Maruchy Lachance is president of Running Ninja!, a lifestyle brand for runners by runners. Running Ninja! offers a wide variety of apparel and gifts for runners to keep you happy and inspired while you're on the run.

After enjoying a lovely weekend with my girlfriends, one of them said to the group how beginning Monday she would be eating salads to make up for the two days of indulging.

In spite of how often I hear this, it still surprises me that people really believe that the only way to weight loss and fitness is through deprivation and torture. It's that attitude that keeps the pounds on and prevents us from ever being free of the weight loss roller coaster.

One of the most trusted and proven methods of weight loss is managing your caloric intake in conjunction with some form of exercise. You can expect weight loss if you ingest the recommended amount of calories calculated for your current weight and height. If your daily allotment is 1,600 calories, you have flexibility in what you eat... as long as you stay within that amount.

So why, if given the option to ingest 300 calories for lunch, would you have dry lettuce, or a meal replacement shake when you can have a delicious and healthy sandwich made with lean meat, stuffed with veggies? By eating actual food you are feeding your body the necessary grains and nutrients it needs without feeling deprived.

The same holds true for exercise. Why would you spend 30 minutes involved in exercise you hate, and will probably quit after a few weeks, when you can make a choice that you enjoy and benefits you?

healthy lifestyle begins with the decision to commit to adopting sensible eating and physical activity. Striking a balance between your dietary needs and your personal food taste is the key to long-term success. You can apply the same principle to exercise. Take an honest look at your lifestyle and make time for some form of enjoyable or tolerable physical activity.

The bottom line here is that you are worth taking the time and making the commitment to yourself to live a full and healthy life. Depriving yourself of the foods you love is not conducive to long-term results or to the happy and healthy life you deserve.

Reproduced from Dietsinreview