Monday, March 1, 2010

Dieting – Permanent Weight Loss?

"The inn is not as comforting as the journey." – unknown

For those of us who've battled our weight our whole lives, dieting is often a life-long companion, one we sometimes both love and hate, one in which we first grow giddy with excitement at the potential, but more often than not, one in which we feel has lets us down in the end.

But is it really the "diet's" fault? There are certainly dozens of diets that come and go only to resurface again over the years. Fitness guru's found on late-night infomercials are all too willing to take your money with the promise of giving you a model's body in six weeks or less using their simple and fun program for just twenty minutes a day three times a week! Over your lifetime you have probably tried more than one diet and may have even tried the same diet several times.

Even with all these promises you see people, ordinary people, who have lost significant amounts of weight through dieting and exercising though not with any particular diet or exercise but using any one of the current diet "fads" or exercise machines on the market. Dieting does work and it has probably worked for you one or more times.

People can and do lose weight on whatever their diets of choice is. It's clear there's no one perfect diet but rather each person has a diet that's perfect for them and their body. For one person's body it might be low fat and high carb, for another it might be low carb and high fat. The actual diet itself doesn't matter nor do the specific exercises that you do. What is important is finding the combination of the right diet and exercises the you can and will do and that work for you.

However, the single most important factor in determining your chances of success is in your mind and not your particular diet or exercise program. Your mental "game", above all else, will determine your level of success. You must have a burning desire to reach your dieting goals, you must also create a plan, have faith in attaining that goal, review the goal frequently, and consistently overcome all obstacles until your goal is reached.

Only once you've mastered your mental "game" can you be assured of successfully reaching your dieting goals.

The mental factor may be the most important part of succeeding, but it is just the start. There's one other factor most people do not realized about dieting and it's almost as important as the mental game for long-term success. This one factor contributes more to your dietary and fitness failures than perhaps any other factor besides lacking a correct mental game.

Dieting, which is setting and reaching a goal, is only the first half of the process. Once reached, your goal is not the end of your journey. It's only the beginning of a new goal, the second half of your complete success. It's kind of like going through school as a child. Each year you reached toward the end of the year when school was out and you had successfully completed that grade level. But there was always another grade level to complete.

The other half of your "dieting" journey is now applying and maintaining what you've learned along the way to reach another goal: maintaining your new healthy lifestyle. This is not just for the short term but it is purposefully making a lifestyle change for a permanent improvement in your health and fitness.

Only once you've realized that all permanent health and fitness changes in your life are really two parts, reaching your dieting and fitness goals and then maintaining them with a new ongoing goal, can you then come to understand that the most important parts aren't the goals, it's the journey to your goals. Then and only then will your health and fitness decisions be successful for the rest of your life.

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