Most of us have spent months or years of our lives dieting and trying to eat healthy, often with mixed success. We all dream of the day when we’re “done” dieting—when we’ve finally gotten down to our healthy weight and we can eat anything we want without having to worry about gaining weight. But is that even realistic, or just a pipe dream? Do weight loss efforts ever really end, or are we destined to spend the rest of our lives trying to get in and stay in shape?
The Simple Answer: No End in Sight
Let’s say you spent years dieting and exercising until you finally hit your target weight and fitness level. AMAZING work! That is a feat that few people ever achieve, so it’s a testament to your strength and willpower if you can. However, just because you hit that weight, it doesn’t mean you’re going to stay there. Your body weight, fat mass, and fitness levels fluctuate daily. Some days you’re up, other days you’re down. Hitting your target fitness and weight results may be a one-day accomplishment—you’ll have to keep working at it day after day to keep it there.
Discouraged? Don’t Be!
Most of us have adopted this mindset of treating our fitness and weight loss efforts like they’re something that will one day end, but this is the wrong way of going about it. Being healthy should be a lifestyle, something that we do all day every day. We need to switch our mindset from hitting a “target” to working toward a long-term goal, something that we can sustain. That’s why it’s so important that you find a diet that is sustainable, achievable, and reasonable. You’ll find it’s much easier to keep up your efforts when they don’t feel like doing the impossible.
The Key to Long Term Results
Sustainability is the key to seeing results, and keeping those results around for more than a few days. If you’re on a crash diet to lose 10 pounds, what happens when you hit that goal and come off your diet? Weight gain, that’s what, which can ultimately waste all your previous efforts. What happens when you stop your hardcore training program and start slacking off at the gym? You stop seeing results, and your fitness decreases. The key to long-term results is to find a diet or fitness program you enjoy, one you can sustain for weeks, months, and years at a time without feeling fatigued or discouraged. Do that, and it will be much easier for you to keep up with your fitness efforts!
Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life
Stop thinking of weight loss or fitness as an objective. It’s not something that, when accomplished, will suddenly make your life better. Yes, you’ll feel better, look better, and ultimately be healthier, but you won’t be able to stop from one day to the next just because you hit your target weight or fitness level. Instead, start thinking of your fitness and weight loss efforts as a long-term lifestyle change, one that you are comfortable with and enjoy as a part of your daily routine. You’re happy to include the gym in your daily life because you enjoy how you feel after you finish working out, not just because you’re trying to hit a certain fitness level. You’re happy to keep following a healthy diet because you know it’s good for your body and going to benefit your health in the long run. That mindset change is the key to sustaining your efforts for the rest of your life!