We are all guilty of it, including yours truly, of making the cliché New Year’s resolution of dieting and losing weight. We do well for the first few weeks, exercising and eating healthy, making sure we get enough sleep, and so on so forth. Then it’s back to usual habits, and we end up hating ourselves.
I quit making it a resolution and chose to make it a lifestyle instead.
New mindset, new plan
This year was starting off like it usually does, eating right and exercising. I began a slow and gradual start with exercising. I decided to walk 20 minutes per day instead of trying to run or bike for hours on end. I also cut out the following: soda, white bread, candy, sugar, high amounts of sodium and popcorn. All of which are my weaknesses and I crave regularly. I even managed to keep it going for more than three weeks, so a record already!
Hit a plateau and lost motivation
After several months of success, I hit a point of no weight loss, no inches lost and so I felt like I was stagnant. I had to force myself to get out and exercise and had to force myself to keep eating the foods that were healthy for me.
It was grueling and hard, and all I wanted to do was quit. I talked with my doctor at my annual physical, and he suggested giving myself a reward day where I can eat 1-2 things I love and take a day off from working out. I panicked a little because my willpower was weak. He encouraged me still to try it, and I promised I would.
A cheat day refuels the fire again
I decided to make my cheat day on Sundays because it was meant to be a day of rest anyhow. I had seen my doctor on Wednesday, so I kept up my routine every day until Sunday arrived. I didn’t set my alarm, and I let myself sleep in. I woke up feeling refreshed and began to ponder what I wanted to eat. I had not had any pancakes in several months, so I whipped up a gourmet breakfast complete with pancakes, bacon, fruit and orange juice. It was so delicious that I couldn’t eat fast enough! I splurged for lunch as well, going out to eat with my girlfriends for hamburgers.
That cheat day helped immensely because the following week I was able to work out and eat healthy without any problems.
What not to eat and what not to do
I kept up this routine for almost a year, and the results were terrific. So here is what I suggest to follow, as it worked for me. Make small tweaks and find what works best for you, and consult with your doctor.
I paid close attention to calories and sugar content, I cut out unnecessary foods that my body did not need. I opted to use a small amount of olive oil instead of butter when cooking. There is so much you can do, just take the time and stick with it. Make a lifestyle change, not a New Year’s resolution.