There’s a big difference between losing weight and being fit. I don’t think any of us make a decision to go on another diet knowing that, after a while, we’re going to gain it right back again. It seems crazy, but we all have done this; some of us more than we’d like to admit. It’s not that difficult to put a lot of energy into a diet for the short term, but any kind of long-term strategy is often given very little thought – if any at all. We carefully map out our daily regimen for the next 6 to 12 weeks, knowing that if we stick to our plan, we’ll have lost 10 or 20 lbs and life will be beautiful once again.
The problem with this type of plan, and most diets we look at, is that afterwards we’re like a feather floating in the breeze. Gently drifting from one spot to another, we’re at the mercy of the wind as to where we land. There’s nothing wrong with having a short-term weight loss plan to get us where we want to be, but the real secret to long-term success is to plan ahead for this day, and be ready to move into phase 2 of your diet with a carefully planned and realistic lifestyle change. After all, isn’t being fit for life the real purpose in all of this anyway?
Whether your goal is to be buff or to simply keep off those extra pounds, you have to make some changes to your lifestyle. As difficult as it may seem at first, the reality is that if you really want it, and you take the time to plan for it, it’s much easier to achieve. Making healthy changes to your day-to-day routine is essential if you want long-term results. Implementing these changes is where the post-diet plan and “having a strategy to begin with” comes into play. Your strategy doesn’t have to be complicated, either. Exercise more and put less food in your mouth pretty much sums it up.
So how does something so simple often become so difficult for most people to stick with? Obviously, we have to overcome today’s accessibility to processed foods and the convenience of high-calorie foods that are all around us, by establishing some boundaries and some ground rules to live by. Let’s take a look at some things that you can do to help yourself turn the dream of being slim and fit for the long term into reality.
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- Desire: Being in the right frame of mind both mentally and emotionally is the first step in developing behavioral changes. If you lack that “fire in the belly”… chances are that will translate to “food in the belly”.
- Commitment: For the average person, it can take anywhere from thirty to ninety days to develop any new discipline in behavior. Desire is usually the driving force in the first few months, but being committed to making a healthy lifestyle change is what will keep you on track as time goes on.
- Make Social Changes: Hanging around with like-minded people seems obvious, but is often overlooked. If you’re trying to quit smoking, do you really think it’s a good idea to hang out with smokers all day? Take a close look at this part of your life and make some adjustments where you need to. Don’t let the unhealthy choices of others drag you down.
- Increase Physical Activity: None of the items on this list matter if you don’t increase the amount of exercise you do. Whether it’s running 30 minutes every day, swimming laps in the ocean, or joining a volleyball team… long-term weight loss will require you to establish an active life. Whatever pushes your buttons and keeps you motivated is all that matters.
- Become A Nutritionist: Educating yourself in terms of carbohydrates, fats and proteins will serve you well in your new healthy lifestyle. Learning all about vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber is easier than you might think with the world wide web. People who remain slim and fit for years and years know what they are eating and what supplements their bodies need.