Don't give up everything..

Have you ever started a detox or cleanse or new healthy life style? You probably started on a Monday and probably swore off all sugar, carbs and alcohol along with whatever else was currently deemed "unhealthy".  And you probably had insane cravings by noon right? Maybe you lasted the entire time, whether it was 30 days or 21 days, only to binge immediately after it was over on alllll the things you missed.  Or maybe you only lasted a week, or just a few days. 

It's cool.  I've been there.  I'm pretty sure about 99.99% of us have been. And you know what I've noticed that you probably have to? That for 99.99% of us this approach does not work.

First of all, it's just not sustainable.  How long can any of us last being so restricted? I once gave up alcohol for 90 days. You know what I did on the night of the 91st day? Got drunk.

I once quit sugar for about 75 days, know what I did when I ate it again? You guessed it.  Binged on it like nobody's business.

Second of all, it's not teaching us anything about our bodies and what works best for us.  You aren't learning if a higher fat diet helps to keep your full longer and reduce cravings.  You aren't learning if your workouts feel better when you eat more carbs that day.  You're just following a set of rules written by someone you've never met who tells you this will work for everyone no matter who you are.

So how can you stop this vicious cycle? Make small sustainable steps, one by one. 

If you are looking to achieve your ideal weight and stay at that ideal weight you've got to create a lifestyle.  You have to learn about your body and what works for it.  What is following a 21 day cleanse and drinking 2 shakes per day going to teach you? Probably not that much. 

Let me be clear real quick - this advice is for those who want to lose fat and keep it off.  I do have clients that I recommend cut out certain foods or food groups for a period of time in order to solve health issues, but the end goal is always to be able to eat a well balanced diet again that is not restrictive.

Okay, so how do you make these sustainable steps? Pick one thing to change at a time. Master that, then pick another thing to change.

If you always skip breakfast in the morning or find yourself driving through the Dunkin' Donuts because you didn't have time to cook, start with meal prepping breakfasts.  You can make something the night before, or on Sunday cook up an egg bake, egg muffin cups, or some overnight oats or whatever else fuels you best. Hop on google and you'll find plenty of recipes.  Or maybe you just need to invest in some healthy protein bars and a bag of protein powder and know that that's doing your best and better than those donuts. 

Once you've nailed breakfast switch something else up.  If you find yourself heading to the vending machine every day at 3p.m. for a soda can you make it your goal to stock up on some sparkling waters instead and keep those at work? Or can you aim to drink 100 ounces of water a day so you don't find yourself wanting something else to drink? 

There's no right or wrong answer here, just works best for you.  It will take some experimentation but remember you're creating a lifestyle, not following a fad diet.

If you find yourself needing more guidance on your journey to creating a maintainable lifestyle contact me at veronica@veronicamcnelis.com