Whatever you do… don’t diet!

ByDom Messino

Whatever you do… don’t diet!

Here’s why you shouldn’t ‘diet’… but rather change your lifestyle

The change of seasons marks the time when many people review their goals. Talk to a neighbour or friend, and you’re likely to come up with at least one person who wants to ‘improve their fitness’ or ‘lose some weight’.

Goal-setting is considered normal, but just how beneficial is it? How helpful is going on a diet or starting to exercise only to dump it two or three months down the line?

Rather than these short term goals, instead your aim should simply be to… live a healthier lifestyle (over the long term).

Diets Are Short Term. You Need To Think Long Term.

The mistake many people make in setting diet and exercise goals is that they think in the short term. Ask them why they are enrolling in fitness programs or doing some healthy meal planning, and you’ll probably get an ‘I-want- to-lose- a-few- kilos’ explanation.

Don’t get me wrong; this is a good and worthy goal. However, it only looks at the short-term benefits of these lifestyle changes, making it difficult to follow through with the changes in the long term.

If you’re interested in making exercise and healthy eating a part of your daily life, here are five ways to get started:

1. Eat more ‘real food’… things that grew in the ground, on a tree, came out of the sea, ran on the land, or flew through the air.  Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits are all great examples of REAL food.

2. Drink lots, and lots, and lots of water… every day!

3. Eat something green… every day! Leafy greens are extremely low in calories, yet super high in nutrients. They help your weight, your skin and your brain.

4. Get a workout buddy (and a backup one)! A spouse, friend, or neighbour is a good start.

5. Mix it up! In conjunction with Resistance Weight Training, engage in other activities including walking, running, dancing, biking, paddling, swimming, skiing, mowing the lawn. It’s all exercise. Just keep moving!

And if you need further explanation as to why it’s important here are some reasons:

Build your immunity. Performing exercises such as strength training and eating healthy protect people from numerous diseases, from blood pressure problems to cardiovascular complications. The longer you keep them up, the more likely you’ll live a comfortable life, though this also depends on your genetics.

Protect brain function. Exercise and nutrition promote formation and retention of long-term memory, fighting diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s when individuals are older.

Live happier. Exercise and nutrition doesn’t just apply to being healthy. Exercise releases endorphins that keep depression at bay whereas healthy foods (and to some extent exercise too) provide the nutrients necessary to balance your hormones. So, there you have it. Do you really need any more reasons to live healthily?

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