Diet Modifications and the Power of Substitution

“I’ve been trying to lose weight for a month and all I’ve lost is 30 days!” This sort of frustration is often the only thing that can be counted on with a lot of the diet programs that are out there. A common problem is that even though they make sense on paper, actually trying to live with them long term is torture, so we throw our hands up and start looking for the next option. Give this column a read about the long term benefits and real results that come from continuing to eat the foods you like but making healthier choices. It’s not a fad and it does not have a lot of fancy marketing, but the end result can be a getting to your target weight along with looking and feeling your best.

Make all the short jokes you want about February; it certainly knows how to kick the door open and make a snowy entrance! As usual, another January has quickly come and gone, and I hope it was a happy and healthy month for you, as well as productive. If one of your goals this year is eating better and dropping some extra pounds, let’s dive into that topic a bit.

Statistically, it’s not uncommon for New Year’s goals to hit some turbulence around now, as in: “I’ve been on a diet for a month already, and all I’ve lost is 30 days”. Strava, the social fitness network, has the world’s largest online community of athletes who upload their workout data. That shared information provides Strava a unique vantage point to see the big picture. By analyzing member activity trends, Strava can determine when the new workout resolution wheels fall off. They actually came up with a name for the annual occurrence: ‘Quitters Day,’ which they have chosen the 2nd Friday in January as the day for that dubious honor. For example, in 2020, January 19th marked the day when Strava determined that based on the over 30 million January activities, that day brought the largest collective plummet. They have found that is the point of no return which typically signals the end for many of the newly minted users that stuck with their 2020 workout goals for almost three weeks. My point being, starting to second guess your plan to get in shape this year is not uncommon but that doesn’t mean you need to go looking for the Quitters Club sign-up sheet!

If your first month did not match up to the expectations you set for yourself, it’s no reason to lose confidence in your goal, but it may be an excellent prompt to consider refining your eating technique to hit your target weight goals.

We often overlook (or underutilize) applying a substitution method to our existing diet plan. One of the reasons this technique can be so effective is that it allows you to continue eating the types of foods/meals you enjoy but makes them a better, healthier version. These small changes and modifications can deliver significant results. Unlike many of the typical diet plans, it does not introduce radical changes that prove to be a short term effort that isn’t sustainable. There’s an old saying that “the best diet plan is the one that works for you,” and often failed attempts are simply because that particular plan wasn’t a sustainable fit for you. The die