Stay Focused on Being Healthy, not a Number on the Scale

Tip #4

It might seem like having a goal weight in mind is a good motivator for weight loss, but experts disagree. It turns out that wanting to be healthy is a better way to lose weight and keep it off long term.

I think the problem with focusing on a number is that it encourages you to want to lose weight quickly. The classic example is the person who tells themselves, “I am going to stop eating all white food- no sugar, no pasta, no potatoes, no bananas and no grains”. This may last for a few months, a few weeks, a few days, or a few hours, but it won’t last forever. At some point this person will come face to face with a white food, and it won’t be pretty – the longer it has been, the uglier it will be.

We know that the more we restrict a food, the more we crave that very food. At some point, the craving becomes uncontrollable and we cave. Food, unlike drugs, smoking or alcohol is not something that we can completely sustain from. It’s always going to be around us and, Hello, we need it to survive.

If instead of focusing on a number, we focus on being healthy – then this will allow us to make gradual changes and gradual changes will help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. The more sudden and or drastic the change, the less longevity it will have.

So, along with all the other tips I have listed – here are a few more ideas for gradual changes:

  • Drink water instead of soda or other sweetened beverages.
  • Don’t drive past your favorite fast food place.
  • Aim for 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day- yes, bananas are okay, I swear!
  • Swap at least one non-whole grain for one whole grain every day.
  • Every time you make a decision about eating something ask yourself if this fits your definition of being healthier. (If the answer is no, that’s okay for now – awareness is an important first step).

There you have it, a few easy ways to begin improving your health, one change at a time.

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Hi! I'm Heather: a body positivity, Health at Every Size dietitian. When I'm not blogging about wellness, I'm spending time with my fabulous family. Sometimes, they wear me out, so then it's time to bake, read, knit, tie myself into a yoga pose, or continue to work my first novel... stay tuned.