Diets still don’t work, but ….

Diets still don’t work.


If you want to make a long lasting, sustainable change to your health, going on a diet is not the solution – they don’t workyoung woman weighs herself.  The good news though is that diets can help bridge between where you are at now, and a healthier lifestyle.  If this seems contradictory, let me explain briefly.

Most people “go on a diet” to accomplish a short term goal (usually to lose some weight – not a bad thing for most Americans, but more about that in another post).  The problem comes in when you end the diet.  If the goal was just to lose weight, you may or may not meet that goal – but after you stop the diet – what then?   Most people either merge back into their old way of eating – or “reward” themselves with desserts and treats and find they end up weighing more than when they started their diet.

Losing weight is not a bad thing, but is it the right goal?  I believe that is part of the problem – shooting for the wrong target.  Consider weight gain as a symptom of the problem instead of the problem to be targeted.

Start by visualizing the healthy you – what does that look and feel like?  Be really specific about how you visualize the healthy you, and remember -It’s not just about weight loss.  Even though losing some weight would be good for most Americans, you need to  visualize the version of you that you want to be –  truly healthy and feeling good.  Visualizing the healthy you is the first step to making the lifestyle changes that will help you get there.

Ask yourself what it would be like to get up every day, feeling good, and eager to do things to nourish and care for your body.   Many healthy, active lifestylepeople don’t even remember a day where they “felt really good” – but what if you could make some lifestyle changes that would have you getting up most every day feeling great?

You won’t make lasting changes until you line up your goals and priorities with a specific visualization of a healthy you.  Once you do that, you’re ready to start looking at some specific steps to get there.  The next few posts will look at a few of the diets that are out there that can help you move toward that goal.  I will also give you some specific guidance on some other important lifestyle choices, and how to make these changes stick – so that they can become part of a healthy lifestyle.





Get out and find something new

This is another post about fitness as a part of a healthy lifestyle.

While I talk about running below – this could apply to walking, hiking, biking, or any activity that gets you outside and exploring new vistas.

And exploring new vistas is another one of the things that I love about getting out when I travel.  I never know just what I might find on a run or walk in a new place, but it’s always a great way to get my bearings for what’s around and see what interesting sights I might find.gators

On a recent business trip to Florida, I decided head out one day and get off of the paved paths and see what unpaved trails I could find for a run.  For me – this was like finding a prize:

While the places I discover typically don’t have warning signs like this or hold this promise of potential adventure, nonetheless it’s still fun to see what you might find as you walk/run/hike and explore your surroundings. I think you can make it a fun challenge to find new and different places to incorporate some sort of physical activity as a part of your healthy lifestyle.

So whether it’s at home, in your neighborhood or some part of the city or town you live in – or somewhere new while you are traveling – get out and explore!  You just might find a new favorite place to get out and move!

Questions, comments, or your take on this?  Use the form below – I’d love to hear from you.

Want to know the best time of day to run?

So, do you want to know the best time of day to run?

If you are like most people, you want to get the maximum benefit from any exercise or fitness activity.  I know that as a runner, I never stop looking or ways to get the maximum benefit from the effort I put in to my runs.  For many people, this is the same motivation behind the question of when is the best time of day to run?

As mentioned in a previous post, I personally prefer later in the day.  I know many runners who prefermr hlth on the trail to be up at the crack of dawn (or even earlier!).  Some people find it invigorating to start their day this way – while others just want to get their run out of the way as early as possible.  I prefer to save it for later as a stress reliever and a way to leave all the “stuff of the day” out on the trail.

Whether you end up being a morning runner or not, most people find that after experimenting and varying the time of day they will find a time that naturally resonates with their own personal makeup.  There are night people that feel like they are “just getting started” late in the evening and morning people who wake up bouncy, and others that don’t want anyone around until they have had a chance to thoroughly wake up – and it is the same way with running.  In my next post – so how do you find your best time of day?

So what’s running going to do for me?

I often get asked this question in various forms when I talk to people about running.  Enjoying running like I do, it’s easy to talk about or recommend running to people who ask about adding it to there fitness routine or just want to find out more.
Here are a few of the benefits you can expect to get from running:

1.  Weight loss
This one is relatively simple – if you don’t change anything else about your lifestyle, but you add in running, you will start burning extra calories (about 100 per mille) – stay consistent and they added up quickly.

2.  Stress management
Running is a great way to deal with the stress and pressures of life and leave them out on the track or trail.  Aside from the benefit of the physical activity, you’ll also feel better and get a big boost from the endorphins that running can provide (heard of the “runners high”?).

