Many people set out on a diet to lose weight for an event like a wedding. Others maybe aim to lose enough to be considered for an operation or for help with fertility problems. Whatever the reason is, most people on starting any kind of diet or weight loss plan don’t think about the long term and focus just on the weight they want to lose. Here are my thoughts on whether a diet should be for life.
So when you initially start out with your weight loss you throw all your clothes out that are too big and decide there is no going back. Then following your chosen weight loss plan you start losing weight and it feels great, you start loving the new you and know that you will never go back to where you were before. At this point everyone is noticing the differences in you and encouraging you to carry on so you are feeling great.
Further into your weight loss it is easy to get complacent, I know this from experience, you have a night out, a holiday or a few meals out and you think that the new you now can handle it because you maybe put a little weight back on but then soon lost it again over the coming weeks. No doubt you are feeling amazing because you feel you are in control, you feel that you can control what you eat and drink and will never go back to where you once were.
Then, weeks or months down the line you get to your target weight and wow you feel fantastic, you did it you got to that weight or dress size you dreamed of. It is now that if you are anything like me you feel so terrified of going back to the weight and size you once were and you are so very convinced that you wont do that. Everyone is proud of you and telling you how well you have done but on the other hand they also think that now you have lost the weight there is nothing stopping you drinking lots on that night out, having a slice of cake with coffee or they even buying you a big box of chocolates for your birthday! Of course you can have any of these and stay healthy and maintain your weight if you are careful and have everything in moderation, but it is easy not to isn’t it “for a treat” or “just this once”.
Are you a seen as a diet bore because you have lost weight but you still stick to your plan whilst going out and watch what you eat and drink? Do you wonder what will happen when you get to your target weight and how you will avoid going back to the size you were? Are you a yo-yo dieter who is always on one diet or another and losing and gaining weight? How do you know what diet is for you? When should you stop dieting? what is the difference between a diet and a lifestyle change?
In my opinion and based on my experiences it is easy to lose the first couple of pounds on any diet or change of life style because you are full of motivation and a change of eating habits can lead to losing a few pounds relatively easily. The harder bit is losing weight and keeping it off when times are harder and motivation is lower. I believe the only reason I have successfully lost weight with Slimming World is that it is very much a lifestyle change and I have not seen it as a diet at all. I think if I had seen the stopping having certain things as a temporary measure I would have easily gone back to them again and I have been strict with myself and decided that there are some things I know that I could not have within my syns allowance because I would over eat on them so I have chosen to stop having them completely. An example of this is take away pizza, this is something I used to have around twice a week, with garlic bread and chips too which is just something I am not prepared to have again if I wish to stay slim and not go back to the person I was. Other people may be more restrained than me and be able to treat themselves to these things sometimes but I know that I can not so I have decided I will never eat that again. Other things I can be a bit more restrained with and have small amounts on occasion and know that I will not go over the top and stuff my face!! Everyone is different but I do think that you need to think for yourself what you want and what you realistically can trust yourself to eat.
If you are reading this wondering if you should start a weight loss plan and which one to start just consider this, if you lose the weight then go back to your old way of eating how do you know you wont go back to the size you were? When you are looking at different diets I think this is a major factor you should consider, if you lose weight by drinking shakes or smoothies for two or three meals a day then go back to take away, high fat pre-packed sandwiches or greasy cooked breakfasts what will you become? how did you get to gain weight in the first place? what example are you setting your children? In my eyes the only sensible way to lose weight is by changing to a healthier lifestyle you can continue, therefore this is not a diet as such, just a healthier way of living. For me this is Slimming World because there is so much you can eat and the only restrictions are ones I set myself, I can eat until I am full, I don’t have to weigh and measure everything and I love my food I don’t feel like I am eating the same things again and again. Whatever method you chose to lose weight just make sure you feel it is something sustainable for you because any money you put into it will be wasted and any weight you lose will soon be gone if you go back to the way you were eating before and pile the weight back on.
For me I know I will continue to follow Slimming World for life, because all I am doing is eating healthily and keeping a constant check on my weight. I know that if I stopped going to my group and regularly weighing that it would be too easy for the weight to creep back on and before long I would be the person I once was and I hated being. There is no way I want to go back to wearing size 28/30 clothes and hating having my photo taken. I am slightly above my target at the moment but I am still happily wearing size 8 clothes and by going to group every week I can and keeping check on my weight I know that the 10 stone 4lb I lost to get to my target will never pile back on! There may be some ups and downs because I am human and we all have bodies which fluctuate and good weeks and bad weeks. This last few months I have had a lot of personal stress and have at times comfort eaten but because I continue to stick to the healthy eating plan and make meals from scratch using the right ingredients I can do this and know I am ok and wont ever go back to this woman I hated being!
My advice to you if you want it is this, think about the long term and what you want to be if you want to lose this weight for life think about changing your lifestyle permanently not just cutting something down in the short term. How do you want your children to grow up? What sort of relationship do you want them to have with food? Chose something that works for you, chose something you can afford, and chose something you believe will work for the long term. Don’t give up when you reach your target weight carry on so you stay the way you want to be and don’t go back! Love yourself and be happy!
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