Diets do not work. Period.
They often eliminate whole food groups (which is unhealthy and dangerous) or they eliminate your favorite foods (which makes them hard to stick to!)
You can’t live on a restrictive diet for the rest of your life. You need to create a diet that’s going to fit your lifestyle, not force yourself to adopt a whole new lifestyle for your diet.
You can eat chocolate, ice cream, pizza, etc … and still lose weight.
It’s all about moderation and watching portion sizes. If you eat half a gallon of ice cream at a sitting, you will gain weight; if you eat half a cup, you’ll still be satisfied – but you won’t gain weight.
Taking Small Steps Toward Healthier Eating
Do not try to go cold turkey and cut out everything that you consider “bad”. Instead, make gradual changes.
- Start out by eating smaller portions, period. Take three or four fewer bites; gradually work down to a half-cup instead of a two-cup serving of ice-cream.
- Measure your portion into a (small) dish instead of eating out of a bag of chips or box of cookies –a cup or half cup dish is a good size. If you need to, take a measuring cup or use scales to work out exactly what you’re eating. The worst thing you can do is to eat directly from the bag or the box of cookies or tub of ice-cream.
- Out of sight, out of mind! Put food containers away once you’ve got your serving.
- Experiment to find out what works for you. Many people find that individual servings help them to control their portion sizes – but some may find that they prefer to buy one large container and weigh out the portions themselves.
- Use a food diary to record what you’re eating: this helps you to learn what works for you and what doesn’t.
Eating Out – And Eating Healthy
When you’re eating out, you can make your meal much healthier by:
- Asking for sauces or dressings on the side.
- Asking for a smaller portion – or get a “to-go” box straight away and put half the meal into it.
- Sharing an entree with a partner.
- Avoiding eating lots of free bread.
Decide what the most important part of the meal is, to you. If you love the cheesecake but aren’t fussed about fries, leave the fries. If you want dessert, have it, but have a small portion or share.
Practice moderation rather than deprivation. If there’s a birthday cake in the office, have a small portion: allow yourself a taste of it. That’s not going to kill you or add a dress size.
If you struggle to eat healthy at work, bring your own snacks so that you’ve got a treat that you’re controlling. Simply trying to resist can cause more problems: you’re more likely to give up on your diet.
Don’t tell yourself that something is forbidden: you only make it more desirable.
Make conscious choices about what you will and won’t eat. If you only have homemade fudge at Christmas-time, then eat it and enjoy it – but don’t indulge in all the other foods that you can have year-round, like chocolates and chips.
Ditch the diet, stop depriving yourself, and start eating in a sustainable, healthy and enjoyable way instead.
Patricia Setzer is the author of How to Eat Healthy for Life (Without Giving Up the Foods You Love), available in ebook form for just $9.99. You can click here to find out all about it here.
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