3.  Availability7658716_s
Take your running shoes with you and can run just about anywhere.  Whether it’s joining some friends after work for a run on some trails or keeping up your fitness routine when you travel, there is almost always an opportunity to run – either indoors or out.

4.  Health and Longevity
Mentioned in the last post, numerous studies have been done that tie regular consistent running to a healthier and longer life.  One of those published in Time magazine is linked here – but if you search the internet you will find numerous studies that consistently show these benefits.

5.  It’s something you can do alone or with friends
There are many great things you can do for fitness, but this is one that you can do either solo, or in a group (and I do recommend running with others).  As an added bonus, planning for running with others, or signing up for an upcoming race can be a great motivation to get yourself to a new fitness plateau.

6.  Overall fitness
This is kind of a given since running aids your health and longevity.  It benefits you from a cardiovascular standpoint, from a strength and mobility standpoint, and can help burn off some of the stubborn body fat that you may struggled to get rid of.  This hits several points all at once and actually benefits joint health as well.  Just be smart about running shoes and where you run – more about that in an upcoming post.

Questions or comments?  Use the form below – I’d love to hear from you.



Why I run

This is the second part of a series on running – in this post I’ll cover a little background on why I run.

I like to run and it’s one of my favorite fitness activities, and I hope that by giving you some of the reasons I like to run, that it might encourage you to make running a part of your plan for a healthy lifestyle.   I want to share with you a few of the reasons why I started running for fitness as an adult, and why it’s one of the mainstays of my healthy lifestyle.

Running for weight lossKozzi-sporty_womans_back_with_tape_measure-294x441
I started running in my 20s shortly after getting married, and becoming aware of my rapidly expanding waistline.  I talked to a friend who was an avid runner and he gave some tips to get me started; almost 30 years later I still enjoy the calorie burn I get from running.  Though there are many variables, you can roughly figure that you burn 100 calories per mile that you run.  When you do that consistently  (and don’t add to your diet to make up for the exercise you’re doing), tt add up and make a difference quickly.

Running for health
Running is a great overall exercise to promote cardiovascular health.  It gives you an opportunity to exercise your heart, lungs, legs and even stimulates blood flow to the brain.  As highlighted in a Time Magazine article from a few years ago, runners tend to live longer and healthier lives.  Running is one important part of my plan for my healthy lifestyle.

Running for stress relief
Everyone has to find the best time for them to exercise based on their life and preferences and personality.  I don’t agree with the philosophy that says everyone should get out and hit the road and run first thing in the morning right after getting up.  While exercise in the morning is not a bad thing – you need to find what works best for you.  I personally prefer to run after work, when I can “run out” the stress and pressures of the day, and leave them on the running trail (though sometimes it’s nice to fit in a mid-day run on an especially nice day).   I find it’s a great way to release stress and that I’m able to leave the “stuff of the day” out on the trail so that I can enjoy my evening.freeimage-875744

Running for fun
We all run, at least at one point we all ran.  When they think back, most people have pleasant childhood memories of sunny summer days,  grassy fields or lawns, and the feeling of the grass beneath your feet as you run playing tag or just playing.   Somewhere along the way that changes for many of us, and it takes something  to remind us that running really can be fun – not just a chore to get in shape or stay healthy.  Whether running with friends enjoying some friendly competition in a race, or just being able to spend some personal time breathing fresh air – running can even be a great get-way in the middle of a busy day that just might give you what you need to make it through the rest of the day.

In the next few posts we’ll look at how running can benefit you (not just losing weight), some suggestions on how to approach running (so that you won’t give up), and some tips and tricks to get the most out of it (and not sabotage your results).

Questions or comments?  I’d love to hear from you!  Use the field’s below to leave me any feedback about this post or anything else you might find here on

Run For Your Life!

I frequently get questions along the lines of “what exercise burns the most calories” or “what exercise can I do to lose weight, or burn fat”, or what is the best exercise.

The next few posts will look at running as exercise and some pros and cons that go with running.

Before I dive too deeply into the benefits of running though, it’s important to remember diet is more important that exercise.   By that I’m referring to the food you eat and the approach you take to food and nutrition, not going on a diet!  A healthy diet is really all about eating healthy and nutritious foods as a part of a healthy lifestyle.  Remember, your body really does want you to eat right, and it might take a little time to recognize the signals it gives you, but your body is signaling you all the time about the foods you eat.

© Stressbooster | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock PhotosSo why do I recommend running?  Aside from the fact that I like to run and it’s one of my favorite fitness activities, one of the top reasons is that when people are ready to seriously confront fitness and to try to lose weight, you will be hard pressed to find any exercise that will give you as quick and dramatic result as running.  I highly recommend some moderation and common sense if you haven’t run before – don’t go out assuming you can run 5 miles on your first day!

