Today, whenever you hear the word “diet”, you always think of restrictions. Restrictions in what, in when, even in how to eat. This is because the main reason you “diet” today is to lose a few (or more) pounds quickly. These exhaustive restrictions and rules are very difficult to apply for long periods of time. And you usually more than make up once the dieting period is over. Is that true? Was it always like this? What is the role of “diet” within the context of your nutritional needs?
“What’s for dinner today?” …….. “Can you bring some take-away?”…. “I’m in a hurry!”… ….. “I heard of a new diet!” ………….. “I hardly eat all day, how come I gain weight?”…. .. “I lost some weight but I put right back on!” ….. “What does she do and she’s always in shape?” …… “I have no time for exercise” …… “I really must lose weight” ……………. ….. “That’s new! They say chocolate is good for you now!” ……. “Are there good fats?”.. ………… “They gave me a new diet, but I’m starving!” …… “I heard it’s not diet, but a nutrition that one should follow” ….. “I’m always buying low fat goods, where does the weight come from?”…….
I’m sure you’ve heard all this before, right? Lots of information, al lot of articles, in a lot of magazines, studies, too much to read and digest. And most of all no time to search and evaluate what suits you and your lifestyle!
I think that if you’ve started reading this article, you probably have all these questions and are looking for answers. You’ve probably realized that the modern lifestyle is snot that “healthy”. You are trying to apply a healthier way of life, but daily commitments just won’t let go! You’ve tried it in the past without results…., and often you think that it can’t be done. Every time you look at yourself sincerely in the mirror however, you get the message that you have to change something. And you can hide from everybody else, but not from yourself.
What I can confidently tell you is that it can be done!!! I’ve done it, and if I can, then for sure you can too!!! Believe it!!!
Before going any further however, we have to take a few steps back. You can’t really correct something if you don’t start at the beginning, looking for the root causes. So, let’s start.
The word diet (gr. Δίαιτα), has its roots at the greek verb “διαιτάω” (dietao), which in ancient Greece meant “to specify a certain nutrition”. In other words diet means to eat under certain rules. Today, however, when you hear the word “diet”, you always think of restrictions. Restrictions in what, in when, even in how to eat. This is because the main reason you “diet” today is to lose a few (or more) pounds before an important event, like the summer vacation, or the Christmas dinner for which you have to get into this dress or pair of trousers! Restrictions defined by some diet with a trendy name, usually supported by a glamorous showbiz name.
The fact that we usually put the weight right back on (probably more too), is not a coincidence. Today’s interpretation of the word “diet” means exhaustive restrictions and rules difficult to apply for long periods of time. Once the “diet” period is over, our bodies have been deprived of so much, that we more than make up for it. Perhaps even the word itself had to adapt to our modern way of life, demanding quick and measurable results! In reality however, these quick results are only temporary…, and sometimes dangerous.
Should we get back and look at diets with their real meaning? That is, as a way of nutrition under certain rules and guidelines? A lot of modern studies certainly prove this.
Perhaps even, a good looking, attractive body is not the target, but the result of a healthy way of life, based on good food and exercise.
Finally, how can we achieve this? We have our everyday professional commitments, ajob, family, very little free time…., is it possible?
YES IT IS!!!
Look inside you for the real reason that makes you want to follow a healthier life style. Set a target. If the motive is strong enough, you can achieve anything you want! I know you’ve heard it before, but believe it, it’s true!
Thousands of pages have been written on this topic, and we have personally dedicated countless hours of reading and self-experimentation in order to confidently state the following simple and obvious truths:
- Each person is a different, unique organism!
- What works on me, does not mean that it will have the same results on you! There are no uniform success recipes.
- Get to know yourself. If you make eating a conscious action, you can easily understand what makes feel good and what not. This will be the best guide in your effort.
- Be adventurous. Don’t hesitate to try new foods, foods that you think you might not like. At worst, you will verify that you don’t like it. At best however, you’ll discover a new nutritious food or ingredient. A little variety never hurt anybody.
