If you want to lose weight, you need to change your diet. That doesn't mean eating nothing but salad for three months while gruelling your way to a lower weight, though. You'll quit before you start if you hate the new lifestyle you're building for yourself.
Photo by Benson Kua.
As assistant professor at the University of Ottawa Yoni Freedhoff explains, consistency matters when you're trying to lose weight. Binge dieting — where you dramatically change your diet for a short period of time to lose weight quickly — might result in short term effects, but you'll probably gain the weight right back as soon as you stop.
Worse yet, you may not even make it to those short term effects if you give up because, surprise! Extreme dieting is hard. Instead, the goal should be to make tangible, permanent changes to your lifestyle. Ideally, those changes should give you a life you like:
Looking to their success stories, published both online and as highlighted by Anne Fletcher in her book exploring the registrants, Thin for Life, the one common theme is that while maintaining their losses requires ongoing effort, that effort isn't perceived by these weight loss masters as a hardship but rather as just living with new lifestyles, and lifestyles that they enjoy.
This is something I've witnessed regularly in my own practice. Looking to my experiences working with thousands of patients over the course of the past dozen years, it's clear that liking the life you're living while you're losing weight is the key to keeping it off.
Note, that doesn't mean that you have to give up ice cream forever. A good diet plan should make some considerations for indulgences. Ideally, you'll also enjoy all the food you eat on a regular basis, but pay a little more attention to the amount you consume.