The majority of people reading this, will fall into the category of people who need to lose 20lbs or more…… don’t worry I’m in the category as well!
For years I’ve done well and not fallen into the fad diets or crazy exercise products you see and hear about. I know weight management comes down to how many calories are consumed and how many calories are burned every day. It’s a very simple formula but very complex when you translate the concepts into food and exercise.
We’ve become a world who eats “what tastes good” not “what’s good for us.” We look forward to leisure time behind the big screen watching TV, movies, video games or even browsing the Internet. Eventually we look in the mirror or get on the scale and realize it’s time to lose some weight! Too often people jump into diets and exercise plans only to see them fail.
It’s time to concentrate on lifestyle changes instead of diets and exercise
So what is a lifestyle change?
Lifestyle change is changing your daily outlook, goals and the way you eat and exercise for the rest of your life. It’s not about dieting as diets are temporary. It’s not about the latest exercise and workout plan, which can exciting at first but later it’s hard to motivate yourself to continue.
Exercise should be part of your daily routine and happen all day long every day!
In the past I was very good about choosing my diets and exercise but I now see that was the problem, I was concentrating only on exercise and diet. I realized my lifestyle is what has changed (not for the good) over the years and so has my weight with it!
As I got older I went from an active, aerobic job to working behind a desk. My wife and I worked out and ate very well BEFORE kids. We then let chicken nuggets, macaroni & cheese and other fast food into the house for a few years. We didn’t go extreme and let our kids eat anything but we did let our guard down. Combine less exercise with bad eating habits and we gained extra weight.
Next: The low fat & low carb diets, treadmills, workout equipment, elliptical machines and more
So when we realized it was time to lose weight, we completely missed just changing our lifestyle back to pre-kids. Over a number of years we bought work out equipment (we had been gym members in the past and wanted to workout at home with the kids) and went on a number of diets and weight lose plans. Some more successful than others. We shopped the center isles of the stores to find all the latest foods (processed) which were low fat, low carb etc.
How you get started exactly is hard to predict as there are so many opinions, options and diets out there. You talk to people or you see and know. You see an advertisement or you know someone has lost a lot of weight and you get your “diet” planned out. You get excited and get started and it’s tough at first as it’s a change but you move forward. You do well for a week or maybe a month or two and you start to see results and that keeps your motivation but for so many you quit too soon or hit a plateau and you quit and go back to how you were eating before.
Diets are temporary changes you choose as a way to lose some weight but not long term changes. Before you know it you are off your diet and you go back to your previous weight or maybe more!
You have to look at choosing the right foods daily and make life long changes or lifestyle changes!
I know many people like myself started an exercise plan the same time they changed their diet. I think this is a huge mistake and the reason many people fail at their overall weight loss plans. Sure it sounds good to eat better and consume fewer and better calories but as you start to exercise your body wants more calories! Next you become sore the first few days or weeks because you haven’t used these muscles in some time! Now I’m sure you’re loving the whole exercise plan aren’t you! I know many people who get motivated, join the gym, go out and buy a bunch of new gym clothes and workout for a few weeks and quit. I’ve also been told local gyms look to sell ten times their capacity or more in memberships knowing the vast majority of people quit!
So what is the lifestyle change?
The easiest way to explain lifestyle change is to quit concentrating on losing weight, you are concentrating on the negative. Quit trying to motivate yourself to a daily exercise plan and start to realize daily exercise is part of living to a 100 and beyond.. period.
A lifestyle change is concentrating your thoughts and energy on all the ways to live a long and healthy life! The keys to a long life are eating healthy, daily exercise, low stress and happiness to name some of the major areas.
Do you spend more time thinking about the way you look currently or living to 100 and beyond! This may sound crazy at first but think it through, how do you think people live past 100? It’s not doctors and medicine alone, it’s eating the right foods daily and getting daily exercise!
Second and probably most important a lifestyle change will show you how to get processed foods out of your diet and make you stop reading labels looking for low fat, low carb, low sugar foods to purchase. If it has a label, it’s probably processed and your body cannot digest many of the additives in processed foods. Your body actually retains these additives and it’s said you can have 20 lbs or more in your system!
