Diets don't lead to weight loss, healthy lifestyles do

A Healthy Lifestyle – What Does It Mean?

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I have been compensated for my time by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog With Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.

What do you think is the best way to avoid gaining weight or to successfully lose weight? Did the word “diet” come to mind? If so, is there a diet that you believe really works to accomplish these goals? Most people I know can name several different diets that have worked for them for a while. Then, when life got in the way they were “off” the diet. If this sounds familiar, instead of looking for another diet, it may be time to examine your life!

The simple truth is establishing a healthy lifestyle, not another diet, is the key to losing excess weight and maintaining a lower weight.

Of course, eating right is part of a healthy lifestyle, but all of the factors that make that possible are tied to our way of life. For example, if your best breakfast options are either makingblueberry oatmeal with fat free milk and topped with blueberries, or bringing a high-fiber cereal bar, container of fat free Greek yogurt and a banana to work with you, that means you have to:

  1. shop regularly so you have all of those foods on hand
  2. allow enough time in the morning to prepare and eat breakfast before you leave
  3. have a tote bag with an ice pack so you can take your breakfast with you

Each of these steps is tied to lifestyle choices. Did we make the trip to the grocery store on our way home yesterday to buy more fresh fruit and milk? Did we avoid downloading another movie at 10:00 PM so we could get a good night’s sleep and awake in time to eat breakfast? Did we put the ice pack in the freezer after using it last so it will be ready to take tomorrow? Those are the choices that make it easier to eat breakfast and do all of the other things that help us feel our best.


While this makes sense to most people, many still tell me there aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all. That’s when I remind them that we all get the same 24 hours a day, so why is it that some people with demanding jobs and busy families do manage to strike the right balance? When they’re stumped for an answer I tell them it’s all about priorities and paying it forward.

If your priorities are aligned with a healthy lifestyle you use your time differently. For example, maybe you take a walk after eating lunch instead of catching up on Facebook. Maybe you write a weekly menu and shopping list before going to the store so you’re sure to have the things you need to make the meals that fit your schedule. Maybe you set limits on your children’s activities so you’re not chauffeuring them around every day during dinner time and resorting to a fast food meal. Having your priorities in order can help make it easier to make the right choices.

A healthy lifestyle is also a way to “pay it forward.” For example, no one wants to get sick, and when we do, it can cost us time and money to get well again. By taking the time to get routine medical checkups we pay it forward by reducing the likelihood we will need to see the doctor because we are sick. The same is true with eating right, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep. If we do those things now, we can pay it forward by lowering our risk of developing “non-communicable lifestyle diseases,” such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, which are so common today.

It’s important to remember, a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. Not even close. It means you are making better choices whenever possible that support good health. If you smoke and can quit, that will have a significant impact on your health, even if it’s the only change you make. If you take the stairs instead of the elevator, that will help, too. And if switching to a low calorie sweetener, like SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, helps you reduce the added sugar and calories in your diet, control your weight and stay on track, that’s a good lifestyle decision, too.

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Robyn Flipse, MS, MA, RDN, “The Everyday RD,” is an author and nutrition consultant who has headed the nutrition services department in a large teaching hospital and maintained a private practice where she provided diet therapy to individuals and families. With more than 30 years of experience, Robyn is motivated by the opportunity to help people make the best eating decisions for their everyday diet. She believes that choosing what to eat should not be a daily battle and aims to separate the facts from the fiction so you can enjoy eating well.

Posted in Calories, Diet and Disease, Eating Right, Exercise, Fad Diets, Fitness, Healthy Lifestyle, Obesity, SPLENDA LIVING, Sweeteners, Weight Control and tagged .

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