The Easiest Diet Ever – How to Diet Without Really Meaning To
Tell me if this sounds familiar.
You decide you’re going to go on a diet. You wake up on the morning of the big day – already in a bad mood because you know what the day is going to have in store. The hunger. The crabbiness. The slow, slogging energy. Maybe a headache.
As the day wears on, your blood sugar stays in the basement, but you plod along. You finish the day, famished, which finds you polishing off your child’s Easter candy, quite without meaning to.
There’s a way to diet without really meaning to, as well. There’s a way to get healthy and fit by using common sense and the natural rhythms of our bodies.
Here are a few easy and natural ways to get more fit, healthy, and slim.
Shift Your Focus
* Find as many reasons as you can to make healthy changes to your lifestyle – beyond the obvious changes in physical appearance. For best results, you’re going to want a motivation beyond vanity.
It’s important to imagine – to visualize – what you’ll look like with those killer triceps and ripped shoulders, but also think how much stronger you’ll be. It’s important to think about how great your legs will look in a pair of shorts this summer, but also about how much longer you’ll be able to bike and ski and hike when your quads are stronger. Think about how much more you’ll enjoy your life when you are eating well and feeling fit and strong.
It can be helpful to keep a journal that details your journey to fitness in terms of this change of mindset.
* Strive to see food as a way to give back to your body – a way of giving back nutrients, nourishment, energy – for all the things your body does for you. Too often, we cast our body as the enemy when we’re dieting. And, of course, that’s not healthy. You two are partners, for life.
* Eat what you want. Eat what you crave, but the terms are thus: You have to eat mindfully, and you have to enjoy the heck out of it. Chew each bite 20 times. If you’re really paying attention (a.k.a. eating mindfully) you’ll likely notice that junk food isn’t really all that tasty, especially after the first few bites.
If there’s something you know you shouldn’t be eating in mass quantities, limit your number of bites to 5 or 10. When you indulge in dessert, cut it in half. Serve really small bowls of ice cream. It’s the first few bites that are the best anyway. After that, it’s just cold, creamy guilt.
* Eat fruit and veggies like crazy. Fruit is a splendid thing. Make it your in between meal snack. Put out a plate of veggies and fruit before your dinner meal.
* Out of sight, out of mind. If you have food in the house that you have a hard time not overeating, don’t keep it on the counter.
* Don’t eat while you’re doing something else. Don’t watch TV or surf the web or work at the computer or catch up on Facebook or text your friends while you’re eating. Strive to do nothing but enjoy your food (and the company of the people who share your table.)
* Make mealtimes an event. Mealtimes should symbolize more than just good food. Mealtimes are the punctuation marks in life. They signify the times that we pause, nourish ourselves, and check in with one another. Eat with intention, during mealtimes, enjoying food and the company of your family.
* Remind yourself that you don’t have to clean your plate. Practice the skill of stopping when you’re full. Even if there’s a lot of foods left on the plate, when you’re full, put the plate in the fridge and enjoy it tomorrow.
* Eat from smaller plates. We use small luncheon plates for all of our meals and it does help us get a handle on our portions.
* Eat a bit of lean protein at every meal. Protein will help you feel full longer because it takes longer to digest.
* Cut back slowly. If you make slight changes over time, you’ll hardly notice them. Cut back on the sweetener you put in your coffee, for example, and it won’t be long before you develop a taste for the less sweet variety. Same goes for high fat foods. As your body gradually weans off loads of fat and sugar, they’ll begin to lose their appeal. Then, cutting calories gets even easier.
Play Each and Every Day
* Moving your body needn’t be drudgery. Pretend it’s recess. What are you going to do?
Find a few exercises that you love. Go for a hike, a walk, a run, a bike ride, a cross-country ski. Play basketball, volleyball, softball, or whatever you personally love to do.
Think back to when you were a kid. What did you love to do at recess and during the summertime? If you were one of those kids who lived on your bike in the summertime, chances are you’ll fall right back in love with it if you were to make a daily routine of it.
* Buy a dog. Studies show that dog owners get more exercise than people who don’t own a dog. For me, personally, there’s no better motivation to exercise. My two pups stare at me with their ears up and cry until they get their hour in the sun, and so they get it. The difference is that I don’t realize I need it until I’m out there, and they have known it all along.
What are your favorite, sneaky ways to get more fit, healthy, and slim?