A wise man once said that if you want to build something, you need to first sit down and estimate the cost. That principle can be applied to building a better body or better health.
It’s amazing how many people embark on a healthy eating regime without sparing a single thought as to the practicality aspects. While I am not a huge fan of the concept of “trying a diet” – every time you plan to make changes to your lifestyle (such as nutrition and exercise) – you need to count the cost.
- Are you prepared to eat differently than your friends at a social situation?
Eating often accompanies many social gatherings. How do your friends eat? Do they consume foods that you know will not be compatible with your lifestyle? How will you address this?
- Will you acknowledge the truth about yourself objectively?
Many people reach their ideal weight, and then let old habits creep back in. However there are a few warning systems in place – one is the waistband in your pants. Will you choose to conveniently ignore it if it gets tighter? Or will you be objective?
- How do you eat?
Is it at your desk at work? Maybe in the car or on the bus? What do you eat during these times? How will it be compatible with your new food choices?
- What sort of lifestyle do your friends and family lead?
If your whole world is filled with people who are couch potatoes – how do you plan to work against this culture? Will they influence you to be more active or more sedentary.
- Are you being totally honest with yourself?
You read about a new diet in a magazine, and it requires eating a lot more vegetables. On the surface you are busting to lose “10 pounds in 2 weeks”, but deep down you know you cannot stand vegetables. Which part of you will win out in the end? Probably the voice that says you hate vegetables. This must be addressed. Why do you hate vegies? Are you prepared to cook more, or learn different ways of cooking vegies? Is it the taste? The texture? The time taken to prepare them?
- Are you prepared to accept the things you cannot change?
You cannot change the way other people act and the way they speak – “oh, so you’re on another health kick again are you?”… But you can choose how you will respond inwardly and outwardly – ahead of time.
- Are you prepared to changed your home environment?
So you decided to eat mindfully and leisurely. The trouble is, your home environment is utterly chaotic, noisy, and messy – with barely a place to sit down – let alone have a large pleasant space to indulge in your new gourmet meals. What will you do to change this?
- How do the local restaurants fit in?
Do you eat at restaurants a lot? Which restaurants do you go to? Will they fit with your new style of eating? Are you prepared to leave food on your plate if their portions are too big?
- Will your current habits fit?
Most nights are spent watching re-runs of “Friends” while chowing down on a super-sized packet of cheetos. However you are embarking on a diet that completely rules out junk food. What will you do? Change your habits? Find a different comfort food? Divide up your packets of cheetos? Think about it.
- Is my kitchen okay?
Seems like an odd question – but take a look around your kitchen. You’ve decided to try the Sonoma Diet and you need to actually cook and prepare food. Trouble is, all you have are 3 forks and a corkscrew… Or maybe you’re going to start making a smoothie every day. Now where do you fit a blender? After all, will you actually use it if it’s stored in a cupboard 10 feet up? Or maybe you plan to portion up your meals. Do you actually have enough fridge/freezer space? Enough containers? Enough time?
If you want to make a lifestyle change rather than “just another diet”, then you need to think about your life objectively and realistically. When starting any new diet it’s a good idea to discuss and medical questions or concerns with your doctor.