I have been dieting since I was 14. I think it’s safe to say that, over the past 20 years, I tried all the weight-loss diets on the market. What’s been trending over the years, what worked, what worked better – I know everything. There were times when I would lose weight fast and times when I would lose it slowly. There were also times when I regained it all fast and times when it took longer.
Sometimes, it even took years until I went back to my good old chubby self again. But there are a few things I learned along the way that stuck with me and helped me finally make peace with my eating habits and with my body. It took me 20 years, but I can wholeheartedly say it was all worth it.
First, there was ‘the magic diet’
I grew up with a grandmother who would take great pleasure in feeding me. She was the happiest when I ate all the plate and ecstatic if I ever asked for more. She had a Hungarian background and the food she cooked was always, besides incredibly flavorful and delicious, full of fat. Before I knew it, I was 14 and five kilos (11lbs) overweight. It might not sound like much, but it sure felt like it was. So, I looked for the fastest way to lose weight, found a diet in a teens’ magazine and decided to follow it.
For seven days, I was supposed to eat cabbage soup – it tasted just as bland as it sounds – and complement this incredibly slimming ‘dish’ with something else every day. One day I would have the soup and 500 grams of fruits, the next I’d have boiled, bland veggies with the soup and so on until day 7 when I’d suddenly be many kilos lighter. How many, it depended on how much you needed to lose. But the magazine promised as much as 8 kilos. I never lost more than 4. However, the change would be visible fast and I was happy for about… maybe 2 weeks, when I’d be back to the weight I had before the diet.
But that didn’t stop me. I tried the dissociative diet, the Atkins diet, the grapefruit diet, the South-Beach, the Dukan, the Keto-diet, the low-carb diet, you name it. The yo-yo effect wouldn’t always be immediate, in the sense that it was only very rare that I would gain more than I lost. But I did gain it, 100% of the time.
The constant rollercoaster
Sometimes, I managed to maintain my ideal weight for a week, other times for a month, and once I even did it for several years. I have had 20 years of struggles with weight gain and with keeping myself at my ideal weight.
This constant rollercoaster had driven me absolutely insane. My body image changed with every kilo gained or lost, my self-esteem would always be influenced by what the scale showed.
But as I reached early to mid-30s, something changed. It suddenly became a lot harder to drop the kilos. I had a harder time to maintain my focus and motivation. That and the fact that now, the truth hit me in the face: I was always going to be between 5-15 kilos overweight no matter how hard I tried to change that. The pointlessness of it all had suddenly become too obvious to deny it. Either I would have to start doing something completely different or I’d just have to accept the extra kilos and stop fighting.
Then, I found the best way to lose weight… and stay that way
You might not like it, but no, there is no magic diet! There is no magic pill, no magic diet plan that will get you where you always wanted and keep you there. Because once the ‘magic’ is gone and you’ve reached your ideal weight, you will start struggling with endless temptations until the day you decide to actually change your lifestyle forever.
Supermarkets and restaurants have tons of processed foods that you will crave for until you finally understand this: no, it is not a matter of time until you can eat whatever you want for as much as you want. No, it is not about living healthy ‘for a while’. It is not about adopting a rigid lifestyle 100% of the time either. It is about finding just the right balance. It’s about failing one day but returning to your plan the next day. It’s about consistency. Yes, this involves a lot of effort, but it will pay off because it is worth it on too many levels.
Finding the right balance is as subjective as all the foods you love or hate. It differs from one person to the other, but at the end of the day, it’s about common sense.
Keeping a diary of everything you eat can be incredibly helpful in seeing your eating patterns. It also helps you maintain consistency. Today, I know that the most important thing in staying fit and healthy is consistency.
You will not be at your ideal weight if you eat pizza at night time and time again. You will not maintain your ideal weight if, once you reached it after a crazy-hard diet, you buy a bucket of fried chicken the very next day as a reward for your success.
On top of all that, keep in mind that if your portions are too big, your stomach will keep growing and it will require more amounts of food to fill up.
However, following a healthy lifestyle also means that you fail. And that’s fine. It’s fine to have days when you’re choosing whatever atrocious unhealthy meal you want as long as you’re not doing it in the middle of the night; and as long as you go back to your healthy lifestyle starting your very next meal.
If you’d like to start creating healthy habits and learning how to keep them, the best way to start is a detox and weight-loss retreat. A weight loss detox retreat can be your very first step to becoming consistent with how you keep your body at its best. Head on over to BookDetoxRetreats.com and book yourself a weight loss retreat that will change your life forever!