Unfortunately, too many people associate the word “diet” with “deprivation”. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Don’t let eating healthy be a daunting task. Prepare mentally and physically, enjoy what you eat, and make it a way of life!
Make A Healthy Diet Easy
Don’t complicate healthy eating. Keep in mind, weight loss comes when you consume less calories than what you burn. That little changes can make an overall big difference. Diet shouldn’t mean drastic changes. Simply start drinking more water, start choosing more whole foods over processed ones, and always be mindful of portion sizes. Always be mindful. One of the most effective tools to fight against weight gain is mindfulness. When stress runs high, and unhealthy food calls your name, try a calming technique. Emotions can drive you toward the refrigerator to provide comfort from those stressors. Respond to the stressors, rather than reacting to them. Another quick and simple tip for meal guidance is the plate method. Fill up half your plate with vegetables and/or fruit, one quarter with lean protein, and another quarter with whole grains. And, the more colorful your plate, the better – so add lots of leafy greens, carrots, and bell peppers to the vegetable mix. Filling up on the lower calorie, dense foods ensures a sense of fullness, but doesn’t add to the feeling of being bloated or tired after a meal.
Be Prepared, Physically and Mentally
If you are not mentally ready to start, then you shouldn’t. Constantly going on and off a diet can be more harmful than just sticking with an overall, unhealthy diet. You should have realistic and attainable goals when it comes to dieting and weight loss. Make a plan. Rather than setting one daunting goal, you can create a series of smaller steps that are much more attainable, and each make it more likely you will reach your end goal. It’s important to be specific when making these goals too. Rather than simply saying I will “lose weight” say “I will lose 1 pound of weight per week by reducing my intake by 500 calories per day and I will monitor this by getting on the scale every Monday morning and keeping a food journal.” Additionally, it’s important to get clearance from a doctor if you have chronic health conditions to make sure you are physically ready.
Enjoy the Process
If you enjoy what you are eating on a ‘diet,’ then you are likely to stick with it. In the long run, if it’s not something you can stick with, then you shouldn’t start in the first place. While it may take some time to fully learn to love fresh tasting, healthy foods, you should find satisfaction in how certain meals and food make you feel. One of the most important lessons life-long weight controllers have learned is that all foods can fit into a healthy diet! Yes, you can still have your treats and eat them too.
The reason “diet” gets a bad rap is because most people are “dieting” wrong. Don’t reach for the quick fix shake or nutrient lacking frozen meal. Those “diets” are deprivation and will end up in failure. Eat fresh foods, eat a variety of foods, and eat foods you enjoy eating!