How I'm Ditching the "D" Word Forever

For months now I've been running into people who ask how my "diet" is going. Newsflash: I'm not on a diet.

One of the things I've learned from my trainer, Tomery Stolz, and dietitian, Heather Wallace, is that in order to lose weight and keep it off, I have to look at my goals in the long term rather than short term, which totally debunks the main definition of the word "diet."

Quick-fix weight loss gimmicks come in many forms in today's society. Extreme calorie restriction, liquid shake programs, and the cabbage soup diet are a few of the popular diets people—mainly women—use to squeeze into a smaller size, whether it's for an upcoming wedding or just bikini season. Don't get me wrong, I've tried these extreme measures. My attempts at them would work for a few days, but then I would always get hungry, and before long the weight would return.

So now I've switched my focus. My goal for this year is to make permanent changes in my diet—not to go on another diet.

RELATED: These lifestyle changes will help you drop the pounds you want to shed, without dieting! Check out the six best non-diet diets.

Being that I'm not following a strict weight-loss program, I have made many healthy changes to my daily life to help me lose weight. See if these work for you too:

1. Eat protein with every meal to stay fuller longer.
2. Cut out processed foods. I now choose whole foods like berries and vegetables.
3. Pay attention to my food sensitivities (eggs, yeast, bananas) to avoid inflammation, feel better, and watch inches disappear!
4. Aim for a healthy calorie point between 1,500 to 2,000 without obsessing over the numbers.
5. Opt for healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil, grass-fed butter).
6. Skip sugar at night for better sleep.

My weight may not be melting off like it has in the past, but I know what I'm doing now has to be sustainable for the rest of my life and it will take time. Plus, I have noticed significant changes in my body, if not on the scale. I've lost inches and can now fit into smaller sizes! As the old Tortoise and the Hare fable goes: Slow and steady wins the race. And this is a race I'm set on winning.

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