Time to organise your diet
There are a thousand and one diets for you, if you look for them. Actually, there’s probably a whole lot more than that. Virtually every magazine on the shelf these days is telling you how to diet, and the quick way to weight loss. There’s absolutely no shortage of diets. But none of them are any good. NONE. The only diet that is any good for you hasn’t been written yet. It’s the one you’re going to come up with all by yourself.
You want to lose weight, right? Or just get in shape. Just take a step back for a minute … the main question you should be asking yourself is not “How can I lose weight?”, but “How to be healthy?” Whatever you want to achieve, you hope your diet will help you. And it can, if you design it yourself and make it a healthy diet. The thing is, if you work on your diet and it doesn’t help you achieve what you want, you can change it. Don’t blame anyone else … don’t give up … don’t say diets just don’t work for you … instead, make your diet work! And a healthy diet is a weight loss diet (if you actually need to lose weight).
Here’s a few suggestions to help you organise your diet. I don’t even want to use the word ‘diet’ at all really, since it has such negative connotations, but I’ll have to. I suppose I could call it your ‘eating regime’, but that sounds so clunky, even though it’s actually what a diet really is … so … here goes … here’s your diet tips!
What do you really want?
I’m going to ask you to define exactly what it is that you want. Yeah, I know, you said … you want to learn how to diet, and you want to lose weight. Well, sorry, that’s just not good enough.
Have you really thought about this? I mean, I know you’ve read all the magazine articles about your ‘perfect size’ and your ‘ideal weight’, but that’s not really worth the paper it’s written on, and you know it as well as I do. I say again … have you really thought about this?
I want you to ask yourself why you want to lose weight. And I want you to think about it for a while. Yeah, I know, thinking … you’ve get stuff to do, places to go, blah blah blah. I know thinking’s got a real bad press these days, what with all these electronic gadgets we’ve got to do our thinking and our calculating for us. But when it’s something important, I think it’s fair to suggest that you spend some time thinking about it and defining exactly what it is you want.
You see, if you want to lose weight for the wrong reasons, you’ll fail. Sorry, but it’s a fact. Weight loss, in itself, isn’t a good enough reason. And if you aren’t doing it for the right reason, you won’t last a week.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to lose weight, if that’s what you want. I’m just asking you to be specific. To know exactly what it is that you want, and why you want it. You see, you might say you want to lose weight, but when you look into it further, you might not know why you want to lose weight. Or you might discover that the reasons behind it are spurious. If you want to lose weight to satisfy someone else’s idea of what’s right for you, you’ll probably fail. Why? Because you’re doing it for the wrong reason – you’re not doing it for yourself.
And that’s the only right reason. You have to be doing it for yourself, for your own selfish reasons. Try doing it for any other reasons and you’re heading for yet another diet fail. Additionally, you want to maintain a healthy diet – that really is more important than losing weight, and you know it, right?
So think on … just sayin’ …
Common sense rules
In a world of diet insanity, common sense rules. If you just go by some simple rules, it all becomes so much easier. And those rules should be determined by … well, common sense.
- First, EAT WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY. I know, such a novel idea! Who’da thunk it? But just for a change, and just because it fits in with this common sense theme, why not just eat … (wait for it …) when you’re hungry! You see, at the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, that weird feeling you get in your gut that tells you it’s time to eat … why not pay attention to that, eh? It’s there for a reason, and it’s the result of millions of years of evolution, so I guess there’s a good chance your body knows when you need to eat, so, you know, maybe that’s the time you should actually eat … you reckon?
Here’s another one (and take note, this one only works if you eat slowly) … STOP when you feel you’ve had enough. It takes a little while for the message to get from your gut to your brain to tell it that you’ve eaten enough, so if you gulp your food down and keep bolting it down without a break, you’ll miss the message. So slow down … don’t gulp your food … and be aware of how you feel. As soon as you feel you’ve satisfied your hunger, just, y’know … stop! Hey, sorry if these seem too easy, too sort of old fashioned, these ideas. But that’s the thing with common sense ideas, they’re based on reality, not some construct that a magazine editor came up with to fill a feature page before he/she ran headfirst into a deadline.
