I am not a proponent of “diets” in the traditional sense of the word.  I cringe at the word, and as those who know me well can attest to, I have also been known to throw little hissy fits at the mention of dieting.  No one is safe from my verbal assault on the woes and tragedy of dieting… friends, family, acquaintances, strangers.  It’s a problem…really. 

Now, as a disclaimer, there are clearly instances when certain diets are necessary and very helpful.  The dark side of dieting, to which I am referring, are the fad diet variety. They come in many shapes and sizes, but generally are intended for rapid mass weight loss and exclude entire food groups or claim that all goals can be attained by eating a handful of certain foods ALL THE TIME!  This is not realistic and rarely ends well.  In fact, the true damage that these types of diets do can also be so insidious that the dieter may not even recognize all the harm that has been done.  Harm to metabolism, self esteem, self worth, muscle mass, moods, skin, immune system, ability to lose future weight, and the list goes on!  Lots of the harm also increases exponentially with each subsequent diet attempt.

So, to truly be well, there are probably some dietary and fitness changes that can be made by all of us.  The point of my tirade, however, is that the changes should not consist of drastic diet attempts.  Take one thing at a time and build positive changes into your life over time.

Action Steps for those of you who want some specific tips!

1.   To really find out what you are eating and how much you are exercising each day, you must write it down!  Use an app or a website, or do it the old fashioned way with paper and pen.  Track everything for a week.  This will be an excellent resource and gage for you.  I like the website myfitnesspal.com which also has apps for iphone and android.  Another app that I just read about is called Loseit, and it looks like a good one for tracking diet and exercise as well.

2. Drink at least 64 ounces of water everyday!

This is an example of two small things that you can do.  It takes some effort and a comittment, but should not throw your life into a tailspin.  Have fun, and check back next Monday for more!