Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Wrtier's Guide for Preparing for a Diet.

Preparing for the diet is a necessary evil to see success.
RWA national is around the corner, and here I am preparing my body for a diet. Yes, preparing. After doing a lot of research on why diets fail, besides cheating on the diet itself, I found it is more about the body’s reaction to the sudden lack of junk and fatty foods. It is one of the biggest reasons diets fail. We’re actually putting our bodies and mental attitude under a lot of stress by sudden denial of everything bad for us, which we often love. It’s a love/hate relationship.
What to do?
Take a look at when it would be a good time to start a diet, and start to mentally and physically preparing in the weeks prior. Most diets started on January 1st fail by the 15th. Look at the date, it’s January 1st, a good time for new beginnings, but possibly the single worst time to start a full blown diet. The weeks prior to New Year’s Day, we party hard, drink too much, over eat foods we normally don’t eat, we're way off normal schedules, are placed in stressful family situations and travel. Then we celebrate the end of the year and think the next day we’re going on a diet. It’s a recipe for failure before it starts.
First sit down a take an honest look at your diet. Not the holiday one, but the one you eat everyday. That is the diet that has caused you to slowly gain weight. Write down everything you’ve eaten normally and add up the calories. It is a sobering experience to see the blaring abuses in the form of way too much caloric intake.
This is when you pick an actual start date for the diet. Don’t make it the next day. Pick a reasonable date one month out. First, pick out the highest calorie item. For me it was wine. I loved to have a couple of glasses of wine with dinner. Alcohol is the biggest diet killer. I started to slowly bring down my intake of wine to two glasses a week. Then what followed was the slow elimination of processed foods. I’m lactose intolerant, so I only gave up hard cheeses, during those weeks. No dairy, was the easy one for me. While I was getting rid of bad things, wheat or gluten's, were slowly being eliminated. As I did this over a month, with the reduction of one thing at a time to get where I felt I was ready to hit a diet full on, I had lost five pounds.

If you are contemplating a detox prior to a diet, prepare your body in the same way, with slow elimination of bad foods. You'll have much better results from the detox. You will lose weight with a weekend or three day detox, but-will gain it back as soon as reintroduce regular meals, even diet meals. Just keep that in mind. And research detoxes or cleanses carefully, there is a lot of really crazy ones out there. I like Dr. Oz's, because you still take in calories. Plan your detox on a quiet, uneventful weekend. Don't do it when you are attending parties, family gatherings or any stressful event.

As I went through this process of preparation of a detox leading into my diet, I mentally prepared myself for the actual diet. This is an important if you’re deciding to go on a strict limited diet. To try to give up everything at once puts both physical and mental stress on you, which can add up to failure. It’s a slow process to become a healthier eater, and requires patience. You've got to plan every meal, and know what you can eat when you go out. Check out menu's on-line before you go to a restaurant. It's all about being prepared. As for parties, I simply go with the flow, don't expect anything special for your diet or ask for it. It's your choice to be on the diet, the world doesn't care.
To help with my mental attitude, I cut out pictures of dresses I’d like to wear to National, and tape them in a place where I’d see them daily. For me it was inside my medicine cabinet. I’ve reminded myself daily, I’ve really started late on this, and so I won’t be at my goal weight, but will at least be half way.
Now take a look at diets that have worked well for you in the past, and examine why they failed. Be honest, was it you or the diet. I’m a yoyo dieter, and I can say without a doubt, I’m the reason for failure. 

The hardest diet for me is the low carb, or Caveman diet, but-it worked the best for me. I’ve found success with it in the past. It’s just I hit it too hard out of the gate, and the diet collapsed under the stress. It’s not an easy diet, every meal has to be planned, and eating out is difficult.
Now I’m on my caveman diet, and doing well, because I prepared myself both physically and mentally for it. With this particular diet, I was prepared for the headache from the lack of carbs, but it wasn’t as bad as the first time I did it, because I’ve slowly eliminated high sugar items over the past month. 
Why the caveman? I like meat and love vegetables. The combination is a good one for me. It does require a lot of planning and cooking, both of which I don't mind doing. I also have the support of other family members who are on the diet, and inspire me with their success. I find it to be a very clean diet also. I buy only grass feed meats, and organic veggies. It's an adjustment, but I'm making it work, because of all the preparation.
As for exercise, I’m allowing my body and lifestyle to adjust to the diet, before I start to add a normal exercise routine. It's about the stress of trying to do everything at once. Build up to it.
I'm not a nutritionist and am not indorsing any diet. If you have medical problems and are on medication, talk to your doctor before attempting any strict diet or exercise. Pick out a diet and exercise program that works for your physical conditioning and lifestyle. 
Next week, adding exercise.  

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