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Coaching Corner: Redefining “Diet”-Daily Intake of Essential Things

Linda_Hopkins_wellness coachingFor many people, the most dreaded word in the English language is the “D” word. Nothing conjures up a state of misery faster than the thought of giving up pancakes and pizza for protein shakes and fiber supplements. But the reality is, to lose weight, you must evaluate the fuel you are putting into your body—not only the quantity, but also the quality.

People say that diets don’t work. They say this because the vast majorities who go on one eventually fall off the wagon and gain the weight back. The truth is, diets work great. While one may work better for you than another, any program that restricts caloric intake will be effective to a certain degree. I dare say that you could succeed (temporarily) on one of those nonsense plans like the Twinkie Diet or the Cabbage Soup Diet, but please don’t try this. Besides wrecking your health and metabolism, eventually you are going to crave some “real” food, and by then you are likely to be ravenous and out of control. Beware of quick fixes and instant solutions that sound too good to be true. They are.

Although many reputable diet programs are available, the best plan is to focus on the principles of healthy eating you have learned at Hilton Head Health. If you insist on “dieting,” it should not have an end. It should be a transition into a lifestyle that you can enjoy and sustain for the rest of your life.

Notice I said enjoy. Yes, food is glorious and should provide pleasure as well as nourishment. The trick is to strike a balance between the two. Finding your optimal balance will likely require you to change your relationship with food and with your body. By learning to feed yourself exactly what you need physically, emotionally and spiritually, you can take charge of your health and well-being.

Mind shift: Instead of associating diets with deprivation, start thinking of the word as an acronym for Daily Intake of Essential Things. In addition to food, what’s essential for you could be more sleep, something fun to do or someone to do it with, a career change, a massage or a hug. Rather than focus on what you might have to give up, think in terms of what you can add in the areas of self-care and what you have to gain when you lose that extra load you’ve been lugging around. Benefits are sure to include better health, more energy and greater confidence.

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