Here’s another crazy, off-the-wall idea … ENJOY YOUR FOOD! Nature made it so that we would enjoy eating, to ensure that we did it often enough. It didn’t make it a chore that we would have to endure. So if you’ve been sticking to a diet that you don’t enjoy, and eating food you don’t really like … why??
Savour your food, every mouthful of it. Eat it slowly, and savour it. As you eat it (slowly), you’ll automatically find that you don’t need quite as much. You’ll be tasting it and enjoying it, and after a while you’ll be aware that you don’t crave any more. If you continue to eat, you’ll just be eating for the sake of eating, and what’s the point of that? Specially if you want to get to a healthy weight and maintain it.
No fad diets
I think you’ve probably got the idea that I’m not a fan of fad diets by now. There are good reasons for this.
- As a rule, they don’t work.
- You generally can’t stick to them for very long.
- They tend to make you miserable.
- If any one of them worked, everyone would be using it and abandoning the others.
So do yourself a favour – if you’re on a diet now, make it your last. Change from diets to a healthy eating plan. Find what works for you, using common sense, and stick with it (which won’t be difficult).
Plenty of water
Water is the most essential of all nutrients. Without it, even for a few days, you will die. Your body desperately needs it, and your digestion (amongst many other functions) will be in a terrible state without an ample supply of it. The clarity of your thinking will diminish if you go short of water, and when you consider than more than 70% of your brain consists of water you can see why. Please don’t confuse soft drinks with water. Soft drinks contain water, of course, and plenty of it, but they also contain copious amounts of sugar too. Give them a very wide berth.
Never underestimate the value of water. We live in an age when we (most of us) have access to a ready supply of clean, fresh water. Make use of it. Drink it like you’re drinking champagne. Remember, without this commodity, we would quickly die, it’s that important to us.
The reason we take it so much for granted is that it is easily available and virtually tasteless. But imagine for a moment what it must be like to live in a dry region of the world where your only water supply is limited and muddy, or where the only water supply is tainted by inadequate sanitation. Then think of the beautiful, clear, clean drink that we can all get from our kitchen sink, for free. Still think it’s ‘just water’?
A balanced diet is the key
It’s important to get plenty of protein in your diet (for building and maintaining healthy tissue), and plenty of carbs (for energy), and a certain amount of fats too (the ‘right’ fats play an important role as well – they help to make you feel ‘full’ and they help in the absorption of certain vitamins). Find out just how much of each you need, in terms of proportions, and you won’t go far wrong.
Do a bit of research and find out more about your specific needs, but don’t get too technical – as long as you have an idea what constitutes a balanced diet, you don’t need to be too bothered about calorie control or anything else. Let your natural appetite and common sense be your guide. And just remember, a balanced diet doesn’t mean a pie in each hand, okay? 😉
Vitamins and minerals
For more information about the role of vitamins in maintaining a high level of health and fitness, and ensuring a healthy diet, visit improve-memory-skills.com.
If you’re really concerned to lose weight, be organised about it. Know what you’re doing. Make sensible choices.
- Claim a shelf in the fridge for you own use only, and take responsibility for the stuff on that shelf. Don’t blame anyone else if you stray and eat some other stuff.
- Put a certain amount on your plate and no more. Don’t blame anyone else if you take seconds!
- Buy fresh food and cook it yourself. Make it so you know it’s wholesome!
- Don’t peel carrots or potatoes, or any other veg, unless the skin is particularly in need of peeling. Most of the nutrients are in, or just below, the surface.
- Eat plenty of vegetables. Frozen ones are good for you too, they have a lot of the nutrients locked in them.
- Keep well away from processed foods, as a general rule (no need to be faddy over it). Processing strips a lot of the nutrients from the food.
