If you want to expand your horizons, write better, feel more, live larger… you must read. You must read. ~Meg Webber
Blog Challenge: Op Ed on Random Topic Given. Here we go.
Fad diets. So yesterday. At least they should be. Fad diets. Bad diets.
It’s 2015. The day and age of a wealth of good health information everywhere we turn.
Every single food item in the grocery has a nutrition chart prominently listed on the packaging. Yep, even apples.
Most grocery stores conveniently offer washed and chopped vegetables and fruits, snacks and fresh food entrees. Some groceries also offer health tip sheets and recipes displayed in the fresh food section.
Restaurants not only list nutrition charts, and calorie counts on their menu, they have diet conscious items listed prominently on their menu.
Convenient stores now stock fresh fruit, bottled water, and low cal options just as readily available as chips, candy and soda.
Juice bars and smoothie stands are common in the mall and in brick and mortars. You can hide a pretty big handful of superfood kale in a yummy green juice. There are free recipe booklets for juicing at home.
There are health and wellness websites, phone apps, food logs, food plans, healthy weight and BMI charts numbering in the hundreds of thousands available for anyone with internet access. There are menu planners, recipe books, motivational materials and more available for free for anyone with public library access.
The local health department has nutritional advisors on staff for diet plans and personal care.
Physicians from pediatricians through elderly care routinely advise a healthy balanced meal plan, with regulated portions, to support a healthy weight for optimal overall health. Age, sex, build, height, current weight, goal weight, and medical issues are taken into consideration. The end result is always the recommendation of a balanced diet, portion control, exercise and proper hydration.
Where did fad diets come from? Why are they still around? Why do people put their hopes into fad diet claims? It’s inevitably one of a handful of reasons: the dress, the big event, the swim party aka the bikini… One hit wonders of time that lead to the agony of the fad dieting that leads to yo yo dieting that leads to diet epic fails.
Temporary crash diets lead to temporary results, but at some point can lead to permanent problems. The ups and downs of weight lost quickly and just as quickly regained is not good for your overall health. It tears up your digestive system. Sometimes badly. Starving your body by severe restriction, major changes of omitting food groups, even for short periods of time, is not good for you. It can also wreak havoc with your closet as well as your emotions. Restrict your diet too severely and the feelings of failure will be overwhelming when you raid the fridge for real food after two and a half days of fadding. One vegetable soup diet? Baloney.
Weight management, for a lifetime of staying in the healthy category (as opposed to the overweight or obese category), never comes by way of fad dieting or quick fixes. Never. Maintaining a healthy weight is a long haul, big picture process. In a good way. A really good way. It simply means choosing, every day, to fuel and exercise your body for optimal health. It comes with so many benefits.
The good news is easy to see. Weight loss or weight management isn’t complicated or hard to figure out. It doesn’t cost any money or require log ins or sign ups or fees. It won’t keep you up at night researching or have a confusing chart of nonsense.
The hard part of dieting or weight management is not the formulation of a meal plan. The hard part is making the decision to alter your diet.
If you want to change your weight… Change your mind.
Ready to ditch the crash diets? Ready to ditch the fad and go fab?
Tips for healthy diets as opposed to fad diets:
- Love yourself. Love your body. As is.
- Be kind to yourself even if you are not at your optimal weight. Positive thoughts breed positive results.
- You are in competition with no one but your healthy self. Lay down a challenge for yourself and meet it.
- Relax. Find ways to honor your peace of mind. Try to find 30 minutes a day of intentional time to calm your spirit to lower stress hormones. The weight loss will follow.
- Find the healthy meal plan that works for your body type. Some people lose weight with fewer overall calories. Some people lose weight with fewer carbs or different proteins.
- Fuel up with breakfast, lunch and healthy daytime eating. Restricting food during the day will have your body craving it at night. Late night eating contributes to weight gain and stubborn weight loss.
- Exercise. Safely. Regularly. Increase time, repetitions and crosstraining as you go. Safely. Know your body.
- Hydrate. Water is your body’s friend.
- Make the choice to eliminate junk food, chemicals and processed food, fried food and empty calories. Don’t buy it, cook it, order it or bring it in the house.
- Portion control. Look it up. Not only will it help with weight loss, your belly will thank you. Less burps, bloating, gas and emergency trips to the bathroom. Win Win.
- Think it through. Want birthday cake on Saturday night? Great! Adjust your Wednesday, Thursday, Friday meals to lighter ones. Hydrate. Add a few minutes to your workout that week. Enjoy every bite. Celebrate.
