For all of those considering beginning a journey to a healthier lifestyle, I would like to share some advice on how I think you should approach your this. This advice is based on what I see others struggling with the most. Do not strive to become the perfect version of your future-self overnight, just focus on taking incremental steps toward your goal. Just start by making some better choices and making small changes. I am on a journey of my own, I have been living the keto diet for 12 weeks and have lost 52 pounds so far. While I think keto is an excellent way to quickly drop pounds, get off sugar, reduce carbs, and eat healthier foods, it may not be the ideal plan for everyone. Decide what you think is the best fit for your lifestyle, and include foods you will enjoy eating. When I picture myself in the future, I see a healthy individual who enjoys life. I can go out and socialize and eat and drink whatever I want, but most of the time I will eat healthy whole foods. I did not become overweight because I made the occasional bad choice, or only indulged once in a while. I made 20 years’ worth of unhealthy choices which led me here. I probably had take-out food 10 or more times a week, drank pop on a regular basis, and ate all kinds of sweets. What I’m trying to get at is, if I can turn my life around you can too. Please do not plan to follow some strict diet and never deviate from it. That is just a recipe for failure, in my humble opinion. Trying to make any sort of change in your lifestyle is generally difficult at first, but the more you turn it into a habit the easier it becomes. Do not expect changing your eating habits to be any different, actually it will be harder.
When the body receives food that tastes good, it expects that food to be nutritionally dense. That is how nature and the food it produces communicates with us. The food created by big industry (fast food, snacks, highly processed foods, soda pop, etc.), takes advantage of this. They design the food to taste good, so we will want to eat it and they can sell it. Since our body is expecting it to be nutritionally rich, we often overeat because our bodies are still waiting on those nutrients. It never gets them, so we are constantly hungry and want to eat more and more. The big food and drink producers even spend millions of dollars testing which chemicals light up the most areas of our brains, so they can put it in their products. This causes us to become addicted to food that has little to no nutritional value for us. That is why we are usually tired and do not feel like our best selves, we aren’t getting those nutrients we need to thrive. I know I would often grab a Mt. Dew or two at work because I needed a boost to get through the day. Did it ever work? I doubt it maybe for a few minutes, but it never felt as good as I feel now. We have to break the addiction before we can start to heal, and it’s going to be tough.
Do everything that you can to set yourself up for success. Plan ahead, figure out what changes you want to make first. I recommend starting slow but go ahead and make the first step and act now. On your next trip to the store, in-person or online, get several whole food products you enjoy. If you don’t cook or are often busy find a healthy meal delivery option that works for you. Maybe you cook some meals and have some delivered, whatever fits your lifestyle. You may also want to order groceries online to eliminate some temptation at the store. Next start swapping out some of your current meals for the healthier options, maybe one or two meals every day. Do this until you are eating healthy most of the time. Please do not plan to eat healthy or to stick to your plan 100% of the time, do it as often as you can. Life will happen, you will have things come up, times you’re running late, situations where you have to eat off of your plan, or just moments when you cheat. It is going to be okay nobody is always perfect, and do not expect yourself to be either. Just do the best you can, and the results will still add up, just keep stacking the odds in your favor. Much like the way we gain weight, I think losing weight is accumulative as well. Keep doing good things, and you will start to see the results you want. Just keep choosing the healthier options, and you will start feeling better, happier, healthier, and even lighter. We only fail when we quit, not when we go off our plan. You are on your own path, do not compare your journey to anyone else’s. We all have to travel our own path, there is no single plan that works for everyone. After you are far enough along in your journey, your body will start talking to you. Now that you are choosing the healthier option and forming new habits, you will start feeling great both mentally and physically. Listening to your body will keep you from going back to your old ways. How long will this take? A few weeks, months, a year, what if I told you, it would take five years. Would you still take the trip? Wouldn’t it be worth it? It takes as long as it takes. Now that I have educated myself on the power of food, this is a life-long journey for me. I will continue to eat healthy forever. This does not mean I can’t enjoy a night out at a restaurant, order a pizza, or go out for ice cream once in a while. I will just focus on eating delicious whole foods 90% of the time, and enjoy Grandma’s strawberry pie whenever she makes it, or just about anything my Mom makes. You have to leave room for things like that, and even plan for things like that. To be honest, I do not even have to try anymore. I enjoy everything I eat. I have been off sugar and processed food long enough I no longer crave it. I just eat what’s in the fridge and the weight keeps falling off me. It has been 10 days since my week 11 weigh in, and I am down 15 pounds. I don’t even know how that is possible, its like magic. Most days I eat twice a day, once at 12:00pm and again at 4:00pm. If I get hungry after that I will eat. I may ignore it for a bit, but if it does not go away, I eat. The goal is not to see how much you can starve yourself, it is to become happy and healthy. I am eating just over 2,000 calories a day, and I am a 6’-1” male, mid 40’s, and currently weigh 230 pounds. I am either close to or over my suggested fat macro and my net carbs are close to 30 grams a day. I am pretty dialed in at this point. I have what I call my super shake everyday it is a mix of my collagen keto latte, spirulina, turmeric, green superfood powder, cocoa creamer, and MCT oil. I also have a mix of nuts each day, an ounce of almonds, .5 oz of pistachios, .5 oz walnuts, 3 tbsp of pumpkin seeds, and 2 tbsp of flax seeds. I usually eat the almonds with a half cup of yogurt before my second meal. The rest I usually throw in my salad with 1tbsp of hemp seed oil and EVO, I also add 2tbsp of kimchi and sauerkraut. All these items were in my tips to boost fat loss article, there were some others, but I can only fit so much into my diet. The only decision I have to make daily is what source of low carb proteins I want to eat. I go low to no carb for breakfast, follow with one cup of coffee, and 2 cups of green tea. I drink lots and lots of water with a pinch of pink salt and take a multi-vitamin daily. That has been my diet for the last 2 weeks, and it seems to suit me perfectly.
Set goals and milestones along your journey. When you hit your first goal, plan to enjoy some sort of reward. Maybe set a goal to lose 10 pounds and reward yourself with your favorite meal from before. Write it down as well, I think I recall hearing you are 33% more likely to achieve a goal just by writing it down. Also write down a few steps on how you will be achieving this goal. Maybe preplan the reward or celebration for achieving the goal. It does not have to always be food related, just whatever will motivate you. It is important to believe you can achieve this goal, as our thoughts will become reality. Also visualize yourself achieving the goal and enjoying the reward. if you can see it, you can be it. Now act on it! Thought without action will vanish and become nothing. Your healthy life is ready and waiting for you, all you have to do is go get it.
If you are new to this blog, I would suggest you visit my article on 5 Commandments to a Healthier You, and my tips for weight loss articles. I may be living a keto lifestyle, but I think there is good information in my blog that can be applied to any diet.
Good luck on your journey and have a great day!