Holidays can really wreak havoc with our eating habits. Sometimes it is easy to watch how you eat and other times it’s hard to say ‘no’ to that second Santa-shaped ginger cookie.
Now is the time when the weight-loss commercials ramp up for the New Year resolutions. These either work to motivate or discourage us. I will admit, whenever I saw the commercials in the past, I either ignored them or felt discouraged because I couldn’t justify joining a program to help lose weight. It always was a money and time-commitment issue for me.
As I got older, my personal philosophy evolved to this: diets, as they are, don’t work.
Interesting considering a good chunk of my blog is about “diet shifts”?
This isn’t saying that diets are ineffective, they can work if done properly, but diets tend to imply a short-term change to eating habits. Once a specific goal is met, it’s easy to resume previous eating habits and then find that the weight/health concern comes back.
Diets need to be about making lifestyle changes. Actively deciding that any changes in eating habits are not temporary, but are long-term shifts with the occasional indulgence.
Switching to a low-carb diet will be effective in losing weight in the short-term, but if more foundational changes are not made, all progress will be lost once carbs are incorporated back into the diet.
What are these foundational changes?
I am referring to the deeper reasons why we may eat unhealthy or to excess. For some it is an emotional comfort, for others, portions are hard to gauge. The science is clear that the food industry does make food more addictive and therefore it becomes easy to eat high-calorie foods in large amounts without being aware of it. If you struggle for an emotional or hormonal reason, the food industry isn’t doing you any favors.
But don’t let this discourage you in any way.
**Let me be clear: I am not shaming anyone’s reasons for eating the way they do. Everyone’s eating habits are different and their reasons for their eating habits are unique to them. I am referring to some of the more generalized reasons why we eat to excess.**
Sitting down and identifying what is problematic in the diet will help figure out what long term changes need to be made. Then it’s about making some drastic mindset changes to help keep the motivation through the difficult transition periods and temptations.
I don’t think I am a food addict, but I do know that I had issues with food and eating in moderation. It took a wake-up call over the summer for me to realize that I needed to make some deeper changes with how I approached food. I was addicted to sugar and junk food and I needed to change how I approached these types of food. Cutting these food items out permanently may not be the solution for you, but recognizing the need for moderation might be.
Deciding to make the changes for Jai and for myself was enough motivation to keep me going, but see what changes will help push you through to make long-lasting “diet” change this year.
Before starting down this path, consider taking a few days to prepare your body and your mind by “detoxing” or “cleansing” your eating habits.