Now more than ever, we are bombarded with information about fad diets which promise rapid – and often large amounts of – weight loss, fast.
The truth is, dieting or establishing a long-term healthy eating plan takes time. Lisa Bergart, owner of Dynamix Fitness Toronto shares what you need to know about the seven stages of dieting.
She says, by understanding the normal stages of dieting you can feel better about the progress you are making.
“I’m always giving people a nudge to enhance their diet, but I never expect you to be perfect from day one,” says Lisa. “It is also normal to experience slip ups and have days when you feel as if you’ve gone back a stage.”
Lisa explains, if this happens to you, you should try to refocus on your goals and remember why you want to improve your diet in the first place. “If you feel as if you’ve reached stage seven, go easy on yourself – real success is usually achieved between stages four and six.”
Stage 1: I don’t want to change my diet and I’m not planning to
“You probably don’t see a need to improve your diet or you haven’t established important reasons to change what you are doing,” says Lisa. This is a time to consider how your weight and health will suffer if you don’t make changes now. “Don’t put off making plans for positive changes.”
Stage 2: I’m thinking about changing my diet
You know why you want to make changes, but you haven’t started yet. “This is either because you don’t have a plan or you are dwelling on what you’ll have to give up,” says Lisa. At this stage, list the benefits of a better diet and commit to a date to start your diet.
Stage 3: I’ve started to change my diet
Well done! Now you need to make healthier food choices, easier choices. Make specific plans for how you’ll eat well at home, work and at social events.
Stage 4: I eat healthy foods because I know it will help me manage my weight
“This is when you’ve made some positive changes, but it still takes some effort to counter old habits and cravings,” says Lisa. “Focus on your goals and accept occasional slip ups.”
Stage 5: I enjoy healthy foods, they taste better and it’s becoming a habit
Your taste buds are now on your side. Fatty or sugary foods are now a turn-off. Your new healthy habits are working for you most of the time.
Stage 6: Healthy eating is now automatic for me and part of my new lifestyle
“This is when you might start looking back and wondering how you ate what you did before you started dieting,” explains Lisa. Now you are choosing healthy foods without feeling deprived and it doesn’t feel like a ‘diet’ anymore.
Stage 7: I obsess about eating well
It is possible to become too serious about counting calories, which can make it difficult to enjoy food. “The stress elevates your cortisol hormone, which triggers cravings, retains abdominal body fat and makes matters worse,” explains Lisa. If this happens, take a step back and reassess your habits and goals to see whether they are working for you or against you
For professional guidance towards reaching your health and fitness goals. Contact a Dynamix Fitness certified personal trainer. Ask about our Summer special. 416-319-5472