Dieting doesn’t work. There, I said it. I’ve tried almost everything over the years, and despite some brief shining moments of success, I often end up gaining weight. It’s a depressing cycle of deprivation and obsession which leads to failure every time. Constantly checking labels, counting calories, and watching both the clock and the scales, produces little more than misery. BUT I’ve finally found a solution that seems to actually be both successful and sustainable.
I’ve decided to casually think of my current undertaking as “My 10% plan”. I’ve long since discovered that to give credence to any kind of diet, exercise plan or lifestyle change is to ensure its failure, so the timing and degrees of the things I increase or decrease are kept fluid. I know that stressing about every step I take or every bite of food won’t help, so I guess you can say I’ve reduced stress by 10% too.
Having identified a whole bunch of things that I want to improve upon, I’ve set about making slight changes wherever possible. I want to drink more water, so instead of getting stressed about trying to reach a huge target of 8-10 glasses a day, I’ve simply made a “10%” increase to my usual consumption. Same goes for cutting down on caffeine, sugar, milk, and chocolate. I find I don’t miss what I’m skipping, because the choice to have it now and skip it later is always mine. If I’m with friends and I want a latte or a glass of wine, I simply have it. No guilt whatsoever!
I want to eat more fruit (ahem, yeah, instead of other snack items) and I’ve found it’s easy when you have favourites on hand. Frozen berries and low fat yoghurt for the win! I’ve also been riding my exercise bike daily, spending more time outside, and sleeping in on the weekends. The changes have been surprisingly easy to incorporate, and while the idea of my 10% plan simmers away in the back of my mind, it hasn’t taken precedence over every aspect of my life like full-on diets always have.
It’s early days yet, but I’ve already lost just over 3.5 kilograms (about 8lbs.) I feel like I haven’t had to go out of my way to make it work, and that of course means I can continue on with it. I refuse to set deadlines or goals at this time, because “it aint broke”. I intend to keep plodding along, making slight adjustments as necessary, and will report back with any successes worthy of mention.
Please feel free to join in or comment as you see fit.
Wishing you 10% less of what you want (and can afford) to lose, and 10% more health.