If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen this picture of a recent lunch that I prepared. It’s pretty simple… A tunafish sandwich made with organic mayonnaise and a little pepper. I served it on reasonably-sized wholegrain bread with sliced organic tomato and avocado. I mention organic and whole grain because even though it's been well over a decade since I got rid of over 250 pounds of excess weight (without fad diets, medication or surgery), I still do my best to stick to the tenants of clean eating.
A lot of people who’ve put themselves on strict diets at this time of year are often surprised at the use of mayonnaise or even bread for this lunch. But the fact is, you can take off excess weight while enjoying delicious foods in reasonable portions. Too often, those of us with diet mentalities are nibbling on rice cakes and baby carrots (neither of which is probably in their most natural states, freshness- or additive-wise) and complaining that we’re miserable while doing so.
But guess what? The less miserable we are when eating healthier foods and getting rid of excess weight, the more likely we are to actually stick with the healthy eating and not only take the excess weight off, but keep it off. That’s the key, right? We’ve all started diets at this time of year (in the past). We’ve all even lost weight at this time of year (in the past). But at a certain point we have to ask ourselves, why has going on a diet at this time of year become an annual occurrence?
Why not make this the last time you begin a weight loss plan and, instead, think of it as a clean, healthy eating for life plan (AKA a food plan you’re never going to have to go off of)? And you don’t have to want to go off of it when you allow yourself the simple pleasures of tasty, wholesome, nutritious foods. Add exercise, getting enough sleep and drinking enough water to the mix and you can even enjoy the occasional food-related treats (even the richer ones—just the way “people who don’t have to diet” sometimes do).
And for anyone who thinks it's easy for me because I've already taken off my excess weight, think again. A commitment to overall health requires constant work and realignment. I share these helpful reminders with you as a way to reinforce them in myself. I could easily gain my excess weight back if I didn't stay dedicated to living a happier, healthier life. I want the very same for you—no matter how many diets you've been on (or gone off of) at this time of year in the past.