Are you trying to lose weight?  If so, your success might depend on whether you are trying to change your lifestyle or simply just dieting.  

What is the difference between lifestyle and diet plan?

A diet plan is a temporary fix.  When you go on a diet, it has a short-term feel to it, as though one day you will be off that diet.  It is something to grit your teeth and get through.  If you can just tough it out, one day you will no longer be on that diet.  You will be free again—free to go back to your old, unhealthy habits and behaviors.

This attitude causes the diet to feel like a punishment or a prison.  It is unpleasant and a necessary evil.  The problem is that when the diet is over, any gains that have been made will be lost when you go back to your normal eating plan.

An example of how you might approach an unhealthy food temptation on a diet plan is as follows:  “I really want that food, but I can’t have it because I am on this diet.  It looks so good.  But after just a few more weeks, I can eat that again, like everybody else.  I just have to resist it for a little while longer.  I hate this diet and I hate the food I have to eat while I am dieting!”

A lifestyle, on the other hand, is permanent.  There is no end in sight to lifestyle change.  It is not something from which you are waiting to escape, because you are in it for the long term.  Therefore, it does not feel like a prison.  

This significantly impacts your attitude.  Rather than toughing it out and getting through, you will be constantly on the lookout for ways to make your habits and behaviors agreeable and pleasant.  You will work to make this eating plan and exercise schedule something that you can easily live with.

The result will be a weight loss and health gain that will be long lasting.  You will be able to sustain your momentum and your motivation over the long term.

An example of how you might approach an unhealthy food temptation in a lifestyle plan is:  “Oh wow—that food looks delicious!  But eating that food is not in my plan.  I am seeking a certain kind of life, and that food will derail me.  If I ate it, it would taste good for a few seconds, but then the pleasure would be over and I would have to deal with the negative consequences.  I am going to find something else that tastes delicious but will give me strength and energy.  And then I will find something to do that brings me pleasure without stealing my future health and vitality.”

If you are trying to lose weight, look for ways to make your efforts part of your lifestyle rather than a diet.  The result will be health that lasts a lifetime!

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