“I’m going on a diet.” Have you ever uttered these words? If so, what did you mean by “going”? Did you plan on returning? I’m sure you didn’t. The sad fact, however, is that diets are prone to fail and a round trip voyage is practically guaranteed. Based on the numbers, 90% of people who lose weight will gain it all back….sometimes even more!
Diets can be much like a rubber band. You can stretch yourself to accomplish just about anything, but often times the rubber band will snap back to its original shape! Many people spend their lives stretching the rubber band back and forth repeatedly, which is otherwise known as yo-yo dieting.
A better approach to losing weight is to skip the diet concept altogether and instead make a lifestyle change. The idea behind changing your lifestyle is that the modifications you implement will be long-term and the effects will be permanent. In other words, imagine stretching the rubber band and then applying it to a hook….never to snap back and return to its original shape. Sounds easy, right? I’m kidding, obviously, but I do have some advice to share which may help out.
I have a secret, based on my own personal experience over the past few years, which may help you successfully implement a lifestyle change of your own. The secret is to establish a clear PURPOSE behind your mission and tie it to a CAUSE.
My PURPOSE in creating a lifestyle change was health and longevity. Plain and simple, I wanted to minimize the potential for disease and add years to my life. This is something I am incredibly dedicated to. I’m sure there are a variety of ways in which you can establish a purpose for your own lifestyle change.
The latter part of my secret, and arguably the more challenging of the two, is to tie this purpose to a CAUSE. The cause must be deep-rooted within your belief system, so crossing the boundaries is not only counterproductive to your mission, but it is not within your established moral compass to do so.
For example, one of the lifestyle changes I made was to avoid eating dairy products. My purpose in doing this was for my health (avoiding saturated fat) and the cause I tied it to was twofold: 1) I felt that eating breast milk at age 40 was no longer necessary or appropriate, and 2) After researching some common practices of the dairy industry, it was something I chose to no longer support.
Applying my secret of adding PURPOSE and CAUSE to your mission will effectively eliminate temptation and feelings of deprivation, which is a recipe for success! For instance, I laugh when people think I am “depriving” myself because I don’t eat cheese. Ever since I established this lifestyle change, not once have I felt deprived. And it has nothing to do with the fact that I don’t like cheese or that I think it doesn’t taste good. On the contrary, I have just determined that dairy is not something that should be going in my body from a health or moral standpoint. Those reasons are enough for me to avoid eating them altogether.
So….think about your dietary goal, convert it to a lifestyle change and plug it into my above mentioned “secret formula”. I would be very interested to see what you come up with and any thoughts you may have. And please do share your best practices and successes! Good luck!