Friday, March 27, 2009

The problem with diets

A friend of mine in Vermont recently won a free 6-week bootcamp, and I have been following her amazing progress ( cheering her on. In the process I have discovered her trainer Ben ( who is also inspirational, being formerly a "fat kid" who changed his life to become a fitness trainer.

While I think the intense daily workouts and strict diet plan is good for reducing and making a big change in my friend's life, I worry what will happen after these six weeks are over, because I believe that to sustain the weight loss over the long term, the changes have to be long-term as well. And I don't think this current boot camp plan is sustainable over the long term. Working out an hour a day with a trainer, who has the money for that? And carefully pre-planning every single meal? This is the problem with many diets, they are just not sustainable. While this is good for my friend right now as she wants to get down to a more healthy weight, she will need a new plan for the long-term to sustain her new lower weight.

To sustain weight over the long term, we must make small changes that we can truly keep on doing forever. These things will be different for each person, maybe someone could commit to only eat one plate of food every meal, not going for seconds. Someone else might decide they want to eat at least 50 percent of every plate full of vegetables. I personally commit to run one biggish race every year, and then train for that race, and that gets me more active than I otherwise would have been. Someone else might challenge themselves to buy one new vegetable each week, look it up on the internet to find a recipe, and cook it up to try and increase their vegetable intake. These small but sustainable changes will make a big difference in the long run, and they will make the difference between sustaining a weight loss or just going back to your old way of life, which would also give you your old body back.

Small but sustainable wins the game!

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