When you break down losing weight, you would think it would be simple, if not formulaic. After all, in order to lose weight, the body needs to burn more calories than it consumes. Yet, if it really were that simple, why is weight loss a multi-billion dollar industry? And why is obesity considered not just a national epidemic but an increasing global public health issue?
For anyone that has tried to lose weight, the answer is clear: losing weight is hard, taxing, and many times leaves us “hangry.” Not to mention the formula isn’t exactly foolproof, since stress, poor sleeping, hormones, and aging, can work against us and the weight loss equation. On the bright side, there are ways you can achieve your health and fitness goals—without starving yourself. Here, we take a look at the difference between diets and lifestyle changes and how you can create a routine that works—even when you’re busy!
Understanding the Difference
The key differences between diets and lifestyle changes are in their flexibility and timing. While diets are considered restrictive and cut out certain foods altogether they are usually done for a short amount of time to lose weight. A lifestyle change, on the other hand, is more inclusive and is focused on developing good habits that should guide us every day. So for example, where a diet can restrict all breads, a lifestyle change may incorporate healthier options like whole grains while still allowing for splurges in moderation.
By being more flexible, lifestyle changes can better accommodate special occasions, splurges, and the like making them easier to maintain for the long haul. It’s your birthday? Eat a slice of cake and enjoy! Maybe just skip the second helping and choose healthy options for your other meals.
Deciding Which One is Best for You
When done correctly, lifestyle changes can offer a more long-term approach to your health and weight loss goals. Furthermore, by incorporating lifelong habits, like physical activity, you can enjoy other benefits too. According to the CDC, adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week, as well as 2 days of muscle strengthening. The benefits of physical activity include better sleeping, focus, bone health, and more, like a better quality of life and overall sense of well-being.
While diets may initially offer a quicker route to weight loss, they still need to be accompanied by healthy lifestyle changes, otherwise, the weight will come right back. And as most of us know, gaining five pounds is much easier than losing it!
So whether you opt for a short-term healthy, yet restrictive, diet followed up by healthy lifestyle changes or focus only on lifestyle changes, is up to you.
Creating a Routine that Works for You
The problem with diets is that they focus on what you can’t eat. However, with lifestyle changes, you can place your focus on all of the things you can eat, while allowing room for “extras” in moderation.
Do the Prep Work
The best way to create a successful routine is all about the prep work. Don’t wait until you are starving to realize your kitchen is void of any readily available healthy options. Staying motivated (and happy) is much easier when you’re not feeling famished.
So whether it’s making extra grilled chicken for your lunches, stocking your kitchen with your favorite fruits, or having veggies washed and ready for snacking, prepping can make eating better easier.
Plan for Surprises
Whether it’s a last-minute appointment or an unexpected emergency, having healthy options that you can take on the go can mean the difference between a fast food value meal and a tasty, yet guilt-free option.
For example, our Happy Shake has almost a dozen vitamins and two dozen fruits and vegetables, plus appetite suppressors, carb blockers, and fiber for blood sugar balance for a total of 100 calories!
On the other hand, a Happy Meal has 475 calories. While that doesn’t sound too bad, considering most value meals, like the quarter pounder with cheese meal come in at well over 1,000 calories! The problem is the Happy Meal for kids. Plus, ours tastes like cake!
Sit less. Move more
Anything you do is better than nothing, but aiming for 150-300 minutes a week of moderate to intense exercise comes with loads of benefits. And, it doesn’t have to be done all at once. Start at your fitness level, even if it’s just a short walk. You can work on increasing it for durations. Hate the thought of a high-intensity spin class? That’s ok! Find something you like to do and have fun trying new things—we hear pickleball is all the rage.
The same goes for strength training. Aim for 2 days a week and start at your fitness level. Don’t worry about pricey equipment or gym memberships. There are plenty of options, like sit-ups, push-ups, planks, and more that can be done with just your body weight.
Add in Support
By letting your friends and family know how you are incorporating healthy changes into your life, they will better know how to support you, and who knows, they may want to join. So instead of meeting your bestie for brunch and never-ending mimosas, maybe you can take a hike and enjoy good conversation, fresh air, and nature while you’re at it.
And speaking of support, don’t forget about your gut. By adding a probiotic like Probio8 to your lifestyle changes, you can get the digestive support you need to thrive! Featuring eight different strains of beneficial probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics, Probio8 has 23 billion healthy bacteria packed in one little capsule. And, unlike most gut health products on the market, these bacteria are tested to arrive alive. That means you can start feeling cleaner and leaner as well as tighter, brighter, and lighter!