You don’t need me to tell you that. You already know how crappy it is to see and crave those doughnuts you’ve been eyeing all week.
I’ve seen many people I know try many different diets. From Atkins to Weight Watchers, juice fasts, and more.
The truth is that you are always on a diet and always have been. A diet is really just the food you eat. Our modern culture has modified that word to become another “four-letter” word that we all dread.
Dieting in the sense that we’ve come to know it in the 21st century is as broken as the public school system and health insurance.
While salads are healthy, the idea that you need to eat one for every meal is restrictive and difficult to follow. It’s true that eating fewer calories than you burn will lead to weight loss, but it’s hard to make any long-term changes to your body composition and health when your diet pattern leaves you hungry and under fueled. Swearing off all carbs and trying to eat less than 1,200 calories a day won’t go over well when you want to go to dinner with friends or enjoy your child’s birthday party. Chances are you will either end up skipping the meal or birthday cake altogether or throwing in the towel and stuff yourself with half the birthday cake instead of enjoying just a piece.
Eating less is not the answer to your health or aesthetic goals because it’s not sustainable. Rather than restricting yourself from foods you enjoy, strive to find balance in your diet. Eat more vegetables and whole foods, and aim to include a protein source with each meal. Then when it comes time for a meal out or a dessert you love, enjoy it in moderation and then move on.
Here are some tips to help you and your family adopt a healthier eating style
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Beans and legumes
- Nuts and seeds
- Fish (preferably oily fish with omega-3 fatty acids)
- Skinless poultry and lean animal proteins
- Plant-based proteins
- Sweetened drinks
- Sodium and salty foods
- Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol
- Fatty or processed red meats – if you choose to eat meat, select leaner cuts
- Refined carbohydrates like added sugars and processed grain foods
- Full-fat dairy products
- Tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil
- Trans fat and partially hydrogenated oils – found in some commercially baked and fried foods