When I first started my weight loss journey 7 years ago, that’s all it really was to me, trying to lose weight. Trying to lose a certain number by a certain milestone, which I did. But it wasn’t until I started adding other things such as exercise that the weight loss actually stuck.
Dieting Vs. Lifestyle Changes
If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that I’m a WW, Wellness that Works member, formally Weight Watchers. The new branding means WW doesn’t focus solely on weight loss, in fact you don’t even have to be weighed at the meeting.
Instead of a traditional weigh in you can have a wellness check where you talk to your coach about your recent week. It’s like having a lifestyle coach, they focus more on exercise and your mental wellbeing, while still offering nutrional tips.
I never feel like I’m on a diet. To me, a diet suggests a short-term fix to a problem. I, on the other hand, am making significant lifestyle changes to become healthier, which yes includes weight loss.
Knowing the difference
A lifestyle change includes what you eat, how you manage stress, how much exercise you do and more. Yes, lifestyle changes may involve you restricting some foods, like how much fast food and junk food you eat, but there are not as many restrictions placed on it.
For example, if you do have a takeaway now and then (or even a week of them!), it’s not the end of the world and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. Moderation is the key here. One day I may treat myself to a McDonald’s the next I may eat a wholesome chilli.
Making small changes
Here are some of the main changes I’ve made to my lifestyle:-
- Eating healthy, nutritious and whole foods to nourish my body, such as switching from white to wholewheat and eating more protein.
- Practicing moderation, not restriction.
- Exercising on a regular and consistent basis.
- Relying on my body to tell me what I need and listening to it when I feel satiated.
- Losing weight at a safe and healthy pace ( 1-2 lbs per week).
- Measuring progress beyond a number on the scale!
- Eating a small portion and giving myself some time to feel full before getting more.
How is this different from a diet?
As I mentioned before, a diet is often a short term fix, and usually consists of temporarily changing your eating habits to promote weight loss. This may include cutting out certain food groups (such as carbohydrates) or eating less calories than the recommended amount for men and women.
Your progress is usually dependant on the number on the scale, and it is often difficult to maintain the weight loss once your previous eating habits resume.
If you’ve tried a diet, how did you feel? Did you feel hungry? Tired? Or even discouraged? If yes, this could mean a longer lifestyle change would be more beneficial for you.
No matter what weight loss plan or lifestyle changes you implement, try to focus on the long term and set yourself SMART goals to get you were you want to be. This could range from exercising a certain number of days a week, to taking time to destress.
Have you tried a diet or made any lifestyle changes? Let me know in the comments.
NB: Before undertaking any ‘diet’ or fitness programme, you should always consult your doctor