My manager is about to start yet another diet. Her last one lasted a couple months but apparently didn’t give her the results she wanted, so she’s signing up for this new one which comes with a book and daily instructions and everything, all for a very nice price (nice for the manufacturer, that is). I myself have never been on a diet and don’t understand the whole dieting trend. In my mind, if you call it a diet, you’re implying that it’s a temporary thing. Isn’t it better to make a lifestyle change? Instead of severely depriving yourself of certain food groups (this new diet requires my manager to cut out all beans, fruit, and carbs and gradually add back in some fruits and veggies), why not just each a balanced diet every day? Seems simple enough. I eat carbs (I love pasta and sandwiches on whole wheat bread and either cereal or oatmeal for breakfast), along with cheese and lots of fruits and veggies. I also eat a little chocolate each day and have hot chocolate (skim milk + unsweetened cocoa powder = 90 calories of healthy bliss) for dessert. Sometimes I’ll mix it up with eggs and/or chickpeas or other beans to make sure I’m getting enough protein, and while I don’t pig out on unhealthy food often, I will go out to eat with my friends a couple times a month. If I’m hungry, I eat, and my weight has never suffered because I haven’t completely eliminated bread, pasta, cheese, any form of sugar, and certain ‘unhealthy’ fruits from my meals. Of course, I also work out 40-60 minutes a day, which my manager does not. I realize my life is pretty darn easy compared to other people’s – I don’t have kids or a significant other, so any free time is mine and mine alone to do what I want with – but I make exercising a priority. If I have to cut certain things out of my day because I have other plans, exercise is the last thing to go. No one’s so busy that they can’t find even 20 minutes a day 4-5 times a week to do some kind of workout. Being healthy isn’t complicated. No fad diet is going to work magic (if it does, it’s probably not healthy). Anything worth having (and a healthy body is certainly worth having) takes work. Healthy diet + exercise = healthy body. Doesn’t get much more simple than that.