If you’ve tried diets and have failed then consider not dieting. It’s a different way of thinking but here are some great things to learn from people who never diet.
1. Have Dinner with Friends. Often.
Enjoy socializing during a meal. Linger over conversation and enjoy what is on your plate in front of you. We were not meant to eat alone.
2. Every Day Isn’t a Special Occasion
Muffins at the office, a decadent meal, birthday cake? Most people’s lives are quite full of special (or not so special) occasions and reasons to indulge. Treats are just that – treats – and should not be an every day thing. So choose wisely here and cut out the rest. Share dessert with the friends you’re having dinner with and pass on the office snacks.
3. Don’t Waste Time on Diet Foods
Low fat? Low calorie? These sound good in theory but most diet foods are high in carbs and heavily processed. In the end, this all converts to sugar in the body and contributes to weight gain. When fat is removed from a product something needs to compensate for flavour and that’s usually sugar and/or salt plus other additives. People who don’t diet still read the labels but they do so to find out what’s really in their food.
4. There is No Such Thing as ‘Bad’ Food
We shouldn’t refer to brownies as ‘bad’ and carrots as ‘good’. In a study done by the University of Toronto, people who weren’t allowed chocolate for a week experienced more cravings are were likely to binge eat. Develop a happier relationship with your food and remove the word ‘bad’ from your vocabulary.
In our busy lives sleep is usually the first thing which is sacrificed. But if you want to maintain a healthy BMI sleep should be top priority. If you have to choose between waking up an hour early to hit the gym or stay in bed for an extra hour of sleep then sleep should be your choice. Our hormones are effected when we don’t sleep and this could lead to weight gain and a preference for higher calorie foods. Not to mention the energy needed to exercise.
6. Be Kind To Yourself
Have you just finished a big bag of chips with dip? You meant to eat healthy today and you got side-railed? Forgive yourself and move on. Eat better at the next meal. It seems that for many of us being compassionate with ourselves is harder than with others. But a better relationship with food will lead towards a healthier BMI. Treat yourself with encouragement just like you would a loved one.
7. Avoid Diet Drinks. All of Them.
This is a controversial topic. Some studies show that diet drinks don’t affect weight and others suggest they stimulate hunger which causes weight gain. In either case, what is true is that diet drinks set the brain up to want more sugar. This causes addiction in many. Stick to lemon wedges with seltzer water or herbal teas (without sugar).
8. Experiment in the Kitchen
Have fun! Eating healthy is all about experimenting. Trying new herbs and spices can be a fun way to jazz up the flavour in any dish.
If you like things a bit spicy you’re in luck because spices like cayenne and red pepper flakes can also help burn a few extra calories.
9. Don’t Count Calories
There’s a great difference between how your body uses 1,000 calories of junk food and 1,000 calories of whole foods. Fatty fish, avocado, olive oil, and nuts are all calorie dense foods but are extremely nutritious. Focus on filling your plate with a variety of vegetables, lean protein (chicken or fish) and healthy fats. If you prepare well-rounded meals you’ll notice you will also be less hungry and craving less junk foods.
10. Be Smart About Sugar
Sugar is just simply not good for you. Our bodies can only handle so much sugar at a time. Sugar is stored as fat if we overdo it. The sugar intake limit is different for everyone so figure out what works for you. Do you feel tired and bloated after eating some cookies? You’ll know when to cut back by your bodies’ reaction.
All food should make you feel great. Anyone who doesn’t diet knows that.