It’s Not A Diet, It’s A Lifestyle Change

We talk a lot about nutrition and exercise, but today I’d like to discuss the mindset towards nutrition in particular. How a specific mindset can actually hinder your progress and ultimately your weight loss results.

The word “diet” is banned during any of my sessions. Those that have trained with me understand how much it irks me.

Let’s look at the general consensus of what the term “diet” entails:

* restriction of macronutrients and/or specific food groups
* extreme periods of under-eating
* a way of eating that you’d only stick to for x many weeks

When you begin to change your mindset towards food from being a “quick fix” to a general overhaul on a daily basis, you’re dramatically increasing your success rate when it comes to achieving results. You’re not on a “diet”, you’re simply eating healthier and differently than you used to in the past. You’re living a different lifestyle now. You’re seeing food as an energy source, not an enemy.

Let’s break down those bullet points from above.

Any restriction in life will often lead to resistance. We all want what we can’t have. It’s human nature to desire something that’s deemed “naughty”. So in nutrition’s case, can often lead to binge eating when the mindset is similar to “I can never have this, I’m not allowed”. When the mindset changes to “how can I fit this into my food for today and still achieve results”, a person’s mood is enhanced and their relationship towards food is a lot more positive and thus healthier. No resentment.

When a person under-eats in terms of calories for the day (and on a consistent basis), you heavily run the risk of losing muscle mass. Intentionally losing muscle mass should never be a goal for anybody. If you’re looking to lose weight, great, but with that should be a mindset of “maintaining muscle mass” as much as possible. Losing a little bit of muscle mass is inevitable, sure it’s expected along the way, but those who go crazy in terms of low calorie diets are actually reducing their metabolic rate. It’s lose-lose.

On the flip side, you must enjoy what you eat on a daily basis. It must be sustainable. If it’s not a sustainable and an enjoyable lifestyle, you will be unlikely to stick to it long-term. There’s many ways to make nutrition work for you. Don’t worry about what the next person is doing. What they’re eating or how they’re training. Weight loss (and any goal when you think about it) is an independent habit. You must make the ultimate decision and learn about how your body responds. So when you’re out grocery shopping, select foods that you truly enjoy eating. Don’t like chicken? That’s fine. Buy white fish instead. Vice versa. Don’t be trapped into thinking you have to eat something, because most likely you can get those similar nutrients from other (more enjoyable) foods.

Once you find your staple products and staple foods to buy each week, you’ll get on a roll and build momentum. One week will turn into the next, and before you know it, it will feel natural and second nature.

The key is consistency.

Simon Jeremy
Live Well Health & Fitness Studio Kogarah