There are many ways to go about creating a healthy diet change.
The most common is the cold turkey approach.
When people do this, they literally cut out all bad food and start a new completely clean diet. They quit “cold turkey.”
For some people this really works.
For others…well they can’t maintain it and end up back where they started usually in only a few short months if not weeks.
For many the widely accepted cold turkey approach just doesn’t work.
But you have to know yourself to know what kind of approach is going to work best for you. Do you know?
Have you tried the cold turkey approach before and had the diet fail?
Maybe it wasn’t the diet that didn’t work. Maybe it was the go all in, drastic change approach that was the problem.
So maybe you aren’t a cold turkey kind of person. That doesn’t mean you can’t change your lifestyle! You just need to try a different approach!
Another great way to start a healthier lifestyle is to make small changes. I’ve talked about this approach before and I’ve found that, all in all, it works best when you aren’t looking for a quick fix but a true lifestyle change.
How does it work?
Basically, you make small changes until you’ve found a combination of healthy and unhealthy that you can handle that will get you the results you want. The combination that usually works to get great results, while keeping you from going insane, is 80% clean and 20% cheat. (Reaching 80/20 is the goal not what you should necessarily start out with…Perfect IS NOT the goal…80/20 is!)
Each week or two you try to cut out one bad thing slowly and replace it with something good. For instance, if you drink soda, you could start by cutting out all soda for the week (go cold turkey) OR you could simply cut out one soda per day for the first week and then all soda three days a week the next week and so forth until you’ve removed all soda from your diet except for the occasional cheat!
This can honestly be done with anything. It can even be done in terms of adding in good things! Like even if you really don’t like veggies, maybe you start by adding in veggies to one meal every other week. Then one meal every day. Then two meals every day…and so forth.
Small changes add up quickly!
And usually when you make small changes, they really really take root! You’ve actually TAUGHT yourself to live with the new lifestyle.
Sometimes when you go cold turkey, you get sick of the diet. And so you cheat. But most of the time, you can’t get yourself to go back to that super strict diet and so you fall off the wagon until you find another diet to try and go cold turkey with that!
Most of the time when people go cold turkey they seek perfection!
When you make small changes, you aren’t looking for perfection. You are looking to become better – to become healthier!
So next time you start a diet, think about making small changes instead of going cold turkey. Don’t seek perfection! Remember the 80/20 rule!
What works for YOU!?!
Today Lois and I were talking about her daughter trying to change her diet and how difficult that can be.
Lois didn’t think that her daughter could make the transition to Primal like she did.
But I told her that her daughter most definitely could.
Everyone goes about starting a healthy diet in a different way. And even once we’ve settled on a healthy diet, we are constantly editing it – we are constantly changing it to fit our lifestyle better, make us healthier, help us reach a fitness goal….
No one’s diet is exactly the same as anyone elses.
For some people, making a drastic diet change is simply impossible. They have to ease themselves into it.
That is exactly what Lois’s daughter will have to do.
It may start with cutting out soda. Then vegetable oils. Then gluten until she finds a diet that not only makes her healthy but allows her to reach her goals and enjoy life.
Yes that’s right…ENJOY LIFE.
Most people don’t consider “enjoying life” when they start a new diet.
You have to create a diet that works for you! And you won’t stick to a diet that you don’t enjoy!
While you want to eat what’s healthy, you also have to allow yourself foods that you enjoy.
While you don’t want to eat a ton of bacon or a ton of cheese, if you enjoy those foods ALLOW yourself to have them. If you deprive yourself for too long, you will just fall off the wagon and have the hardest time getting back on.
If you enjoy pizza, while you don’t want to eat it every day, you can give yourself meals to eat pizza at…and I’m not talking about some Paleo/Primal pizza…I’m talking about the real thing.
I think that all out cheats once a week really work for some people.
There are just so many things that can work. You just need to find out what you enjoy the most while staying in line with what is healthy.
Only if you enjoy the diet will it really work for you!
And if a diet doesn’t work for you? You won’t stick to it no matter how healthy it is!