But with the help of others, (and some good cheap or free training programs out there) you’ll find that running can quickly reward your weight loss efforts and that the pounds can start to drop off dramatically.

In some upcoming posts, we’ll look at how running can benefit you (not just losing weight), some suggestions on how to approach running (so that you won’t give up), and some tips and tricks to get the most out of it (and not sabotage your results).
Questions, comments – use the form below, I’d love to hear from you.

Don’t Give Up – Chart A New Course Instead!

A couple weeks into the New Year, and many people are either rethinking their New Year’s resolutions or are considering whether they should just give up altogether – they’ve already missed their goal so many times.

Adjust your resolutions if you need to; it’s more important to adjust and tweak your resolutions – even if you have to scale things

back – than to set such a high bar that you end up giving up all together.


Most people can identify things that they could add, subtract, or change in their life to be healthier.  The key to making lasting change is finding little changes to move you toward those goals; little changes that you can maintain that will consistently move you toward a healthier lifestyle.

If you made a big sweeping dietary resolution – consider scaling it back and making some small changes – and stage them; do them one at a time and build on your success.

If you made fitness or exercise resolutions, consider the same strategy; scale them back and build on your successes.  Instead of trying to hit the gym every day, start with three times a week. In the case of a specific activity (for example running) try going a shorter distance every other day – but do it consistently and build on your successes, and increase your frequency and/or distance over the course of the year.

Don’t abandon your resolutions, revise them to make them doable, and think about how much progress you will make and how it will feel at the end of the year if you take small steps toward a healthier lifestyle and build from there.

It’s a new year – now what?

Less than a week into the new year, many people are rethinking their New Year’s resolutions and thinking about whether they should give up on them already and considering how realistic they were in the first place.

Don’t give up!
Even if you’ve missed some days, you still have almost the entire year ahead of you.  I’d encourage you think about the positive Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photoscompounded changes you will be enjoying a year from now if you stick with it!  Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve already broken your resolution – any positive movement forward you make moves you closer to your goal than you were last year.

You didn’t get to where you are today overnight, and you won’t reach your health goals overnight either.  The important thing is to keep moving forward and keep doing the good things that move you toward a healthier lifestyle.  You should also continue to review what other little steps you can take to move toward a healthy lifestyle.  Consistently keeping little changes will add up to big changes over time.

One of the best gifts

Each one of us has been given a marvelous body, and life itself.

One of  the best gifts you can give is the gift of health; taking care of your body and helping those that you love take care of theirs.
Do all that you can to make sure you can be around to enjoy your family and those you love by caring for your body and living a healthy lifestyle.   If you’re not there yet, there is no better day to start than today.  Choose one thing; one dietary habit, one lifestyle choice, one activity or exercise that can start you down the path to a healthier lifestyle today.loving couple in kitchen

If you are already there, come alongside a family member or loved one and help them make healthy choices today.  Don’t overwhelm them or guilt them into changing everything, but gently help them see that there the little things they can do to begin to move toward a healthier lifestyle – and they can take the first step by choosing one little thing today.

You want to be there for the ones you love, and you want the best for those you love; start today by taking a little step toward a healthier lifestyle (or helping a loved one).  You don’t have to change everything all at once, but you can move toward a healthier lifestyle one little step at a time.

I try being healthy but I always mess up – should I just give up?

I’ve met many people who have given up.  They tell me about how they have tried “being healthy” or tried to eat better or tried quitting junk food and messed up, so they gave up.  You probably know people who have planned big changes after a birthday, or as a New Years’ Resolution.  You might even be one of those people who started a new workout or fitness program that you gave up on a few weeks into the year.  It can be very discouraging when you want to be healthy but find yourself doing unhealthy things.

Chances are, either you’ve had this experience yourself or you know someone who has.  And if you have, it’s easy to feel doomed to an unhealthy.  My simple message to you:  Don’t give up!   Just because you got off track doesn’t mean your plans for a healthy lifestyle are totally derailed.

If you miss a day or two in your workout schedule or your new diet – don’t give up!  Don’t let a missed workout or two or a cheat meal or dessert keep you from continuing on toward your goal.  Taking one little step at a time toward a healthier lifestyle is much more important than taking no steps at all.
I like the phrase “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good” as reminder that it’s more important to make some progress rather than none at all.  Stay focused on the good things you are doing rather than the mistakes you make along the way.

Questions or comments about this post?  Use the section below – I’d love to hear from you.