clear “why” gives your goals a deeper purpose and can help you stay motivated, especially when things get tough.
Digging into why you want to reach certain goals lets you connect with them emotionally. This emotional connection makes it more likely that you’ll stick with your goals with dedication and focus. Simply put, it’s about making sure your goals match up with what you value and dream about, and setting a strong foundation for your actions.
Finding Your Why
Start by asking yourself, “Why do you want to become healthier? Take some time to really think about the specific reasons that drive you on this journey. Instead of being vague, try to dig deep and get specific.
For instance, instead of just saying, “I want to lose weight and be a different body size,” consider why you want to lose weight. Is it because there’s a history of diabetes in your family, and you want to reduce that risk? Or it could be as simple as keeping up with your energetic kids or boosting your self-confidence.
By bringing your underlying reasons into sharp focus, you can begin setting clear and achievable goals.
Long And Short Term Goals
Goals act as guides that push you forward in life. When you set them well, you wake up each day feeling excited, knowing your day has meaning and purpose.
Now, let’s dive into the difference between long-term and short-term goals because both significantly affect your overall success. Additionally we will look to set SMART goals, which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Bound.
Short-term SMART goals: Short-term goals should be very specific, addressing a particular aspect or task that needs to be accomplished in the near future.
Long-term SMART goals: Long-term goals, while specific, may have a broader scope. They often encompass a range of activities and milestones over an extended period.
Short-term SMART goals: Short-term goals should have clear and easily measurable criteria to track progress. Measurement is often more immediate and frequent.
Long-term SMART goals: Measurement for long-term goals may involve periodic assessments of progress toward major milestones over the extended timeframe.
Short-term SMART goals: Short-term goals should be realistic and attainable within a relatively brief period. They should challenge but not overwhelm the individual.
Long-term SMART goals: Long-term goals need to be ambitious yet achievable over the extended timeframe. They may require sustained effort and commitment.
Short-term SMART goals: Short-term goals should directly contribute to the overall success of larger projects or long-term objectives.
Long-term SMART goals: Long-term goals should align with broader life or career aspirations, ensuring their relevance to the individual’s overarching vision.
Short-term SMART goals: Short-term goals have a tight time frame for completion, often within days, weeks, or a few months.
Long-term SMART goals: Long-term goals are typically associated with a more extended time horizon, often spanning years. They involve setting deadlines for major milestones and achievements along the way.
Here is a specific example of using a SMART goal related to weight loss.
Short-term SMART Goal (e.g., 4 weeks):
Specific: “I will lose 2 pounds per week by following a balanced diet and exercising for 30 minutes at least five times a week.”
Measurable: “I will track my weight each week to ensure I am consistently losing 2 pounds.”
Achievable: “Losing 2 pounds per week is a realistic and healthy goal, considering my current weight and activity level.”
Relevant: “This short-term goal aligns with my overall aim of losing 8 pounds in the next month and establishes healthy habits for long-term weight management.”
Time-Bound: “I will achieve this goal within the next 4 weeks.”
Long-term SMART Goal (e.g., 6 months):
Specific: “I will lose a total of 30 pounds by maintaining a calorie-controlled diet and engaging in regular exercise.”
Measurable: “I will track my weight monthly and aim for a steady and healthy weight loss of 5 pounds per month.”
Achievable: “Losing 30 pounds in 6 months is achievable and realistic, considering a safe rate of weight loss and consulting with a healthcare professional.”
Relevant: “This long-term goal aligns with my desire for improved overall health, increased energy, and a sustainable lifestyle change.”
Time-Bound: “I will achieve this goal within the next 6 months, with monthly check-ins to assess progress and make adjustments as needed.”
In this example, the short-term SMART goal focuses on the immediate steps needed to progress toward the long-term goal of losing a significant amount of weight over a more extended period. The short-term goal provides specific, measurable actions for the next month, while the long-term goal outlines the broader vision and direction for the weight loss journey.
Both goals are important for success, with the short-term goals serving as building blocks toward achieving the overarching long-term goal.
Tip #2 – Assess Your Habits
Now that we know why we’re doing what we’re doing and have set some clear goals, let’s take a closer look at our daily routines.
Examining your habits using a holistic approach is about paying attention to your everyday actions, both the positive ones and the ones that could use some improvement.
I love to use the diagram below with my nutrition clients, and have them do an assessment of their habits in each pillar. Make a list of all the habits associated with each different piece of the pie. After you have a list of things you do, or feel in each category, put a plus or minus next to each one. Over time, the goal is to change the minus signs to plusses.
Step #4 – Don’t forget to celebrate the wins
Although the overall goal is weight loss, many things indicate improvements in health apart from just the number on the scale. Celebrating non-scale victories leads to a positive mental outlook related to your journey and provides motivation to continue.
Here are some examples of non-scale victories:
Improved Energy Levels: Feeling more energetic throughout the day, experiencing fewer energy slumps, and having increased stamina during physical activities.
Better Sleep Quality: Noticing improvements in sleep patterns, such as falling asleep faster, staying asleep longer, and waking up feeling more rested.
Clothing Fit: Noticing that clothes fit better or becoming able to wear clothing items that were previously too tight.
Increased Physical Fitness: Achieving fitness milestones, such as running a certain distance, lifting heavier weights, or completing a workout more easily.
Enhanced Mood and Mental Well-Being: Experiencing improved mood, reduced stress, and increased mental clarity and focus.
Healthier Skin: Noticing improvements in skin complexion, reduced acne, and a healthier glow.
Increased Confidence: Feeling more confident in personal appearance, self-image, and overall body positivity.
Now, that you are armed with the tools to focus on change and implementing some healthy habits, it’s time to make a shift from quick fixes to a longer term path that feels right for you.
Remember, you have the power to make positive changes and embrace a more sustainable and fulfilling approach to your well-being. And, if you struggle with this, it’s ok. Many people do. If you really feel like you cannot do it alone, we can help you ditch the diet! We have a network of nutrition and wellness coaches that work specifically with creating healthy habits to implement long term change.
Finding a health coach near you is quite simple! You can either book a call with us, and we can point you in the right direction, or you can click the button below that says “Find A Nutrition Coach Near Me” which will lead you to our nationwide directory of facilities and coaches running the Healthy Steps Nutrition program.