“I am going to start a diet tomorrow“. How many times have we said or heard these words? What do these words mean to you? For most of us it means a period of time in which we will subject ourselves to torture in order to lose a few pounds. Eventually we grow tired of this torture and go back to our old habits and gain those pounds back. I have known people who have been on this diet merry-go-round for years. One person comes to mind who actually uses the words: “I need to stop eating for a while”! This person thinks that the key to ideal weight and health is to not eat. He will skip breakfast and eat a pack of crackers for lunch and then a light dinner in the evening. He loses weight only to gain it back when he decides “to eat” again. This is an unhealthy practice which has been proven not to work on a long term basis.
On the other hand I have known people who have taken part in a weight loss program such as ediets.com or weight watchers and have radically transformed themselves. A person comes to mind that I know rather well. She would actually enjoy her well planned meals and she often talked of taking regular walking trips with her mother. She lost weight and has managed to keep it off.
The obvious difference between the two people I mention is that one is on a diet and the other has changed her lifestyle. Let’s go deeper. Why is it that a program like ediets or weight watchers can help a person achieve a lifestyle change and so successfully reach their weight loss goals? I think the reasons are many but I want to focus on one which I feel is instrumental in helping someone achieve a lifestyle change. Education.
One thing I have noticed when talking with people about weight loss and exercise is that everyone thinks they know how it is done. Unfortunately the ways they know are not healthy nor are they long term answers to being overweight.
A lifestyle change comes from a transformation of thought which comes from learning something new or a powerful emotional incident. A perfect example would be of me learning about Cola’s and the sugar they contain. Did you know that one can of Cola contains nearly 10 teaspoons of sugar or the entire daily recommended amount of calories from sugar? I certainly did not know this and was very startled when I learned it. Ponder on that for a while and it will certainly change your beverage consumption. Making a decision to change from cola to water is not very appealing. After studying the health consequences of cola and then studying the rewards of pure water…drinking water is now an enjoyable experience. When I go to take a sip of water my thoughts are on how cleansing it is to my body and how healthy it is to be well hydrated.
I know that the above example is an oversimplification but my point is that education is the key to lifestyle change and programs like weight watchers and ediets are perfect ways to get this education in a supporting atmosphere. I like the fact that some weight loss programs can be done online in the privacy of your own home. You can be united with other members and join them in chat rooms and discussions. You can share recipes, success stories, and emotions. Joining together with thousands of other members give you access to physicians, counselors, dieticians, and other motivated people at a fraction of the cost it would cost you if you tried to hire them one on one.