Some time ago I posted a quote on my livejournal blog from Jeff Ainslie, "If you want to be a thin, healthy person then live lifestyle of a thin, healthy person; your body will follow suit".
I got a little heat for posting that quote because to some people, the phrase "lifestyle of a thin, healthy person" meant being able to eat anything you want and get away without exercising.
I have to say I never saw that reaction coming, probably because it didn't occur to me to think of a fit, healthy person's lifestyle as a life of french fries & leisure. And from being somewhat familiar with Mr. Ainslie's work I can assure you that he didn't mean the quote that way either.
Sure we all of know one or two of those people, the ones that seem to be able to live on cheeseburgers & sundaes, never hit the gym and still keep that waif-y figure. I don't have to tell you that that particular branch of the X-men is the exception not the rule. No one should follow their lifestyle, not even them.
Remember, thin does not necessarily equal fit or healthy. Can you say heroin chic?
So what is the lifestyle of a fit, healthy person? The basic answer of eating right & exercising we all know. However some more specific tips are always helpful.
Well our good friend Jeff Ainslie in his podcast he does with Russ Turley pointed out an article on Diet Channel.com about those who have lost weight and managed to keep the weight off and why they were successful.
The article lays out a few practices and characteristics that can contribute to a healthy lifestyle. They are worth checking out.
* They include regular physical activity for at least 30 minutes, four to five days a week.
* They stay focused on improving health
and energy, with weight loss being a nice accompaniment. Focusing on weight loss as the primary outcome, especially rapid weight loss, usually results in a decreased chance of long-term success.
* Their desire to lose weight and improve health is for themselves and not someone else.
* They replace fatty and sugary foods with more healthy substitutions like fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, and other high-fiber foods.
* They frequently monitor portion sizes and hunger -- this is important in today's world of "super-size" restaurant portions.
* They find ways to make fitness fun. For example, they join a hiking group, a soccer league, or take dance classes. They don't fear trying new activities.
* They eat at least three meals a day and even a few snacks in between and do not skip meals.
* They use problem solving strategies when old behaviors return to haunt them. They succeed at creating and re-assessing goals.
* They recognize that it is a continuous, life-long journey to pursue better health, not a temporary diet.
* They never give up on themselves and don't allow occasional slip-ups to end their progress.
* They accept that no "miracle" weight loss diet or pill exists, and that the time-tested principles of weight loss, while not always exciting, are the only ones that work permanently.
* They separate their body size from their self-worth. They recognize that their value is about a lot more than what they weigh. When their attitude shifts to self-acceptance at any size, weight loss and maintaining it becomes more natural, and much easier.
* They have developed passions, interests, and hobbies to help them focus on things other than food.
* They have found and developed creative ways to manage stress effectively.
* They have banned the words "never" and "always" from their health vocabulary. That is, everything in moderation. It's not realistic to say you'll never eat ice cream again or that you will always exercise every day. In short, they gave up perfection, but they remain focused without it.