Sustainable Diet? Go On?
The key or the Holy Grail of staying on a nutrition regime is whether it is sustainable.
If it is sustainable you can lose weight and keep it off forever! Seriously, it has to be sustainable or it will do more damage than good. By that I mean you will just keep yo-yoing with your weight, losing and regaining, losing and regaining, screwing up your metabolism. Here is what sustainable means to us:
Your Sustainable Diet
S – Suitable: A sustainable diet is suitable for you. The diet needs to revolve around you, not you revolving around the diet. Your health regime needs to be suitable for your job, family, and friends. How to make it suitable is by molding your nutrition regime around your life.
If you only have time for 3 sit-down meals make sure they are full of nutrient dense proteins and veggies that power you through the time between meals.
U – Understanding: A sustainable diet is understanding. You can’t skip going to an amusement park or going to see a movie because of your diet. You can’t skip going out on your anniversary because of your diet. It’s okay to go out every once in a while, just don’t make it a daily occurrence.
You can still make relatively healthy choices when you do go out. There needs to be a degree of understanding that sometimes you need to indulge
S – Smart: A sustainable diet is a smart diet. Smart, as in making a large number of your lunches a couple days before you need them. Smart, as in having hardboiled eggs, fruits, and other convenient breakfast foods locked and ready to go in the morning.
Smart, as in knowing that if you eat so many high quality foods you won’t want to eat crap.
T – Tasty: A sustainable diet is a tasty diet. If your diet was nothing but baked fish and green veggies then it would get old really really fast leading to dropout or a massive binge.
You need to experiment with health foods and make them how you like them. Eat steak, eat all kinds of veggies, eat fruits, it can be delicious.
A – Attainable: A sustainable diet is an attainable diet. Don’t set yourself up for failure by making such a hard to follow diet there is no way of ever attaining that lifestyle. Keep it sensible!
I – Inspire: A sustainable diet inspires you and others around you. A sustainable healthy lifestyle will have you seeing results in no time. This inspires you to keep it up or others around you to start their own lifestyle change. Getting fit and seeing results is the ultimate motivational tool.
N – Novel: A sustainable diet is novel. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to nutrition. Everyone is different whether it’s metabolically or time constraint-wise and your diet should fit you.
If you are doing the same diet as someone who works out 5 times a week but you only work out 2 times a week you are going to have problems. Figure out how many calories you need to maintain your bodyweight and adjust accordingly for sustainable weight loss.
A – Adjustable: A sustainable diet is adjustable. If you start losing weight after starting your sustainable healthy lifestyle and you start working out more you will need to adjust your diet accordingly. Likewise, if you get a big promotion but now have to take lunch 60 minutes later, you will need to adjust accordingly.
A sustainable diet can still be healthy even through adjustments.
B – Benevolent: A sustainable diet is benevolent. It doesn’t harm you are make you hate yourself. It is a diet that is kind and something that you don’t hate to follow.
If you are hating life, then it’s time to change your diet. You don’t have to hate eating healthy; in fact it can be quite easy and delicious.
L – Love: A sustainable diet keeps the things you love to eat. If you love ice cream your diet should take that into consideration and allow you to enjoy it occasionally in moderation.
There is no way you will stick to a diet if you can’t have the things you like. If you do that you will end up binging and eating an entire carton of ice cream. Keep the things you love in your sustainable diet (in moderation).
E – Extended: A sustainable diet is just that, an extended, prolonged lifestyle change. When your diet is sustainable you can do it forever because you are still enjoying the things you love, it adjusts to your ever-changing world, it isn’t necessarily hard to follow, it inspires you and others around you, and it is ever-changing to help you achieve your goals.
You think there is no such thing as the perfect sustainable diet? I can’t tell you exactly what it is because by my definition the diet is novel to every individual.
I have a pretty good idea of what it is though.
Check out From Dud to Stud to get a clearer picture of what we believe to be a sustainable diet and adjust accordingly to fit your schedule. Happy eating!
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