Diet or Exercise?
(Istock)

Moderation, a great word in the lexicon of health.  A word that I find creates the best possible chances for success in your search for a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Too many, my clients included, try to find ways to lose weight that require so much sacrifice that once they're off of that fad trend, the weight comes back in a hurry! Don’t get me wrong, with nearly every diet book out there, if you were to follow it to the letter, you would lose weight. But how happy would you be for the remainder of your life, and I do hope it’s a long life, if you never ate carbohydrates again? Or refused to have a burger at a neighborhood cookout? Or only drank your food in juice form? Or only drank shakes forever? Could you really never have gluten again–bye-bye pizza, pasta, beer, cereal? There are foods out there that do cause more weight gain and inflammation than others (starchy carbs and red meat, I’m talking to you), but that doesn’t mean you need to eliminate them from your diet.

Take for example a friend of mine who has given up red meat. She’s come to this naturally by slowly reducing her intake and paying attention to her body and how it feels after these meals. Starting with no-meat Mondays, she eventually moved to eating meat only one day a week, and finally to not eating animal protein based solely on how sore her knees felt when she did. It was a slow, natural, moderate progression into a lifestyle that she loves and is completely comfortable living with. Keep in mind, every long once in a while she does eat meat, with no guilt associated whatsoever.

Moderation is key. I will always tell my clients to cut back, not cut out. To change their mindset about alternative options like cauliflower mashed potatoes. To not deprive themselves but strive to be better and to enjoy life along the way. No starchy carbohydrates in the evening, I tell my clients. That leaves, literally, half the day eating healthy, whole grains. There’s nothing wrong with oatmeal in the morning and a small portion of whole wheat pasta or tortilla for lunch. Cut back on your alcohol, I tell nearly every one of my clients. This does not mean you should never enter a bar again! Find a simple, non-sugary drink and have less! Have one glass of wine, not the whole bottle. Cut back on your total sugar intake, I tell my clients. However, when that perfect summer afternoon comes along and you have the opportunity to have a slice of dessert with your besties, by all means, enjoy your life.

A healthy lifestyle, instead of a quick fix, is what I hope you truly find. A way to make your body feel good and your mind be completely cool with it as well. There will always be the “next big thing” in weight loss. Just make sure to take the central idea and try incorporating it into your life. Moderation is key–you work too hard to ruin it now!


Twitter