What’s Your Motivation?

You want to eat healthy and exercise regularly, but it seems that you fall off the wagon rather quickly. What’s your motivation for the changes you are wanting to make? Is it about changing your appearance – being skinny instead of fat? Is it an outfit, pair of jeans, or a swim suit you are dying to wear? Is it the attraction of the opposite sex? Maybe it’s a class reunion or seeing an old friend? If your motivation is any of these, you are not really motivated at all. You are looking for a quick fix to help you reach a superficial goal. It’s not until your motivation becomes “I want to improve my health, so that I can live a long, full life”, that you can turn that quick fix mindset into a life long way of living.

Diets simply don’t work!

The difference between a diet and a lifestyle is that a diet is temporary – something you do for a period of time or until you reach a certain number on a scale. Lifestyle is something you do all the time, forever. Diets may work for a specific period of time, but as soon as you go back to your “regularly scheduled program”, the weight comes back on, sometimes with a little extra. A lifestyle is habitual healthy eating, focusing on feeding your body what it needs in order to thrive, not starving it of essential calories and nutrients in order to quickly lose pounds, and exercising on a regular basis, not just the specific times of your diet program. If you frequently diet, only to put the weight back on, you are causing serious damage to your body.

“In a study conducted by Dr. Cornelia M. Ulrich of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, more than 114 women over 50 were questioned about their dieting histories. She found that over three-quarters of the women questioned had lost more than 10 pounds by dieting at least twice, in the last 20 years.

Afterwards, blood tests were taken to analyze levels of white blood cells — the ones that aim to protect your body from diseases such as cancer, the flu and colds. It turned out that the women who had lost and gained weight the most times — dieting five times or more — also had the lowest levels of white blood cells.

Other studies suggest that constant weight gain and subsequent weight loss may increase your risk for certain health problems, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and gall bladder disease.

Additionally, the psychological factor of yo-yo dieting cannot be neglected. Some studies have found that women who experience large weight fluctuations also experience an increased measure of psychological distress, life dissatisfaction and reduced levels of self-efficacy. In my practice, these are complaints I hear frequently when a woman starts a weight loss program again.” – Stefan Aschan

Instead, be patient and persistent, eat right, exercise and watch those healthy habits become a lifestyle. A lifestyle of health will get you the results you want at a healthy, safe pace with multiple benefits physically, and emotionally. And since it’s a lifestyle, there’s no stopping point – you’ll never have to see the weight come back!

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