The reason diets don’t work is because we associate pain with food deprivation. Diet equals hunger, and hunger is pain. How could anyone succeed on a diet when pain is the result? Luckily, there is another way. After losing 40 pounds, I can testify that it works. The trick: Eat More!
The problem with dieting is the restriction. Eat less fat. Cut out carbs. Restrict calories. Only eat cabbage soup. Yuck. Do these diets work? Maybe sometimes, but at what cost? When we restrict our diet, the body’s metabolism adjusts to starvation mode. The metabolism thinks that it’s starving, and becomes better at storing fat. This is why people gain even more weight when they come off a diet. They have effectively trained themselves to retain more fat.
Instead of depriving yourself only to gain more weight, you can choose to lose weight and keep it off by eating more, and you still get to eat what you enjoy. Here’s how it works:
Think of your body as a gas tank. It can only hold so much. You are permitted to fill your tank with as much of whatever you like after you fill it with a few essentials to make sure it runs properly.
- Fill your tank with 70% water rich foods like fruits and vegetables.
It’s too complicated to count all your food during the day, so look at each meal individually. Always fill your plate with a proportion of about three-quarters vegetables to whatever else you want to eat. Eat delicious, sweet fruits instead of deserts made of processed sugar. For breakfast, choose to fill your omelets with spinach. We are made almost entirely of water, so gift yourself the gift of eating as much water rich foods as you like.
- Eating vegetables and fruits until the cows come home isn’t always the most filling fare, so load up on high fiber and whole grain foods such as bulgar, quinoa and spelt. A bunch of great companies make pasta, bread and other products from whole grains so that you can eat more, increase your fiber and not even realize that you have reduced your intake of processed flours.
- Third, eat more beans, legumes and nuts. They make great snacks, chili and stir-frys. Like high fiber grains, you will be nice and full from a diet rich in beans and nuts. Don’t be afraid to check out soy products too. Almost anything can be made from the soybean, and soy products are tastier than ever.
- Fourth, drink more water, and flavor it with lemon, lime, or juice. Add your favorite juice to seltzer. Most people consume a huge amount of their daily calories through fluids. Drinking water, seltzer and sugar-free beverages like unsweetened iced-tea will help flush your body and make it easier to digest.
- Finally, don’t beat yourself up over eating food that you like such as meat, dairy or sweets, as long as you treat those items as delicacies that come once the tank is filled with quality fuel. When you eat meats or dairy, just make sure your plate is filled with green leafy vegetables, and a serving of high fiber whole grains.
Adding more of the above foods to your diet will naturally leave less room for the garbage we usually eat. This change in your lifestyle coupled with movement that you enjoy such as swimming or playing with your kids, will dramatically affect your weight, energy and quality of life.