Organic is great but not required. The first step is to stop shopping the center isles of your store and purchase fresh produce and learn how to make fresh vegetables the major part of your meals. I’m not going to tell you to stop eating meat or fruits. I’m saying take some time to learn how to cook and prepare fresh foods and you’ll see amazing changes in your life! We recommend https://AllRecipes.com all the time to people. You can search by item and find recipes for anything. Just follow the instructions and have some fun in the kitchen. It’s amazing how good fresh food tastes, prepared in your kitchen!
Take a slower more methodical approach to your lifestyle change
I mentioned above how so many people rush into diet and exercise and unfortunately so many people fail. Take some time to understand you didn’t gain your current weight in a few weeks, months or a year so it may take some time to reverse the effects! If you look closely and think back about your eating habits you’ll find over time you started having a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack and in the past you never did. Or you may now skip breakfast (most important meal of the day) or worse eat doughnuts, fast food or bagels with gobs of cream cheese! Eating out for dinner was a once a week item and now you find the reverse and eating at home is once or twice a week!
If you take the time to look back I’m sure you’ll see the gradual changes over time and see what you need to change moving into the future! If it took you a few years to gain 20lbs don’t set a goal to try and lose it in a few months!
I don’t have the time in my schedule for this
I agree the world has changed and our free time seems to become less and less all the time. If you cup is full you’re going to have a hard time adding anything else so I’ll be point blank; you’ll need to find some things to remove from your schedule! I suggest creating a list of all the things that take time in your daily life. Think through the entire week and write them down. Now cut them out and prioritize them from most important to least. Then write down one more item “Living beyond 100” and put that in the list. I hope this item finds its way towards the top and you can see how important it is to make the time!
Simple to understand but challenging to implement…… but don’t worry. Every time I eat something I ask myself “is this food in it’s natural state?” Only eat foods that are natural from our earth. Maybe you can’t find organic or they are too expensive for now eat the fresh produce you can find at your store and learn interesting ways to prepare the foods! Eat eggs as they are as natural as you get. Speak with your doctor but I think they will agree even if you have a cholesterol problem, IF you eat naturally, get some daily exercise they will agree eggs are one of the best foods for you! Fresh meats from the store are still better than processed meats or fast food. Don’t equate an hamburger on your grill made from 90% lean meat vs fast food as being the same. It’s ok to have meat with your meals if you are a meat person, just make vegetables 2/3 of your meal and meat 1/3
If you remove all processed foods from your diet and eat foods close to their natural state, you’ll not only lose weight but feel better and live longer!
I may have down played daily exercise too much in my statements before but my point was don’t make exercise so hard you don’t get it done every day. Don’t assume you have to block off 30-60 minutes a day. If you don’t have that time you’ll never get it done. When I talk about lifestyle changes I talk about parking as far as you can from the stores or places you visit. Get your walk in during the day throughout the day. Take the steps vs riding the elevator. In many parts of the world today, people walk a mile or more a day to get water and take it back to their homes. Or they walk a few miles a day to heard their sheep and many of these people are living what we call simple basic lives but many of them live beyond a 100 never seeing a doctor!
Low stress and happiness are directly connected to living a long life. This article has concentrated on eating and exercise but I have to mention living a happy life and it’s importance. I know there are people so unhappy and stressed that their life seems out of control and they eat what they can when they can and never exercise. This may be the most important part of this article for many. You may need to work on reducing stress and becoming more happy to start eating better and exercising for life.
Here are a few foundational principles you need for lifestyle living:
- You must believe undeniably that your creator meant for your life to be happy, abundant and healthy
- Your happiness must be based on YOU. If you base your daily happiness on other people (you cannot control other people) you run a high risk of an unhappy life!
- Have faith (undeniable belief in things you can’t prove) that life will turn out the way you want it to
- Realize you are were you are today based on the things you done in the past to this point. It’s up to you to change by a few degrees moving forward and over time it will repay you many times greater!
Blue Zones: The authors studied in detail five areas around the world where there are high concentrations of people living beyond 100 or “centurions.” From Japan to Italy to Southern California and other locations the consistencies were non-processed foods, daily exercise, low stress and happiness!
150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: Written by a doctor and a real eye opener on what you may think healthy is!