- Use convenient ways to move more. Park farther out in the parking lot. Take the stairs. Walk the dog. Dance in the kitchen. Run through the sprinkler. Move more.
- Ask for support from your significant other or parents or best friend. Healthy, positive support (like cooking together or exercising together) as opposed to negative non-support about your choices or your body. Let anyone who is not supportive, who repeatedly tempts you with unhealthy food choices or who points out your chubby bits, know that thanks, but no thanks. You don’t need that negativity in your life. Create a boundary there. A good sturdy one.
The best thing about a healthy diet is that it carries the freedom of choice. It is ultimately more successful than fad dieting. It’s a great way to feed yourself, enjoy nature and cultivate a healthy food environment. It will make you proud of your every day choices.
Ready to get started? Good. Take a walk around your local farmers market or fresh food vendor. Look at those beautiful edible reds, greens, yellows, purples, pinks. Beautiful to look at. Wonderful to smell. Tasty to eat. Fill your cart and enjoy!
- Gardening is hard work. Don’t fight it. Settle in to it.
- Hard work in good company goes faster. Enjoy the solitude of your thoughts or listen to an audio book or play good music or chat with your garden helper.
- The harsher the chemical, the worse the consequence. Use natural products. It’s worth pulling a few extra weeds.
- Share your extra seeds. You’ll reap friendships as well as flowers and vegetables.
- Plant companion flowers in your vegetable garden. It’s easier to do hard work in a pretty environment.
- Tend to yourself as carefully as you tend to your garden. Wear a shade hat and protect your skin. A good dose of Vitamin D from the sun is good for you. Sunburned skin is not.
- Use rain barrels and compost bins. There’s a wealth of benefits to both.
- Arrange a couple of chairs and a cooler of drinks in the closest shady spot. Take a break when you need it to hydrate and cool off. Those 15 minutes can refuel you for the next couple of hours.
- Keep a pair of gloves and nippers handy. (see pic) No need to drag the whole garden cart out when you just need to get that one little thing done.
Most importantly, count your blessings. How amazing is it that a thing of floral beauty and a thing of vegetable nourishment comes from the earth and your willing hands.
I forgot to turn the coffee pot on this morning and also discovered that I am out of milk, cream, creamer…
I can choose to sink into “oh, it’s going to be THAT kind of day”.
I choose, instead, to hit the button on the coffee pot, use the minutes of the perking of the vanilla infused grounds to get centered and organized for the day. I choose to be grateful for remembering the extra tub of whipped topping I typically keep in the freezer.
One huge mug of extra creamy hot coffee, and a thankful, happy heart, coming right up!
You may not be in the place to understand this. And that’s ok.
It may be too soon, you may be new in your faith, you may not be in a place of peace or growth to absorb it…. yet.
I get it. Tuck it away for later. It’s so well said.
I saw this a couple of weeks ago, and even after years of studying, meditation, diligent prayer, collecting quotes, advisement, refinement, faith-based studies, and iron sharpening iron exercises, I had to read it through a couple of times.
I’ve carefully and thoughtfully added it to my collection of thoughts and bits of wisdom, breathed deep, and moved on.
It’s all in how you look at it.
What a whirlwind season of celebration this is!
What I woke up to this morning, from a realist’s perspective, is a big stack of laundry, the ironing supplies in the hallway, shoes strewn across the floor, party buckets and bins and platters to be put away, dishes to be loaded and unloaded, excess party candy to be stored, a bit of sticky watermelon juice still on the kitchen floor…
What I see, as I move from chore to chore, is something different.
I see the glue.
The glue that binds us together as family and friends. The shared memories. Precious time together.
I see the bonding that shared tasks and projects bring. The extra laughs that come when you are bone tired, but still getting it done because you are with dear friends.
I see the smiles on sweet faces and happy tears of pride and joy. I see the love of the food and music and pictures and friends. Hugs hello and hugs goodbye. Good memories in the making.
I see scripture come to life as the strength of a cord of three strands that is not easily broken. And that two is better than one. And greater love hath no man than to lay down his life. I see our family and friends come to share in our celebration, laying down their life for a bit to be with us.
I see many prayers in motion, for peace and love to rule these days. I see the grace as we come together to celebrate as family. I see great strength, and beautiful growth blooming.
I see our bright future together.
What a wonderful world. A wonderful, wonderful world.