Diets fail people, habits don’t

Have you ever wondered why is it so hard to diet? How do you feel saying the word, “diet?” What is it about eating better and exercising that is so hard for most people? Most importantly, how does one actually stick to it especially with the holidays right around the corner?

Most people tend to over analyze, complicate, and make things more difficult then they actually are. We allow our past experiences to dictate our future. It seems like we don’t take the time to figure out what we actually need to stick with it. Most of us don’t enjoy the process of eating better and exercising. So there you have it:

1. We are confused because there is so much info out there

2. We tend to live in the past. The mentality is, that’s just the way that I am or my family has been

3. We have very poor sense of awareness

4. Because we are confused and there is no support, we tend to be insecure about the process

The answer to all of the above is actually simpler then most people think. In his book, “Great by Choice,” Jim Collins talks about a SMaC Recipe. Here is what he says about the SMaC Recipe:

“So what is SMaC? SMaC stands for Specific, Methodical, and Consistent. If you’re in an uncertain, fast-changing, and unforgiving environment, the more you need SMaC. SMaC is a set of durable operating practices that create a replicable and consistent success formula.”

In other words, when we are stressed out and have too many things going on, we need a set of disciplines, habits to go by to make sure our business, in this case our bodies and our minds, don’t fail us. Here are five habits that will guarantee nutritional success:

1. Make time — probably the number one reason why most of us don’t eat right and don’t exercise is simply because it is not a priority. It isn’t important or valuable enough for us. The fact of the matter is, most of the time, it takes fewer then 5 min to make an omelet in the morning or pack a turkey sandwich for lunch.

2. Eat till you are 80 percent full — what does it feel like to eat till you are 80 percent full? Next time you eat, pause and ask yourself, how full am I? We don’t pay attention to what and how much we are eating when we are eating. We are typically distracted and therefore tend to over eat. This simple question will cut down on the amount of calories you are consuming during a meal.

3. Eat slowly — this is really interesting. It takes about 20 min for your central nervous system to catch up with what’s happening in your belly. By eating foods that are high in fiber and protein, you can make sure it takes you more time to eat because you actually have to chew your food. Try to allocate at least 15-20 minutes for lunch and make sure to eat slowly.

4. Lean proteins at every meal — in terms of weight loss, one of the main reasons why this is necessary is because protein satiates you more then carbohydrates do. Meaning you are better off to over eat on a protein packed lunch with veggies vs. french fries and chips. You will find that you are staying full longer and not crashing around 2 p.m.

5. Eat at least 5 colorful veggies at every meal — this is actually so much easier to do then most people think. A serving equals a handful. It’s that simple. No you don’t need to have a measuring cup with you to make sure it’s exactly one serving. Just grab a handful of fruits and veggies, put them a zip lock baggy with some cold packs and you are good to go.

Now that you know this, what’s the best way to begin? The best habit is the one that you are doing. Meaning pick one and start there. Do one habit for a period of two to three weeks every single day and then add another habit. If that’s too much, then add a habit every four, six or eight weeks. The most important part is progress not perfection.

Michael Gelfgot is certified though the Functional Aging Institute and has over 15 years of experience in the health and wellness industry.

Michael Gelfgot is certified though the Functional Aging Institute and has over 15 years of experience in the health and wellness industry.