Unfortunately, too many people associate the word “diet” with deprivation. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Let’s break it down. The word “diet” simply means the kinds of food that a person habitually eats. We all eat, which means we all eat a certain diet. Perhaps, this understanding is the first step to disassociating diet and deprivation. Next, we all need to understand a few key facts about our health and what food means to it.
Nothings Off Limits
Telling yourself you cannot have a certain food or even worse, a certain food group is off-limits, will inevitably end up in binge eating and regret. While there are certainly foods that you should eat very rarely, eliminating food groups like grains and/or fruit will never end up giving you a weight loss advantage. Any weight loss that is incurred while on this type of diet will come back, with additional weight and a poorer metabolism. Making healthy food swaps for unhealthy foods in the diet is a better, healthier and more sustainable change.
Dieting Isn’t Torture
When losing weight, it is perfectly okay to feel hungry from time to time. This will eventually change as your body becomes accustom to smaller portion sizes. But if you feel ravenous, you may be restricting calories too much or perhaps you are not eating the right types of foods. Consuming fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein-packed lean meats and low-fat dairy will help you stay full and satisfied without breaking the calorie bank. Some hunger is to be expected, but if those ravenous feelings make you irritable, consider assessing your diet and/or calorie goals.
Go for Appealing Foods
If you enjoy what you are eating on a “diet,” then you are likely to stick with it. Because in the long run, if it’s not something you can stick with, then you shouldn’t start in the first place. Typically, dieters cannot stick with freeze dried or frozen meals for an extended period of time, nor should they. These meals are very seldom healthy or satisfying, and often contain high levels of sodium. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be a part of every meal, and they should be foods you like and find appealing. 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.
Don’t “Diet” Wrong
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 to drop a few pounds. Those “diets” are deprivation and will end up in failure. Eat fresh foods, eat a variety of foods, and eat foods you actually enjoy eating. Just make sure you are eating within your calorie range goal.
Next time you think about “dieting,” think about eating foods that make you feel great, because that’s what it should be all about!
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