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Monday, January 21, 2013

Good Eats: Instead of dieting, change eating habits, make measurable, realistic goals

By Rachel Crabtree
KyForward columnist

This afternoon, I was talking a friend who is embarking on a “life change journey” this year. When asked if she had heard of a particular diet, her response was, “(I’m) trying not to look at what is out there anymore. I’m eating clean, organic, whole foods, increasing my water intake and exercising. I’m doing what I intend to do the rest of my life, but I have people helping me get to that place. Accountability is definitely key!”

One of her goals is to lose weight – something she has NEVER been successful at doing, over the long-haul. Her response made me think about a blog post I wrote several years ago. If you’d like to follow her journey, look her up at www.facebook.com/gottaluvtish.

Top reasons people fail at losing weight…permanently:

 1. They focus on the food.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at any given time two-thirds of all American adults are on a diet to either lose weight or prevent weight gain. Of those, 29 percent are men and 44 percent women. Yet only 5 percent of these dieters will be successful at keeping the weight that they lost off.  ( Click here for more information.)

So what does this say about DIETS?  They don’t work!  If they did, our obesity statistics would not be on the rise every year.  Deprivation is not the answer!  Eventually, you will get tired of missing all the foods you love and you’ll go back to eating – with a vengeance!

2.  They try to do too much at once.

The idea of having weight to lose in the first place is overwhelming.  Then add the stresses of every day life.  THEN add a list of  things “to do” – like go to the gym, cook a meal for your family and something else for yourself…it’s too much.  As soon as one things goes wrong – the kids get sick, someone calls in to work and you have to pick up the slack, family comes to visit…and the diet goes out the window.

3.  They don’t set a “S.M.A.R.T” goal

A “S.M.A.R.T” goal is simply this:  Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

Lots of people say “I need to lose some weight.”  How much?  What size pants do you want to wear?  Put a number to it, be specific, make it measurable.
Next, many people set unrealistic goals.  They want to be the same weight they were in 9th grade. While it may have been realistic at one time, children, marriage, careers, and life take a toll on our bodies – not to mention that muscle weighs more than fat – so make sure the goal is realistic and attainable.  If it’s so far out of reach that you can’t achieve it, you’ll soon grow tired and frustrated and give up.

Finally, give yourself a time frame – set a goal date, and have someone to help you stay accountable.

4.  They do it for someone else.

Unfortunately, many of us are “pleasers.”  We want to please our spouse, our parents, our children, our boss…and WE take a back seat in all of that.  If you want to be successful at anything you set as a goal for yourself, YOU have to have an innate motivation to achieve that goal.  It can’t be someone else’s desire or motivation – or you will, inevitably, fail.  We are wired to achieve our particular purpose in life – not someone elses!  Go after YOUR dreams…and you WILL succeed!

5. They don’t believe in themselves.

After trying and failing so many times, we just tend to give up! So when the thought of tackling this weight crosses your mind, you push it aside – concentrating on all your past failures, and coming up with a handful of reasons why now isn’t the time.  “I can’t afford it.”  “when the kids get back in school.”  “After the holidays.”  Sound familiar?  All of these boil down to one thing:  YOU DON’T BELIEVE YOU CAN.  If you did, you’d realize these are all excuses – there will always be something that could stand in your way. 

Think for just a minute about what if there were no way to fail?  What if you were guaranteed to succeed?  Would that change the game a bit?  What would stop you then?

Rachel Crabtree was born in Ohio but moved with her family to rural Casey County in Kentucky at the age of 7. She was raised on a farm full of chickens, goats and organic gardens. Rachel is a 1997 graduate of the University of Kentucky and worked as a stockbroker for several years before moving to a career in her true area of passion: fitness and health. She currently owns Well Fed! in Lexington, which provides healthy, nutritionally balanced, portion-controlled, fresh, organic/local foods for individuals and families.



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