Ah, Easter. It meant lots of food - lots and lots and lots of it. So much, in fact, that many probably feel like they’re now a big, overstuffed bunny.
And as one buffet visitor filled up yet another plate, the promise to begin a diet the next morning was made.
Diets, in case you didn’t know, don’t really work.
Sure, you might do a fancy-schmancy juice fast and the pounds will melt off. Or maybe you’ll exercise for 2 hours a day and subsist on nothing but rice cakes to shed a few excess ounces.
Unfortunately, the likelihood that you will forever keep on passing up food for juice, or that you will hit the treadmill for insane lengths of time, is slim to none. Even if you could keep it up, why would you want too?!??! That’s no way to live!
And besides, whatever you lost is likely to find you yet again.
What you need, instead of a diet, is a lifestyle overhaul. Slow and steady and lasting. No extremes.
"Look very seriously at your life to find what makes it unhealthy. Minimally change it to make it healthier,” suggests Lisa Sanders, MD, professor at Yale University.
Start Small. Be consistent.
It’s like building a house- you start with one brick, one nail.
I used to never eat veggies. Well, not anything besides corn and mashed potatoes drowned in butter. Now, I will eat a plate full of broccoli, plain. And I’ll have a salad every day. Even brussel sprouts are one of my faves. I am nuts about all things green!!
I didn’t just wake up one morning, miraculously eager to indulge in this sort of fare. It took time and effort. But I knew how insanely good veggies were for me, so I made the choice to try to change.
I started slow. I would, for instance, have some broccoli – but I’d throw on a bunch of cheese. Eventually, I started using less cheese. Now, I adore my little trees plain and with nothing on top. I wouldn’t dream of messing with the flavor by putting something on top.
My salads – I used to fill a bowl with ingredients that were the most tasty and appealing. And yes, I suffocated those poor innocent veggies with the most fab and creamy and wonderful dressing I could find. Eventually, I began adding new stuff into my salads – think more spinach, less iceberg lettuce. I also swapped out the less than ideal dressing for healthier stuff.
And so it goes – baby steps. Little by little.
You like soda? Switch to diet. Then to water.
Like to eat a candy bar? Have half. Then switch to a high quality dark chocolate version – just a little, of course!
Small things. Just a little at a time. That is what really works.
Flickr: mscaprikell; elephant wearing striped pants; anjuli ayer