Dieting is a common thing for men and women to embark on to lose weight. Counting calories, worrying if you've eaten too much for the day, or stressing because you ate something you shouldn't have can cause mental and physical strain. All this worry, and the results are sometimes not worth it.

It's also common when dieting to yo-yo between weight loss and weight gain. According to the American Council of Exercise, only five percent of dieters are able to successfully keep the weight off after dieting.  Instead of dieting, it's important to focus on lifestyle changes and long-term maintainable goals.

Bad diets can lead to temporary weight loss but can also lead to malnutrition. Shedding pounds fast by creating a caloric deficit can lead to not only deficiencies in calories but a lack of important nutrients. In the end this deficit can lead to health issues and cravings.

Instead of approaching weight loss via calorie intake/ outake it is better to change one’s lifestyle overall. A lifestyle includes what you eat, how you manage stress, how much you exercise and more.

While lifestyle changes do require one to change what one eats on a daily basis; for example a lifestyle change requires one to eat more wholesome meals, drink more water, cut back on sugar and processed food; its main focus will not be restricting you from foods you enjoy and limiting you to a specified amount of calories per day. A lifestyle change should not leave you feeling unsatisfied, hungry and stressed. 

 In a lifestyle change,  If you succumb to temptation here and there, it’s not the end of the world. Instead, you should feel aware of what you are putting in your body, and aim to do better the next day.

On top of focusing on implementing changes in ones eating habits, a lifestyle change will also focus on mental health. Practicing some yoga, mediation  or activities that reduce stress are highly recommended! 

Take some time today to write 5 small changes you'd like to make in your life for the better! 

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