- Drink a glass of warm water in the morning with a tablespoon of cider vinegar and a tablespoon of honey added. It’s good for the digestion and kind to your stomach first thing in the morning. Tastes nice too. If you like it, drink it a couple of times during the day as well. It contains minerals and trace elements. Some people claim it helps them lose weight too.
Notice how I keep mentioning that you need to take responsibility … mm … interesting …
Trust the mirror more than the scale
You know, if you are looking good and feeling good, that should really be enough for you. People walking along the street will see you and think, “Wow, she/he looks well!”. They won’t be thinking, “She/he must weigh about x lbs!”.
No-one actually knows or cares what you weigh (apart from you!). Let your mirror, and the way you feel, be your guide. As you get in better shape, your mirror will tell the tale far more honestly than any scale.
Exercise is vitally important
You know this anyway, so don’t make out it’s news! Exercise is important, whether you want to lose weight or not. If you do want to lose weight, it’s doubly important. The combination of watching your food intake and upping your exercise levels will lead to a general weight loss. It will be gradual and might be slow after an initial quick loss, but it will happen.
Don’t waste your time and energy doing hours of aerobic activity though. Get stuck in and do some hard physical training, if you’re up to it. You don’t need to be doing long sessions (actually, if you’re doing it right, you won’t be able to). Just do really hard work, for just a few minutes.
And if you’re not up to it, just do something. Work up to doing some hard work by doing a bit, and by taking it easy at first (there I go again, see, with that common sense thing!). After a week or so of doing just a bit, you’ll be able to do a bit more, and a bit more energetically as well, and you’ll find that after these brief sessions you don’t feel worn out and energy-zapped, instead you feel energized.
The real magic of these brief, vigorous sessions is that they will result in upping your metabolism for several hours, so you’ll actually be burning fat long after you’ve finished training, which is a really healthy bonus, in more ways than one.This means that an early workout, if it’s done vigorously and raises your heart rate significantly, and even if it’s very brief, will be paying your dividends well into the day.
a) long, drawn-out sessions, and b) intense, hard work,
where you exert yourself to the max (or close to it).
And there’s just no way you can do both at the same time,
that’s just not going to happen (try it and see for yourself)!
The two, by their very nature, are mutually exclusive.
Be aware of bad stuff that’s waiting to undo all your good work. Stay well away from soft drinks, no matter how ‘low cal’ they claim to be. Stay well away from ‘healthy’ breakfast bars as well, that have been proven to have very unhealthy levels of sugar in them. If you really want healthy breakfast bars, make some yourself, it’s not exactly rocket science.
Be aware of slipping into bad ways as well. If you start to have ‘just one biscuit’ after a meal, you know very well that it will often lead to many more than one. If you didn’t have a problem with eating just one biscuit, you wouldn’t be trying to lose weight, am I right?
A few more tips to organise your diet
- Find meals and recipes you really like, and that are healthy. Again, it’s not rocket science. Do a bit of reading and research. Try a few recipes out and see what they’re like. Take responsibility for your own diet.
- When you come up with a diet that works for you, and an exercise plan, write the details down in a document on your computer. Print it out and keep it in sight, or where you can refer to it.
- While on the subject of the computer, use some software application to flash motivational phrases up onscreen every few minutes, or as often as you want, such as MindFlasher. You can make them last milliseconds so you barely seem them at all, at least consciously, or stay onscreen a second or longer, your choice. Even when they just flash onscreen for tiny fractions of a second, your subconscious will be able to take them on board.
Realise, once and for all, that it’s all up to you. Stop blaming the diets. Stop blaming other people. Stop expecting miracles.
- Start taking responsibility.
- Start working on a diet that works for you.
- Start being vigilant, and making sensible decisions.
- Start exercising, just a bit, every day.
And stop expecting your ‘diet’ to make you unfeasibly slim (you know perfectly well that the images in the magazines are not realistic).
Change your attitude to weight loss. Find what works for you.
You CAN do it.
Go for it!
There are other pages devoted to helping you get organised, and they’re not scattered haphazardly all over the site. The links to them are all conveniently organised in the sidebar!
>> Get Organised! links in the sidebar >>