I don’t like the word “diet”.
Most of the time people use that word to reference a temporary period in which they plan to lose a certain amount of weight.
During this period, they may lose some of the weight by starving themselves and/or depriving their bodies of the “bad” foods they usually overindulge in.
Then, when they are satisfied with the weight loss and/or tired of not being able to eat their favorite foods, they go back to their old ways of eating and end up putting on more weight then they had before they started dieting.
It’s Time to Change Your Thinking
If you want to lose weight, let’s try dropping the word “diet”. It sounds too temporary and is often associated with so many fad diet plans like Atkins, South Beach etc.
How about adopting a new phrase….
“New eating habits.”
This sounds a lot more permanent and can also mean that you will still enjoy your favorite junk foods as long as you consume them in moderation.
Now, your next question may be….”But what if I want to lose the weight quickly”?
If you lose the weight too rapidly that may mean you’re starving yourself and/or not getting the necessary nutrition your body needs to be healthy anyway.
Second, weight loss that happens too fast can harm your metabolism and cause you to gain weight faster than you did previously if you pick up your bad eating habits again.
The key to a healthy and effective weight loss plan is one that cuts out the saturated fats, involves exercise at least 3-4 days per week and increases the amount of fiber and protein you consume on a regular basis.
So ignore those fad diet plans that boast about how quickly you can lose weight when you eat 1-2 meals a day or completely cut out all carbs and fat.
Believe it or not, we do need some carbs and some fat in our system. The problem comes in when we consume too much them. They aren’t as bad for you if you enjoy them in moderation.
Your goal should not be to lose weight in a hurry. You want to lose weight in the most healthy way for your body so you can keep the weight off. When you drop pounds too fast, you run the risk of gaining it back at an even faster rate.
Also remember to still treat yourself with the foods you love. Yep…I’m talking about cookies, ice cream cakes, candy etc. Again…eat them in moderation.
If you completely deprive yourself of your favorite foods, you’ll get bored and run the risk of going back to your old, bad eating habits.
Try Making Healthier Choices
Having new eating habits simply means making better food choices. It sounds much better than dieting, and it doesn’t have to mean that you are hungry all the time.
Here are some ideas for changes you can make little by little. Remember, this is not a diet plan, it’s a permanent lifestyle that you should stick to from now on. Your body will reward you.
Here’s the best part…you will still lose weight! Accompany this new eating plan with cardio exercise and you’ll see even better results.
- Eat whole grain bread instead of white bread
- Eat popcorn (stove popped or hot air) instead microwaved
- Need a light snack? Eat almonds instead of potato chips. If you have to eat potato chips, choose the lower fat brands and eat fewer of them
- Eat whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta
- Eat brown rice instead of white rice
- Drink water instead of soda
- Eat turkey bacon instead of pork bacon
- Drink fruit juice with low/no sugar instead of sweetened juice
- Eat baked potato chips instead of regular chips
- When you go to a fast food restaurant, order grilled chicken or a salad.
- When you buy meats, choose the leaner varieties
- If you drink Starbucks, ask for 2% or soy milk
- This is my favorite tip. Pick one day a week where you can eat whatever you want! (This is very important and helps prevent burnout.) Just be sure to not overdo it. 😉
Notice I’m not suggesting you starve yourself to death like some diets instruct. You’re just making healthier choices by cutting saturated fats while adding fiber and protein.
What about counting calories, you ask?
This is the beauty of it all. When you make healthier food choices like the ones above, you are going to naturally be cutting calories because the alternate foods I suggested have fewer of them.
Now when the pounds start to come off and someone asks you if you’ve been dieting? Tell them “No”. You’ve just developed better eating habits…for life! 🙂
Lisa Irby is the author of [http://www.flat-stomach-exercises.com], a site that encourages people to understand their bodies before they begin that ab workout.