I’ll start today’s post by asking you a few questions, and I want you to answer them as honestly as possible. What diet are you on right now? What diets have you tried in the past? How well did it (or has it) help you reach your goal? Finally, why did you stop your past diets? These questions are important to answer when searching for the true motivation behind an action such as dieting. But inevitably almost every diet fails due to the same reason. It robs you of something you enjoy! Food is so much more than a fuel for your body. It’s an experience, it’s joy, it’s a way we socialize. So today I am going to talk about why diets shouldn’t stop you from breaking bread (literally) with friends, family, or the weird neighbor you’re not too sure about.
Most say “STOP” when it comes to eating a particular food. Fats, carbs, beans, meats, and gluten are just a few examples of things that are awesome, but get snatched away when we start a diet. In fact, many fad diets thrive on creating the fear of something (weight gain, disease, toxins, etc.). And when we buy into these notions, what we might fear is the pleasure of the foods, but then we want to rationalize it by saying that what we really fear is its effect on our health. Ultimately, this means that we walk around unnecessarily robbing ourselves of foods we enjoy.
Science Said So!!!
Many fad diets claim to be science based, but generally the science is garbage. In fact, it’s pretty darn difficult to study diets/nutrition in general. Just as importantly, science is filled with conditionals and fad diets are not. They don’t take into account individual needs or cultural norms/taboos. Ultimately what happens when we diet is we decrease our caloric intake, and often alter our vitamin and mineral consumption. There’s a plethora of weight loss hormones that get all jacked up when we alter our nutrition so severely. And guess what? Our natural response to such strict dieting is actually to over eat due to hormonal disregulation!
What To Do
Stay hungry. For long-term weight loss and happiness, avoid banning foods. This creates a cycle of cravings, inevitable indulgence, and guilt. Make all foods fit by eating smart 80% and food loses its power. In turn, you wont over indulge and/or give up and therefore you’ll a guilt free happy dieting experience.
Shift your pants. Not my best pun, but it has a point. When you shift your focus from dropping pant sizes to eating foods that are enjoyable and satisfying, you might actually consume fewer calories. Savoring your foods means you eat slower and feel satisfied with less.
Be realistic. Diets are not meant to be followed forever, so allowing yourself to eat all foods in moderation forms a realistic and sustainable approach. Long term success boils down to healthy lifestyle choices.
Balanced your diet. Proteins are for growth, maintenance and repair. Fats provide vitamin and mineral absorption, hormone regulation, and formation of cell structures. Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of fuel. Don’t rob yourself of any of these functions by eating foods in moderation.
These last four tips are… well… the tip of the iceberg when it comes to nutrition. Make sure you go with your gut when looking at a new fad diet. And if you’re skeptical, use trusted websites to help in making an informed decision.