I’m officially OVER diets. Really and truly. Like a lot of women I went on my first diet as a teenager. (I remember one really weird one I did before a spring break trip where I ate a lot of ham…still doesn’t make sense.) After lots of diet books, websites and programs I’ve decided to ditch dieting. Just be done. And here’s why.
1. Diet’s don’t work. Really. They may work for awhile, but most “diets” ask you to eat and live in a way that just really isn’t workable long term. You’re really never, never going to eat a piece of bread again or have some cake? So you end up failing before you ever succeed or succeeding by getting to a goal weight only to go back to your unhealthy habits and regain the weight.
2. Diets are frustrating. Weighing, measuring, avoiding food groups, eating ham 2 meals a day—it can all be very frustrating and confusing. Some weeks they seem to “work” and some they don’t. Some people lose weight on them and some people don’t.
3. Diets have a time-line. You start them and someday you get to that illusive goal weight and you stop them. But healthy eating and healthy living never stop or when you stop doing them you start gaining weight. So….yeah…
4. Diets are always changing. Remember when Atkins was the “it” diet? Then “South Beach”? Now it’s all Paleo and Gluten-Free crazed world out there. But most diets don’t stick around for too long…they phase in and out and many are based on research that is circumstantial, not truly scientific.
5. Dieting sucks. You are deprived, grumpy, and paranoid. You think about food all. the. time. Even when I did Weight Watchers (which as far as “diets” go is a pretty good one because it is more of a healthy eating system) points was all I thought about—how many I had, how many I earned, what I could eat with them, feeling bad when I went over, obsessing about whether or not the scale would pop up with a lower number. Ugh.
So over time and through trial and error here is what I have found to be my healthy eating philosophy if you will.
1. Eat 1-2 fruits and vegetables with each meal or snack.
2. Workout 5 times a week
3. Eat lean meats and whole grains.
4. Stop when you’re full.
5. Don’t eat crap! Crap defined as junk food, over-processed diet or regular food, alcohol, and pop.
6. Indulge every now and then—but do so wisely. One really great treat a week—like a delicious cookie or a margarita; or one small treat a day—like a piece of dark chocolate is going to keep you happy and sane.
7. Weigh yourself irregularly. Maybe monthly if you’re maintaining, weekly if you’re actively trying to lose weight.
8. Notice—notice how it feels to be healthy. To not be dominated by food, to enjoy a treat without guilt. To run and not be winded. To look in the mirror and like what you see. To not feel bloated and gasy and that icky “I’ve had too much” feeling. Hold onto that feeling as the sweetest thing. It’s not the family reunion or the flashy new dress or the thigh gap or biceps. To me, it’s zeroing in on those intangible benefits to stay motivated everyday to make healthy choices.
The closest I get to “dieting” these days is using MyFitnessPal to track what I eat when I feel like I’ve been a playing it too fast and loose with my food choices. (Normally my jeans tell me when that is at least pre-preggers.) I like that it’s a simple to use and I can also check my breakdown of fats, carbs, and protein. When I get “lax” I generally am going carb crazy and need to add in more healthy fats and protein sources.
So that’s my story of why I ditched diets….and I really think you should consider it too. It’s better over here on the light side. 😀
Linked up at the Wellness Wednesday link up at Richly Rooted!