Here, I said it: THROW DIET OUT OF THE WINDOW
Stats show that most dieters either don’t reach their goals, give up in the middle, or bounce back to where they were when they started.
Does this mean we should give up the dream of the health, the fitness, the energy and the body we want? Not at all.
Here's a 5-point realistic advice on how to get there:
1. Treat wellness as a long-term plan (WELLNESS PLAN). Sort of like your retirement savings. You save a little each month as an insurance for having a respectable life style when you’re older. Treat health the same way. Each healthy meal, each walk in the park is an investment.
2. Don’t eat stuff you don’t like. Food needs to be tasty. If you love pasta over salad, try the healthier alternatives of pasta (whole-wheat, rice, etc.) and throw in a few veggies you like. Gluten free is all the rage, but in the long term if you don’t like what you are eating, you will lose the willpower and the motivation to stick to your wellness plan.
3. Don’t do exercise you don’t like. P90X or Insanity may help you burn 1000 kilo calories in an hour, but if you hate doing it, you are likely to stop and get back to your couch potato ways.
Do something you like that involved physical activity, be it play soccer with your kids, walking the dog, biking in the park. Perhaps it will take you longer to get results, but at least you’ll be having real fun doing it.
4. Don’t set unrealistic expectations. They set you up for failure and disappointment. Goals are good. The best measurable goal in my book is to be able to wear clothing I wore a few years ago. And you’re going to to want to keep wearing it. Don’t set a goal of looking like Hollywood stars because they don’t have real lives apart from looking much much above average - it’s in their job description. Set a goal of looking and feeling your personal best, of getting compliments and of investing into your own future. And prepare to surprise yourself! Because you will.
5. Finally, what do you do about the cravings?
You have a few options:
a. Give in and get that Ben & Jerry’s and feel really guilty afterward.
b. Ban yourself from having ice-cream or pizza ever again (how long will it last?)
c. Give in, but be smart about it!
Say, you want ice-cream or pizza. Fine. Decide you will have pizza for dinner or ice-cream for dessert TOMORROW. And you are going to make it from scratch. That’s how you make sure there are healthier ingredients, you will appreciate the work you put in and will probably have less slices that you would have from store-bought pizza and you will get the chance to be creative.
There are so many recipes for healthy home-made ice-cream, yummy pizza (even raw), and many other healthy version of your favorite treats.
For example, I make it a point to eat a WHOLE banana bread on a Saturday while indulging in a book. Every time I crave a cake or a dessert during the week, I remember my banana bread or some other cake I am going to make on the weekend. Here’s the recipe:
- 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil or canola oil
- 1 tbsp liquid stevia or stevia powder
- 1/3 cup apple sauce or apple sauce made from 3 apples (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 ½ cups of whole wheat or spelt (mostly gluten-free) flour
- No need for a mixer or food processor! Unless you want to make your own apple sauce - it adds to the texture of the bread, but is optional.
- Preheat oven to 350F or 180C.
- Cut up bananas and mix them with the oil
- Mix stevia, apple sauce if you are using it and vanilla
- Add baking soda and baking powder. Sprinkle salt
- Add flour
- Bake for 1 hour
- Use toothpick to see if ready. If it comes out clean, it is.
- The top should be slightly brown but not burned.