There are many opinions on how to start and maintain a successful diet. How many diets have we all started only to fail within a few days?
Food is not just food anymore. Food is social, soothing and a boredom buster. To successfully achieve a healthier lifestyle, we have to put food in it’s rightful place. Food definitely has a place in our life and of course, we should enjoy it, however, if we choose to live a healthy lifestyle, food cannot be our addiction.
How is food an addiction?
Do you feel happier while snacking?
Do you need to snack when sitting down to watch TV?
When feeling down is your first thought of comfort to eat?
Just like any addiction, food will control our lives if we allow it.
Food is necessary. Food should be enjoyable. There is a balance to be found between enjoying food and losing or maintaining weight.
Success in diets starts with understanding diet is a taboo word. In our minds, diet is negative and temporary. Prior to this lifestyle change, my eating habits were eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. This led to me being 30+ pounds overweight.
To be able to maintain successful eating habits, commitment to lifestyle changes and mindset are necessary. When I began this journey, I put together a list of unspoken rules I felt necessary for myself. Your list could be different than mine if you have different food addictions.
Rules of Weight Loss
1- No eating after dinner
2- At least 1 meal replacement shake daily
3- No fast food drive through visits
4- No buying junk food
This was a gradual change for me, but the list helped me refocus my efforts daily. My body was craving the sweets, fast food and junk food snacks. I tried to be careful about being so hard on myself, allowing myself to give into the cravings from time to time, but in a very portion controlled setting. In time, the cravings subsided.
What was remarkable and gave me more motivation and encouragement was that when I did eat something high in fat or sugar, it wasn’t satisfying as it once was! I would even feel a little sick from it – which proves high fats and high sugar contents are NOT what your body needs. It was great to be at the turning point of really wanting to eat the healthier foods!
How Meal Replacement Shakes Boost Ability for a Successful Diet
Meal replacement shakes provide real benefits towards a weight loss goal. The shakes, when chosen carefully, help provide the necessary vitamins and minerals the body needs on a daily basis. Particularly when starting this journey, it can be difficult to eat low calorie, high nutrition foods to feel full and satisfied. The shakes are easy to prepare and come in a variety of flavors.
Beware of trying just any meal replacement shake. Many are marketed as weight loss shakes but fail to provide the necessary proteins and fiber as needed. Without the proper balance, you will be back in the kitchen in an hour looking for your next meal or worse, in a drive thru.
Two of the brands that meet the standards needed for weight loss are GNC Lean Shake and Advocare Meal Replacement Shake.
The Advocare shakes are thicker and have much more flavor than the GNC Lean Shakes, however, both are excellent in jumpstarting a weight loss program. Advocare is great with providing new flavors on a regular basis, if only for a limited time.
Right now Advocare is featuring this Chocolate Peanut Butter shake that is so chocolately rich it sounds cliche`, but you really truly forget it’s a meal replacement shake!
There were many days, several months into my weight loss I drank 2 shakes a day, breakfast and lunch. At the time, I wasn’t well versed on healthy foods, didn’t want to take the time to prepare food and needed something quick, otherwise, it would have been too easy for me to eat something unhealthy.
Even now, I often have one a day.
Beware of Not Eating Enough to Lose Weight
Never ever starve yourself. When you skip meals, your body protects itself by slowing down metabolism and storing food when you do eat. Both are counterproductive to losing weight. Eating every 2-3 hours will allow your metabolism to do its job – burn the food eaten for energy instead of storing as fat.
Your body also needs the fuel for your workouts. Eat enough of the right calories for your body to repair itself after your workouts. When your body is repairing itself, it builds the muscles we have worked hard for. We will discuss more in depth at a later time. For now, just remember to eat enough – but make it count.
So let’s recap…
How to Start and Maintain a Successful Diet
1- It’s not a lose weight fast diet, but a lifestyle/mindset change
2- Decide what your “rules” will be but allow for reasonable, occasional slips
3- Incorporate a meal replacement shake at least once daily
4- No starving, eat sensibly every 2-3 hours
As you implement these steps, your journey to feeling better with more energy will begin and…