- OK, you’ll tell me that it’s a matter of DNA as well….. Yes it is! Our DNA has given us a range of abilities which we cannot surpass. OK, I’ll accept that. I’ll accept the fact that I cannot run 100 meters in under 10 seconds. But if my DNA has given me the ability to run it in 13″, I will never be happy with 14″! Not even with 13,1″. I will try for 12,9″ with all my strength. And if I do it? I will certainly try for 12,8″!!!
Be the best you can be!!!
This is just a foreword regarding the mindset you should have if you want to improve.
“OK…. I’m in…. you got me… I want to improve myself. I want to eat correctly and healthily and adopt a healthier lifestyle! I want to be and feel healthy…! And finally… YES (!!!), I admit it, I want to have the best body that I can have!!! Where do I start?”
So, supposing that you don’t have a health condition or other dissorder imposing specific eating rules, we have some good and some bad news!
Good news first:
- Yes, following a healthy lifestyle can lead to weight loss. That’s not the point however. You’ve lost weight before… The point is to maintain a healthy weight for your body type forever, by following some simple, basic rules
- No, you don’t have to eat boiled vegetables and other tasteless things every day. They can be good sometimes, but all in good measure.
- Yes, you can also eat sweets (This does not include midnight raids of the refrigerator, or sitting on the sofa with a bucket of ice cream…)
- No, you don’t have to be hungry all the time and dream of cookies, cakes, chocolates, steaks, fish & chips etc.
Unfortunately, as with all in life, no good news come without some bad ones:
- Yes, there are rules. Not just for today… Not just for a week… Not even for a month. The rules are forever (…like diamonds…)!!! Even if you break them sometimes, they still apply! Nothing is lost! You just have to make some adjustments, that’s all.
- No, it’s not hard to keep these rules. Nobody will impose these rules to you! You will define them yourself! Because you know that you can keep them forever! And remember, you can hide from everybody else, but not from yourself! We’ll keep saying that!
- Yes, these rules can be tough. It’s up to you! The Brazilian goddess that shakes the earth with each step did not just become this way….. neither did Brad Pitt’s abs. They follow very strict, very tough rules. If this is the image you have in mind, then your rules have to be as tough. If on the other hand you just want a healthy body, with a regular weight without ups and downs, then believe me, the rules can be very simple. Because it will just be the result of healthy way of life.
- No, the result will not be quick. It will be gradual, but it will be permanent! If it’s 6 months or 3 years depends on the starting point, on your self-control and your discipline.
- You have to get organized! Especially in the beginning, until you get into the right rhythm, you have to spend time with getting to know yourself and your current habits. To see sincerely what you do right and what wrong. Which of your mistakes you can correct easily, and which less easy. End by “correct” we mean forever (OK, exceptions allowed…)!
- Yes, physical exercise is necessary. How much? As much as you can, or your time allows. But remember: No pain, no gain. And…, you can hide from everybody else, but not from yourself!
- If you do not achieve the desired result, you will not have anybody else to blame but yourself! Not the diet that doesn’t work, not your friend who suggested it to you, not the craving for something sweet that you couldn’t resist, or the chip shop that suddenly “appeared”. Nothing! You set the rules, you are responsible for sticking to them!!! And.. I’ll never stop saying that you can hide from everybody else, but not from yourself!
So, instead of living with the constant pressure of losing some weight for some social occasion, or just feeling better for yourself on the beach, just follow the simple rules that you yourself will set. You’ll follow them because you know you can!
As we will share our experiences in these articles, we hope that we can help you to discover and set your targets, and to define your own rules that will take you to success. You have nothing to lose. This process can even help you in other areas of your life, professional, or even personal. After all, everything in life is targets, ways to achieve them, and corrective measures when things aren’t going as planned.
Our target in greatfood.gr is to inspire you to practice a healthy lifestyle through good nutrition and exercise. Good appearance will just follow naturally.
Join us next week again in greatfood.gr when we place….
“Diets in the spotlight”