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[This is another in our series on the How and Why of Eating Healthy.]
There are a lot of fantastic reasons to make a change in what and how you eat. Everyone has their motivation.
Looking at the most successful titles in the Diet and Nutrition section of the bookstore, the main reason that folks want to change how they eat is to lose weight. O.K., that's alright, but for most people that means they want to lose a lot of pounds really fast. The concern is that this has been shown time and again to not be effective because you'll gain it all back, plus some. The landscape is littered with failed diet books and celebrities who've lost and gained and lost and gained. So much has been written proving that many diets simply offer users only a yo-yo pattern of weight gain and weight loss.
This is why I would like for you to consider exactly what you are looking to accomplish by changing how you eat.
All successful projects work because they have a goal to aim at. This is true whether it is saving money, building a house or eating better. For most folks going on a diet is about the goal of losing weight. They don't often explore their motivation for that, however. Interestingly, one of the most popular reasons folks give for going on a diet is to be healthier. Second most popular is the positive effects on appearance and well being.
As you are beginning to make changes, it's important for you to figure this out for yourself. What exactly do you want to accomplish? Write your goals down. It's not silly to put a post-it note on your fridge, in your wallet or stuck to the bathroom mirror that says:
I want to feel better
I want to lose weight
I want to be healthier
I have a goal weight in mind
I have a date in mind for reaching my goal
These sorts of reminders to yourself have been shown to help you define your motivation and keep that goal at the front of your mind.
Eat well, eat healthy, enjoy life!
Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.
June 22, 2009
Last updated: 06/22/09