Are you making a New Year diet change?

Fasting, detoxing, cleansing.....

It's no surprise that after the holiday season and the start of the New Year, weight loss is a top priority. However, weight loss involves a lifestyle change and for many people, there are many psychological barriers that prohibit the "right" changes from being made. 

Motivation in the New Year to eat better, exercise more or live a healthier lifestyle is not uncommon but is this going to be the year when it's no longer an attempt but rather a start to a new, maintainable healthy lifestyle?

Of course, you may have said it once before...

"THIS will be the year when I stick with my new habits!!"

But we all know that making a lifestyle change is challenging and when people can't follow a diet plan, they feel like they failed. When people succeed it a diet plan, they feel great success. 

But unfortunately, many people will go year after year, diet plan after diet plan, never realizing that these plans were not ideal for their lifestyle. So much money, time and energy invested in trying to be good with a plan that was never ideal for your lifestyle in the first place!

But don't worry- I want to help you out so failing or short-lived success is not an option this year.  

Diet fads make it easy. 
Eliminating food and following a restrictive plan that tells you what not to eat is one of the easiest and most effective ways to losing weight. 

But as we all know, diet plans don't work because they are designed for the masses and not for you and your life. 

And especially for athletes, you do NOT fit in with the normal population because you are doing extraordinary things with your body that the normal population does not have to consider when modifying the diet.

For athletes, your diet must support your metabolic needs so that you do not compromise your health as you attempt to improve your performance. 

If you really want to commit to a healthy change this New Year and follow through with your attempt at breaking old habits for a better lifestyle, you have to have a plan that prepares you for success.

It can be extremely tempting to follow the crowd and follow the same plan that thousands and thousands of other people will follow, but is it the right plan for your lifestyle?

If you are really serious that you want to change your diet in an effort to lose weight, change your body composition, improve your health or maximize performance, here are a few tips to employ in the first week of the New Year:

1) Create a positive food and body vocabulary and avoid negative language when it comes to food and your body. Stop calling yourself fat, ugly, disgusting or gross and instead, speak positively about your body and what  it has allowed you to do or what you want it to help you accomplish in life. When it comes to food, stop the bad, horrible, off-limit food list. See food for what it is as it nourishes your body, fuels your workouts and gives you pleasure when you eat.

2) Create order with your diet. The number one reason people fail with a diet plan is because they can't maintain it. There are so many reasons why diet plans don't work and it's time, once and for all, that you remind yourself that you need to establish an eating style that works for you. Do not try to change too much at once. Restriction and food elimination will not last long. Focus on only the following to start a new style of eating: Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time, reflect on your meals and snacks to decide if they are working for you (do you feel satisfied after you eat?) and consider how your emotions, busy life and workouts affect your food choices (or are impacted by your food choices).

3) Eat real food. Aside from a diet plan that endorses bars, shakes, pills and other marketed products with their diet plan, almost every diet has one thing in common - eat real food. Our society has a very big problem when it comes to how and what people eat and real food is often not to blame. Before you decide to do anything drastic with your diet, just think about how you have been eating for the past 6 months. That's it - just think about what was or wasn't working for you and then ask yourself if eliminating carbohydrates, restricting calories to 1000 a day, fasting, juicing or detoxing is really going to be the change that you need. Ask yourself, what are my most major struggles with my dietary habits that are not helping me with my weight, performance or health goals?
4) Eating should be a positive experience. So many people see eating as a miserable, stressful and overwhelming experience. In other countries and some in the US (although it is rare in our society where so many people have an unhealthy relationship with food), where people have a great relationship with food and the body, meal time is a positive, enjoyable and happy experience. Life stops for meal time and it often happens at a table and not in the car, behind a computer or on the go. Next time you do a search on the internet for "how to eat healthy", check out how people eat around the world, especially those who have increased longevity due to their food choices (because that is why we all want to eat healthy right, to live a long life, free from disease). 

5) It's a lifestyle change. Speaking of how other people in the world live their life, a healthy lifestyle is more than just eating "well." People who seek a high quality life embrace many components that  bring happiness and good health in life. Are you really going to be happy avoiding carbohydrates, eating 1000 calories a day, fasting every 2 days, not eating fruit or a dessert ever again or not being able to eat around other people or out of your home because your strict eating habits are well, too strict? A healthy lifestyle means managing stress, sleeping well, staying active, moving the body as much as possible (reducing sedentary time), making "me time", being around positive people, giving and receiving love, finding joy in a career choice, eating a diet that bring happiness (and not restriction), being out in nature (or outside), traveling and experiencing new things in life. If eating better is important to you, consider the other components that you can change that will make you feel like you are living the best life possible for your body. 

If you are struggling with your eating or body image, seek a healthy diet or body composition change or want to improve your eating habits without affecting your performance or want to excel as an athlete by fueling your body properly, send me an email - I would love to be part of your lifestyle journey.

 I do not offer diet plans because I treat every athlete that I work with as an individual. The style of diet consulting that I offer is not trendy, sexy or mass-marketed but it works because it takes YOUR lifestyle, your habits and your goals into consideration.