chfitness1Long term thinking paired with a “flexible” mindset is the key to dieting success.

Most of us have been trained under the idea that in order to get healthy, we must be under some sort of restrictive dieting or eating program. Or we want to lose weight so quickly…just as fast as possible that it’s all about rushing, cravings and social deprivation…all this we’re willing to suffer in order to get our “quick fix.”

It’s the need for “instant gratification” that causes people to try and lose weight and gain health with extreme approaches or measures.

All it causes is impossible, unbearable, rigid, miserable standards that no one could maintain.

Those who choose extreme methods are thinking “short-term”…instant gratification. Unfortunately all that type of thinking does is unbalance the diet and cause severe nutritional deficiencies putting you at a higher risk for health conditions such as osteoporosis, anemia and reduced energy levels.

The truth is, extreme approaches may work to lose weight initially, but it bears a terrible flaw. It is simply not sustainable.

In other words, you will end up gaining back the weight you took off when you were involved in your “extreme diet.” The minute you reach your goal and revert back to somewhat normal eating habits, your weight returns back too.

There is however one major difference. When the weight returns this time it returns to a less healthy body than the one you originally started with making this “merry-go-round” of weight loss even harder on the next turn.

Restrictive diet plans do exactly as the title implies. They restrict you. Just hearing the word “restrict” causes us to go into “want” mode subconsciously because we always want what we can’t have.

The very nature of the word itself sets into motion emotional and psychological actions and our diets become near impossible to stick to past a short time.

The more positive way to get your focus into the right channels is to think about and focus on the PURPOSE of incorporating a healthy eating plan into your life. Envision the benefits you’ll receive. This will involve long-term thinking as opposed to short-term thrills.

Before you begin any new type of eating plan you need to ask yourself:

“Will I be able to stick to this eating plan for the next two or more years?” If you answer “no” to that question then that plan is not right for you.

The plan you adopt must accomplish two things:

It must move you closer to your desired health level

It must keep you motivated to stick with it long-term.

Your new plan must be flexible so that your approach is more relaxed and sustainable, and you must be able to be realistic…in other words, you are human and you will break the “rules” occasionally.

It’s not the breaking of your eating plan rules that will cause failure…it’s your labels and attachments to this activity that throws you into defeat.

The worst thing you can do is go into guilt…which only leads to feeling bad about yourself and eventually more falls.

This all leads to “hate” or distain for yourself as you begin to perceive yourself as “weak.”

All from one little fall off your eating plan.

Flexibility in your diet on the other hand puts everything into perspective. It keeps things realistic and do-able.

Rather than magnifying weak areas it magnifies your strengths and keeps you calm when that moment comes that you “break your own eating rules”…which you will assuredly do at some point.

Reasonable expectations are key from the beginning. Know ahead of time that success and failure are balances to eat other.

“It is through those times that you pick yourself up after you “fall off your horse” or “crash your perfect eating plan” that you gain the opportunity to propel yourself forward.”

Look at those times as opportunity not as failure. Big huge difference in perception with big huge differences in results.

Any new eating plan should be thought of as a long-term transition to healthier habits that will be used for the remainder of your life not some short term thrill.

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Carolyn Hansen Fitness

I will inspire, inform, motivate and sometimes maybe even tick you off a little, but, I WILL get you thinking about your health in ways that you will not even begin to imagine. That’s all that really matters.