The Cost of Living: A New Way to Look at Dieting

piggy bankWe live by rules in every part of our life – finances, marriage, work and government, to name of few. But, we expect NOT to live by rules when it comes to food. For some reason we think those kind of rules are bad, unhealthy, limiting, no fun, unfair, damaging and inconvenient. Why would it be any different than the rules we have with our finances? We fully understand that we are expected to work for our paycheck, and we are expected to pay our bills – and, if we don’t, there are serious repercussions.

Since we are expected to not spend more than we make, most of us live on some type of budget. Well, in the same way you must budget your money, you should also budget your food. If you eat more than you can “afford” to eat, you will have repercussions to your actions. Those repercussions come in the form of weight gain and health issues.

profit-and-loss

The Problem

Think of how someone manages a business. It doesn’t matter how much they profit, if they don’t also consider their loss. It’s the balance that matters. In the same way, it doesn’t matter how much you “work” (exercise) if you are still eating more than you can afford. Every extra pound of fat “over the limit” is a sign that you have been irresponsible with your body account – your loss is greater than your profit. You are, essentially, living “in the red”.

The only difference between overeating and overspending is no one repos your car or takes your house. Your “punishment” is the extra baggage you have to lug around and the evidence you see of your past actions in the mirror every day. So that’s the bad news. The good news is, you can erase the debt! You can literally work off the hole you got yourself into just like we work off financial debt – by working hard, going on a budget, and sticking to it until the debt is gone.

The Price

Say No to Bad FoodWill you have to make sacrifices? Of course. Will you be able to live the way you have been used to living? No. So go ahead and get your whining out of your system and get over it. I’ll be honest with you, a lot of things have to change. But that is a good thing. The way you have been living got you where you are now. And, if you are overweight, I bet you are not happy where you are now. So why would you want to continue doing things that always give you the same bad result?

fitness motivationWhen I look at my credit card balance, I forget what I even bought. I wonder how in the world I ever spent that much money. The fine dining and the clothes (I already given away to Goodwill) are gone. It all comes with a price. Now I’m paying it off – and, quite honestly, it’s not fun. BUT I know the reward once I do pay it off. I understand I am paying the price now for what I couldn’t afford earlier – and in many ways, that is exactly what we are doing with our weight. The extra work we have to do in the gym, and the sacrifices we have to make out of the gym are all part of the process to reach our goal.

The Reward

How do you stick to this new budget and not give up or give in? The key to success is to constantly remind yourself of the big picture. Instead of thinking about what you are missing out on right NOW, you must think about what you would miss out on LATER if you don’t stick to your plan.

If you have a weight issue, I challenge you to rethink the way you treat food. Like your spending, indulging in the extras should be an occasional treat – not a daily habit. Rules are not evil, they are there to protect you and they are healthy. It’s living without rules that is the most damaging. If you are overweight, you are experiencing the damage firsthand. So,every time you are tempted, remember the repercussions for doing what is wrong and remember the reward for doing what is right. Focus on what you are working toward – and don’t you dare let anything get in your way!

12 Diet Tips

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About Bonnie Pfiester

Fitness Columnist and Lifestyle Coach, Resident Trainer for Designer Whey, Fitness Advisor for FitStudio, powered by Sears, FitFluential Ambassador and Owner of Max Fitness Club, home of BCx Boot Camp in Vero Beach, Florida.

Posted on May 9, 2013, in Diet & Nutrition Tips, PFOODIE, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I cannot even think about counting calories. I have gotten to a point in my life and eating habits where I know what foods and how much of them works for me and what doesn’t! The fact that I need to eat a very restrictive and selective diet is also a contributing factor to HOW I know what works for me – And I am okay with that. The fact that I have stomach issues, food intolerances & allergies is almost a blessing in disguise to me! 😉

    • Not everyone needs to count calories. The same way some people can do pretty well with their budget if they just avoid some stores (like Bloomingdales!), some people can manage their weight just fine with restricting foods in other ways. My issue isn’t food, it’s PORTIONS, so I have to count calories to keep me on track – even though I know what to eat, and know how much to eat, it keeps me accountable. I could only imagine how intolerances and allergies do keep you eating healthy. It’s obviously working for ya girlfriend! 😉

  2. Bonnie,

    Great post. Most people probably don’t think of it that way. A friend of mine who lost a lot of weight years ago said it was simple, just don’t put the food in your mouth!
    Check out this blog post. It has a great graphic on creating habits. People need to create new habits that become part of their routine so that doing all of these things becomes second nature.
    http://livefortherun.com/2013/05/09/ive-been-goopd/

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