How many times have you started a diet to lose weight only to fall off the rails and have to start over again and again? Unfortunately, this vicious cycle of “yo-yo dieting” is not only hard mentally and emotionally, but physically it can actually cause you to gain even more weight over time. You do not have to succumb to this way of life; rather you can lose weight, improve your health and be happy by dropping the diet mentality – for good. Follow the tips below to establish a healthy lifestyle that consists of good nutritional practices and weight-loss or management.
Get rid of your diet books
Is your bookshelf full of books promising to help you lose those last 10 pounds? Are you constantly seeking out the diet section at your bookstore or library for the latest “it” thing that will whittle you down to your dream size? Think again. Stop the madness here and now. These books may contain some worthy and interesting information, however more often than not – they are just another diet. Sure they may help you lose weight – at first – but it’s usually water weight from restricting carbs or eating (an insufficient!) 1000 calories a day. The truth is that the best diet is no diet: it’s called good nutritional practices, portion control and finding the foods that work for your body. Because guess what? One person’s food friends are another person’s poison.
Think QUALITY Nutrition
Quality! Quality! Quality! Quality nutrition refers to eating nutrient-dense foods – foods that are rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. A healthy diet should include a variety of vegetables (think leafy greens, cucumbers, capsicum and sweet potatoes) as it’s foundation, some fruits in moderation (watch your sugar intake), lean protein (think chicken, fish, Greek yogurt, quinoa and lentils) and healthy fats (avocados, olive oil, coconut milk as well as oily fish). Include a source of protein, complex carbs and a healthy fat at each meal. Enjoy a sweet treat such as dark chocolate or yogurt with honey and berries for dessert. You will find that the more quality foods you intake, the more you’ll “crowd out” the unhealthier foods.
Do Not Restrict Your Food Intake!
Food restriction leads to hunger, which can lead to binging and subsequent weight gain. Skipping meals or eating insufficient portions of foods in an effort to drastically decrease caloric intake can actually force your body to work against you. Your metabolism may lower to conserve the necessary energy for daily physical and mental tasks, which can lead to fat storage versus fat-loss. Furthermore, inadequate energy intake can lead to irritability and poor sleep, causing stress hormones in the body, particularly cortisol, to increase and lead to weight-gain. Respect your body and learn to relax around food – it is here to serve you, not hurt you. Plan for 3 nutrient-dense meals daily and one to two snacks to keep your metabolism humming and appetite satisfied.
Have you been or are you trapped in the diet mentality? Do you think you can take the leap of faith to ditch the yo-yo cycling for good? Please share your thoughts in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.