when re-booting a health program, it is important to NOT FOCUS on losing weight. i know that's what we all want, but it is too often the deal breaker that sends us back to the cycle of fasting, binging, guilting, and then back-petaling which lead to weight loss + gain (aka yo-yoing). don't do this. as hard as it sounds, make small changes to improve your health that will last.
weight loss WILL follow, but mustn't be the primary goal! here is an excellent blog post from life.gaiam.com that reminds us of the important benefits of healthy eating:
Healthy eating rewardsBelow you will find seven rewards of eating healthy that you should focus on during your weight loss journey and beyond. These side effects of healthy eating will be felt almost immediately, and, in my opinion, can be just as motivating as the weight loss reflected by your scale. So when you’re feeling down about your progress, or if you've hit a “plateau,” please keep these seven benefits in mind.1. Clearer, brighter skinThe pillars of a good weight loss diet, which include drinking lots of water and eating lots of fibrous fruits and vegetables, will do wonders for your skin. Within 48 hours of initiating a healthy eating regimen, you are likely to notice brighter skin and eyes, less puffiness and fewer blemishes. The reason for this is simple: Water flushes toxins from your body while antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties found in fruits and vegetables immediately improve the look of your skin. It is also important to know that high-sugar foods and foods with unhealthy fats (namely trans fats) do immediate damage to your skin. So when tempted to stray from your healthy diet, remember how much you are enjoying your lovely new complexion.2. Increased energyAre you lacking energy? Do you feel as if you could fall asleep every day at 3pm? If you want to get that spring back in your step, be sure to start and stay on your healthy eating regimen. By eliminating sugar and processed carbohydrates (a cornerstone of all good weight loss programs), you will feel more energized within days. It often takes 2-3 days to cleanse your body of sugar, during which time it is possible that you will feel extra tired; however, after you’ve broken the sugar cycle, you’ll never want to go back.3. Improved moodEating poorly is sure to wreak havoc on your mood and on your emotional state. Sugar highs and lows are most often to blame for this, but even the mere act of overeating can trigger a cascade of hormones that may leave you feeling down in the dumps. If you are a “veteran” dieter, you can probably testify to the fact that when you are losing weight you feel slightly euphoric. I can’t exactly explain the science behind this feeling, but you will likely feel it after a few days of clean eating.4. Better-fitting clothesEven before your scale shows weight loss progress, you will likely notice a difference in how your clothes fit. And isn’t looking trimmer more important than a number on a scale anyway?5. Finely tuned taste budsContrary to what you may believe, food actually tastes better when you are watching what you eat. If you are carefully choosing your meals and snacks, you will quickly realize just how delicious an apple can be. On the flip side, if you’ve been bingeing on sugar and chips, that apple may not taste as good anymore, because you’ve blown out your taste buds with excess sodium and sugar.6. Stronger friendshipsBe sure to enlist your closest friends in your weight loss journey. Having a support system makes it that much easier to stay on track. And by reaching out, you are sure to make strong bonds with both new and old friends. Many of my closest friends are the people that I call for support when I’m not feeling so nutritionally motivated.7. A positive attitudeAs I mentioned above, the hormonal side effect of eating well can do wonders for your mood. But there is yet another reason why you should get back on your nutrition plan: From Day One of your weight loss journey, I can assure you that you will have a better attitude about life. Whether you’re thinking about an impending social engagement or a stressful meeting at work, people tend to feel more in control and more positive in general when they have taken control over their eating habits. Even if you haven’t lost a pound yet, you will find that you feel better after stocking your kitchen with healthy foods.As you can see, the number on the scale is not on the above list. And the reason for this is because the scale is not a good indicator or a good motivator of weight loss success. It is too easily swayed by hormonal shifts and water retention. Instead, focus on the seven positive side effects that you will feel from Day One of your healthy eating plan, so that the next time you feel like giving up, you can remind yourself that healthy eating is about so much more than just weight loss! Learn how to eat healthier with weight loss and nutrition videos on GaiamTV.com!