3 Things that Work Better than Dieting

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

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I wrote this as a guest blog for my friend, Becky, owner of B Kinetic Fitness, but I wanted to share it here too.  It’s that important!!!



Man, it’s been hot! I was in Seattle last week and Albuquerque this. It’s been over 100 degrees on a couple of days. I’m not complaining. I like the heat – but wow!

So, clearly, we all know that summer has arrived. This season, more than any other, causes anxiety for countless people. Oh sure, we look forward to the warm weather; longer days, barbecues, and family get togethers.


It’s those pesky trips to the beach that become the concern.

Shorts? Eek. Tank tops? A bathing suit?


Like clockwork, as the weather warms up and the beaches open, a lot of people start dieting – start “working on that summer body” and trying to get a “bikini bod”.   Did you know that the start of summer is actually the 2nd most popular time to diet? Second only to the start of the New Year!


Now, while the idea of starting a diet is popular, actually making changes in diet and exercise are quite typically short-lived at best. We feel good. We’re enjoying ourselves. There ARE the get togethers, the vacations, frozen margaritas, ice cream and s’mores. Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 9.47.35 PM


At least, we feel good at the time. Shortly thereafter, many of us feel guilty because we didn’t keep our commitment to the diet. Isn’t it crazy to feel guilty about enjoying yourself? But we do.


Ugg. I hate diets. I really do. I think we all do. Have you ever heard anyone say, “I can’t wait to start a diet?”

Even the word itself causes a reaction. Die-t. No thank you, I want a life!


What do you think of when you hear the word, “diet”? Just think about it for a minute. Write down your thoughts before you read any further.




Did you think about it?  If you’re anything like me, you might have thought about

  • Measuring
  • Monitoring
  • Being hungry
  • Going without the things you love
  • Being unhappy and miserable


Those feelings seem to be quite universal. I did a survey on my Facebook page a couple of months ago asking people why they think diets fail. The overwhelming response was, “because they make me feel deprived.”


Here’s the thing: it really (really, really, really) doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s keep this simple by focusing on 3 key points in 3 different areas.


I.  First work on mindset.


What if you weren’t so concerned about being “less”? What if you focused on:


  • Getting more healthy, instead of eating less?


  • Getting stronger and more fit, instead of weighing less?


  • Getting more energy by exercising, instead of “having” to exercise in an effort to get smaller?


II.  Then work on nutrition.

  • Don’t go “cold turkey” and eliminate everything you love to eat.   It is a proven fact that incremental changes are more easily converted to habits and; therefore, much more sustainable than extreme actions. Change only one thing at a time.


  • Apply a mindset of moderation. For example, if you normally eat a king-sized bag of Doritos, buy only one individual-sized bag. If you normally drink a lot of soda, cut your consumption by 1/3 or even just 1/4. Do that for a week or two and then decrease it again. If you normally have dessert after dinner, start having just half of what you typically do.


  • Be mindful of what and why you’re eating. That means, focus on the act of eating.

Don’t eat in front of the television or your computer. Don’t eat while multi-tasking. If you come into the house, grab that large bag of chips, plop onto the couch, pull out your iPad or turn on the television, that bag is going to be gone and you won’t even remember putting your hand to your mouth. That doesn’t even count the can of dip you cleaned out with these chips, either. Don’t carry the bag to the couch. If you don’t have an individual serving, get out one serving in a bowl. When it’s gone, it’s gone and you’ll notice it. Even if you go back for a second helping, there’s no denying it – you’ll KNOW what you’re doing and you’ll have to decide whether you really want to have more or not.

Why are you eating? If it’s because of stress, emotion, or because you’re bored, find something else to do. Call a friend. Go for a walk.


III.   And add a little movement.


  • I’ve called it “movement” vs “exercise” to remind you that you don’t need a full-blown exercise “plan” to start. Just do something…..anything. Anything you will do and you enjoy.


  • Commit to doing something active for 15 minutes a day. That could be walking, dancing, bicycling, or doing some basic exercises in your living room. Again, anything you like.


  • Find easy ways to keep your body moving throughout the day.

For example:

  • Take the stairs vs the elevator (soooooo many people forget about the stairs. This really became apparent to me a few weeks ago when there was a high school soccer team at the same hotel as myself. There would, literally, be a line at the elevator as none of the kids would take the steps!!!! I know those guys were healthy enough to walk up a flight of stairs).


  • Park a little further from your office, or the store, door.


  • Get up and walk for 5-10 minutes each hour or so at work – it’s not only good for your body but also your mind! You’ll find you get more done when you return to the desk.

1 comment

  1. I must admit diet brought to mind being hungry.
    But, I’ve cut out anything that could be unhealthy from my daily food, so there’s no reason to agree with this thought. I’m never hungry–well, rarely. As long as I follow the plan I’ve set myself for healthy eating, I feel satisfied. And you’re right. We’ve got to move about more.

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