I’m a vegetarian, runner, and dietitian. When people hear that I am one of these three things they often say, “Ohhhh, that’s why you’re so fit.” Actually, none of these things guarantee a fit body. People are always looking for that secret reason why they are overweight and someone else is fit. There are vegetarians who are overweight. There are runners who are overweight. There are dietitians who are overweight. I bet there are even some runner, dietitian, vegetarians who are overweight out there.
The real secret to being fit is balancing calories in with calories out. There are plenty of individuals who eat meat and have a very healthy diet and are in great shape. Excluding meat from your diet does not = weight loss. Decreasing total calories does = weight loss.
There are many paths to fitness. I meet so many people who find out that I run and then start telling me the reasons they can’t run. You do not have to run to be fit. Running is an efficient way to burn calories but there are many other activities that burn calories as well: aerobics, walking, swimming, biking, elliptical, etc. The key is to push yourself and do something you enjoy!
I have to admit being a dietitian helps me stay fit because I preach healthy eating and exercise every day. On my off days I preach it to my children (to many eye rolls behind my back I’m sure). Reading articles about healthy eating, weight loss, and exercise can reinforce your lifestyle changes. I recommend subscribing to a health magazine such as Fitness, Shape, Self, or Men’s Health and read the articles for inspiration, motivation, and ideas.
Stop looking for that secret to weight loss! (For example, not eating pasta, avoiding potatoes like the plague, eating grapefruit with every meal, etc.) Accept that the real secret to weight loss is reaching a calorie deficit by eating less and moving more. Eat what you enjoy and be more active doing what you like best. That is the real secret to success!