Every day as I pour through the health news from various media outlets, bloggers, and magazines, I run across articles about the ups and downs of various diets- what’s in, what’s out, and stories of triumph and failure. Social media has an endless slew of “before and after” pictures, and there are thousands of new workout videos and fitness routines posted every day.

Diets are a $20 billion dollar industry in the United States. 77% of people surveyed in a recent Fortune magazine survey say they are trying to eat healthier, and about 20% say that they are on a diet. Despite all that money, we are getting bigger. 

On average, Americans spend two hours a week being physically active. Two hours a week? The Centers for Disease Control recommend that we get two and a half hours of moderate, and one and a half hours of vigorous exercise a week. That partially explains why 70% of adults in the U.S. of overweight, and 30% obese.

All you can eat buffet
The real issue though isn’t the lack of exercise. In 1965, American adults were actually getting less than two hours of physical activity a day. That’s right, 60 years ago people were even less physically active and weighed less. So what gives? The answer is simple, our caloric intake has sky-rocketed. Our plates are bigger, our serving sizes our bigger, and our waistlines are a powerful testament to the fact that we live in a world constantly presenting our stomachs instant gratification. 

Losing weight and getting to your dream goal is half the journey, staying there can prove to be just as difficult a battle. The key to losing weight, and keeping it off is a balance of self-control and sustainability with dash of common sense. If you use a special diet to lose weight, it takes determination, but it doesn’t give you the “skills” to keep the weight off. Diet is synonymous with a special weight loss technique, but diet should really be looked at as your lifestyle- your own personal relationship with your body. 

Eater’s remorse following emotionally-driven food binging is something everyone who has ever tried to lose weight is familiar with. Bad habits piggyback off one another like old childhood friends getting into trouble together. Luckily, positive behaviors work the same way. Losing weight, cooking yourself healthy meals, and exercising gives you the feeling of success, and increases your self worth. When you start down a positive track, you’ll feel good in your mind even before you see results on the scale. A healthy lifestyle works from the inside out. 

We’re approaching the holidays and New Year’s. Ironically the former often means indulgence while the latter sees resolutions made and gyms filled to capacity. In the season of giving, how about giving yourself the best gift in the world- the gift of healthy eating. 

Being healthy isn’t always easy, we live in a world where temptation is everywhere. There is an abundance of fast food, commercials for cheap pizza, bacon wrapped everything, and sweeteners put into just about anything food companies can get their hands on. To fight against temptations, look at the world through different lenses. Your lenses see all those temptations as nothing more then chemical-laden bullshit trying to bring you down. Healthy food becomes your friend, fuel for your success, a drug that grows from a seed. 

The path of weightloss and a healthier lifestyle is like riding a wave on a surfboard, it’s easy to lose your balance, but the longer you stay on for the ride, the happier you feel. 

Tips for Sustainable Weightloss:

  • Replace your sugary drink with water.
  • Listen to your stomach, eat when your hungry not just because it’s “time”.
  • Don’t eat with two hours of sleeping 
  • Keep healthy snacks like pieces of fruit around .
  • Don’t go for seconds, the first plate was enough. The second helping is just overindulging and will go straight to the waistline. Putting food on you plate at the counter helps! 
  • Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day- you will stay hydrated, feel less hungry, and it keeps the metabolism going.
  • Don’t let yourself get too hungry, you’ll be more prone to hit the junk food .
  • Enjoy an adult beverage or two, but be careful not to “drink your calories”, four glasses of wine is like eating two cheeseburgers.
  • Get enough sleep. You’ll be more likely to want to hit unhealthy foods if you’re tired.