As we sat down and sipped on our tea, George was happy with the weight loss he reported from the diet he was on. I had only met George for 10 minutes, he was on a cookie-cutter low-calorie diet that was helping him lose weight. He had lost 10 lbs over 4 weeks and was happy with the outcome. He was a bit skeptical because he has a history of yo-yo dieting. He had one question “Is this diet good for me long term?” I asked George 4 questions that helped me figure out the answer. I realized anyone can ask themselves the same questions when going on a diet.
1) How would you rate your energy levels in the morning, afternoon and early evening?
George said his energy levels were 5 out of 10 in the morning, 3 out of 10 in the afternoon and 2 out of 10 in the early evening.
2) How would you rate your performance at work since going on this diet?
George reported he is able to work no matter the circumstances because of his high-demand managerial, but he did admit his concentration/focus diminished which caused him to stay longer in the office to finish tasks and he was feeling more irritable/less patient with people than usual.
3) How would you rate your cravings in the evening and are you able to control them?
George admitted he was famished by dinner time and craved more food after wolfing down his dinner on most evenings, he caved 2 out of 7 days a week and had a second helping for dinner. His self-discipline was a strength and so he was able to go to bed hungry 5 out of 7 days.
4) How long can you see yourself sticking to this diet?
George blanked out and couldn’t answer the question. Instead he asked me “I was hoping you would answer that question for me, how long should I stay on it?”
These were all signs that George was on a diet that did not support his daily energy demands. Most people in George’s situation will last another 2 weeks before relapsing to old ways, the weight lost is gained back in half the time they spent on the diet.
I responded that he can do better than that. Since then, George has built a lifestyle that has helped him perform well at work, have enough energy left to give to his family after work and has lost more weight in the process. Any weight lost is kept off because a lifestyle has no end, it is sustainable for life.
The 4 markers you should focus on when starting a new “diet” is: 1) Energy levels throughout the day. 2) Performance at work/school. 3) Cravings and impulse control in the evening. 4) Sustainability of the diet.
Or you can do what we do here, ditch the diet and start a lifestyle. A lifestyle is meant to constantly energize you, improve your performance at work, delete your cravings at night and is sustainable for life. Any weight lost on it is kept off for life.
I hope this post helps you come closer to discovering your ideal lifestyle.
To your health,