Does dieting sound good to you right now? It might be enticing to jump on the latest diet for the sake of “trying it”. In my line of work, I hear about ‘on and off’ diet plans all the time. Even the best laid plans have a beginning and end. . .I am truly empathetic as I’ve been there before. It’s not lack of desire, it’s the struggle to make lasting lifestyle changes that’s the challenge.
We live in a seductive eating environment, in which high-calorie food tempts us everywhere. Yes, if you restrict what you’re eating any diet will work. I repeat, any diet will work if you are cutting calories or whole food groups. If there are NO ‘carbs’ allowed like bread, rice, pasta, cereal, beans, legumes, fruit or starchy veggies on your plate you will lose weight. The problem is when you eat these foods you feel like you “cheated” — so what happens? You throw in the towel. There’s no moderate way of eating ‘forbidden’ foods or is there? It takes a mind-set shift.
Here are a few lifestyle mantras that I live by that might help you:
1. Eat less, more often. I don’t know about you, but when I go too long without eating I get hangry — and I want to eat EVERYTHING, but the kitchen sink. Eat like a bird who eats frequently for energy, not like a bear that eats large amounts and stores energy. My recommendation: cut your portions in half and every 3 hours to keep both your metabolism and appetite happy.
2. Choose plant foods over processed foods. With 1 out 10 people in the U.S. eating enough produce every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, let’s get on the plant bandwagon. Enjoy whole veggies and fruits, as well as beans, lentils, nuts and seeds to fill up on fiber, plant protein and oooodles of good-for-you plant compounds.
3. Ditch the sugary, high calorie drinks. The occasional sweetened coffee drink or jumbo juice smoothie may sneak in, but it’s not smart to make it a daily habit. Research has shown that beverages don’t register in the brain the same way as eating solid food does – which means you’ll drink hundreds of calories and not realize it. Instead sip water throughout the day and if you want mineral water go for it with a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange in it.
I hope this help you not diet by appreciating real food first!