Every time someone mentions they are going on a diet, they start naming off things they will stop eating. No more bread, no more pasta, no more soda... But what if you could keep all of your favorites and lose weight?
It sounds crazy, but it works.
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The hard truth is that restrictive diets are not sustainable to most people. They cut out certain foods and they seem to melt the pounds away.
The sad thing is they rebound and generally end up heavier in the end. But why?
One of the main reasons you are in the shape you are in is because you have a poor relationship with food. Being able to adopt an "all foods fit" motto will be the most effective and easiest way to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Instead of seeing certain foods as bad, good, or off-limits, start being mindful of how much you eat. Eating in moderation allows you to curb cravings, eat guilt free, and you will be able to sustain this new lifestyle much easier.
The temptation to overindulge is the issue at hand, not the foods themselves. If you have trigger foods, set strict boundaries with them until you are ready to enjoy them in moderation. In short, staying away from a restrictive diet will help you create healthy habits with the foods you love.
It's a win-win.
5 Reasons to Ditch Restrictive Diets
#1 - Enjoy Guilt-Free Eating
Putting foods on a "do not eat" list creates issues down the road. Kind of like that cookie you weren't allowed to have as a child, the thought of getting that cookie engulfs your thoughts until you finally get it.
The same thing with restrictive diets apply; you are putting a band-aid on a fundamental nutritional issue. That issue is that you simply eat too much.
Kill the powerful cravings and get a handle on how much food you should be eating, instead of how much you want to eat.
#2 - You Will Curb Cravings
"Getting back on my diet tomorrow" seems to be a popular saying for those who are giving into their cravings.
Overindulging in a food that you are craving creates bad relationships with the food and of course makes you get fat. Allowing yourself to eat the foods you like (in moderation) will kill cravings because you know you can eat that at any time.
Say goodbye to overindulging and kill the power that food has over you.
#3 - You'll Actually Lose Weight
It sounds almost like a fairy tale when I tell people I've lost a significant amount of weight while eating fast food.
When focusing on losing weight, you're putting emphasis on lack and restriction. Instead, eat the enjoyable and satisfying foods and you will start consuming fewer calories.
Start savoring what you are eating and you will start realizing that you really only needed half or less to be satisfied.
#4 - You'll Be Able to Sustain Your New Lifestyle
When someone mentions they are "going on a diet," I tend to have my doubts. Diets aren't supposed to be run forever, so your main focus should be to create healthier lifestyle habits.
Many fad diets create a lack of nutrients and variety, they starve you, or they simply restrict a certain food group so you lose your bloat and water weight.
#5 - You'll Get All of Your Needed Nutrients
Proteins, fats, and carbohydrates all play a huge role in your health. Cutting one of these out creates a lack of needed nutrition.
Proteins offer some satiety due to their fat content, it is what you need to grow muscles and repair your body.
Healthy fats are responsible for vitamin and mineral absorption. They also regulate hormones and the formation of cell structures.
Your carbohydrates are your body's main source of fuel.
Allowing yourself to make sensible food choices will give you all of the vitamins and minerals you need, without having to sacrifice flavor and enjoyment.
Making the Most of Your Weight Loss Journey
Trust me, making the change from "you can eat whatever you want, screw being fat" to "you can eat whatever you want, but let's keep it reasonable" is pretty tough.
You win some, you lose some. But when you start finding that you have control over the power that food has on you, you start to see that "being healthy" isn't a sacrifice at all.
Being healthy is a choice to be mindful of how much you eat, and how much you get up and move around. Eating slower will help you start catching your body's hunger and satiety cues.
Starting out by logging what and how much you eat will help give you an idea where your problem areas are. Releasing feelings of guilt and feeling like you need to hide what you eat are all benefits to approaching weight loss in this fashion.
It's certainly worth eating a small salad for lunch to enjoy a nice steak dinner with no regrets. The steak and eggs the next morning really will start your day off right, too.