It’s not about starting another diet; it’s about making a lifestyle change!” Lifestyle is the buzz word right now as people are becoming painfully aware that diets have a dark and dirty under belly. Unfortunately, while we may hear it every day it doesn’t change the fact that when you wake up tomorrow, and start eating 1200 calories a day and exercising like Peyton Manning you feel like you’re on a DIET.
Allow me to clarify what the difference between another diet and having a true and meaningful lifestyle change. Your body has been on one diet or another since you were born. Whether it was the ‘junk food diet’, the ‘I’m in college and eat Top Ramen diet’, or the ‘I’m pregnant, step away slowly diet’; either way it’s a diet. It’s a conscious decision to eat a certain way every day- that literally is all a diet is.
Think for a moment the first time you tried something; for instance, your favorite ice cream- once you started eating that ice cream, once you realized you liked it and it made you feel good, you started eating that food repeatedly. Therefore, making that ice cream a part of your diet. Once the ice cream became a regular part of your diet, it became a lifestyle change in which you now eat ice cream almost every day. You can see through this chain of thinking – a diet decision became a lifestyle change before your very eyes.
Of course, that leads to the next thought- which is how can I make healthy food that will make me thin, healthy and happy a lifestyle change. There is good news and bad news. Our brain is very clear about what it desires, if you consume something that rewards your pleasure center you will crave that thing… Potentially a lot. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that you can train your brain that healthy food, while it may not light up your pleasure center right away, still makes you feel good and right If you eat good wholesome food every day, and you never get stomach aches or bloats from rich food, or indigestion from fatty or greasy food, and you feel light and energetic, your brain will get that message. That means that you are always speaking with your brain, you are constantly trying to communicate.
If you tell your brain and body that the best you can do is light up that reward center- it will take what it can get. But, if you tell your brain that these certain foods can make you clearer, give you less headaches, and allow you to be at your best- your brain will hear you!
So, the truth of the matter is that everyone starts a ‘diet.’ You can’t escape it, if you are eating in a way that is making your fat and sick today, you will have to start a diet if you want to be thin, and healthy- there’s no trick. But once you start that diet, once you (and your brain) really believe that this diet food is rewarding and making you feel good- you will start to crave good food!! Believe me, today I crave yummy creamy yogurt with cooked apples and cinnamon- and my brain believes me!