I’ve never been a big fan of the word “diet.” To me it sounds like a punishment that no one wants to experience. Instead, I prefer to use the words “lifestyle change” because I believe that we shouldn’t have to limit ourselves to products that read “low fat,” “sugar-free,” etc. when we can just eat fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and fish and be okay.

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Everyone has a system that works for them. Some people each gluten free as a choice to help them maintain weight, others do paleo, some are vegetarians, some people are dairy free, others no sodium, and some do programs like Weight Watcher, Jenny Craig, etc. At the end of the day, you have to do what works best for you. And if you aren’t strict with yourself and you know you aren’t trying as hard as you can, then you only have yourself to blame.

Another thing to keep in mind is once you get to your goal weight, it’s all about maintaining and this is where the word “moderation” comes in. I truly believe that you shouldn’t limit yourself when it comes to food – it’s all about give and take. Overeat a little here, make up for the next few days, have a few glasses of wine here, be clean the next few days. You know your limits, so be honest with yourself.

I can honestly say though, that whatever healthy method you choose to get in shape or stay in shape, it’s totally up to you. It’s your body, and you have to take care of it. This month I’m choosing to follow the paleo plan, and man I’m being strict. Yes, this plan might not work for everyone, but I love it so far and feel great. It’s more than just losing weight for me, as I’ve shared in previous posts. For me, it’s all about how my body feels – and by that I mean stomach, headaches, body aches, energy level, etc. Yes, I’m looking to fit into that two piece this summer, but I really just want to continue to wake up each morning without a stomach ache and go about my daily routine.

If you want to order meals on a meal plan, good for you! At least you are trying and making an effort to do something for yourself. I can’t say it enough – it’s all about what works for you. No one should be commenting on what you are eating (or not eating, unless you are being unhealthy and not taking care of your body). You do what works for you and if you want to meal prep until your hands fall off because that’s what helps you make smart choices during the week, then I’m giving you a virtual high-five.

In the end fans, don’t let people’s comments affect how you wish to stay healthy and feel good. Make healthy choices, be honest with yourself, and do what works best for you.