How many of you are currently on a ‘diet?’ If you answered yes, then ask yourself whether this is a type of regimen you think you could live with? If the answer is no it’s time to change your diet rules and make peace with food. The best way to do this is to deem no food off limits, but still be a bit choosy.
Losing weight and keeping it off is achievable when the diet is supported by a variety of foods and plenty of choice – the more choices you have the less likely you are to feel deprived. When people put themselves on a diet in an effort to shed pounds they can often restrict too many calories and misleadingly cut out major food groups. It is very unfortunate that carbohydrates are still regarded as a ‘fattening’ food to most dieters, when the issue is really watching the portions you eat and the amount of fat you add to carb-based foods.
I am always surprised and continuously baffled when I hear conflicting information about diet do’s and don’ts. It is frustrating for even me as a nutritionist to consider the effects of yet another diet wonder that promises the impossible.
Although many of us may crave similar foods, possess similar eating patterns and share similar health goals, a good diet should reflect these differences in lifestyle, activity levels and nutritional needs. In other words, there is no perfect diet for everyone.
Unless you go see a nutritionist or dietician, diets don’t come custom-designed. This is one of the main reasons that diets fail people. Ultimately, controlling calories by watching your food portions is the most effective way of losing weight and achieving that satisfaction with the foods you love to eat.
Here are three tips to help you weight-watchers get the food satisfaction you crave without blowing the calorie-bank:
- Spend your calories wisely: Get slightly snobbish about food then you will only indulge in treats when it is a special occasion. If you regularly treat yourself to the little pastries, cookies, or donuts that are set out in the conference room every week, you’re definitely not eating them out of hunger.
- Slow down – really savor what you eat: If you’re going to sit down to that piece of chocolate cake, savor each bite – really enjoy it, then move on! Most people who give in to eating that treat don’t even enjoy it because they are regretting it before they’re even done eating it. Whether you are eating a bright, healthy salad or a delectable treat from a bakery, taking pleasure in food helps detach that feeling of guilt.
- Eat filling foods: Filling foods have great texture, fiber, and flavor. If your diet consists of mainly ‘fat free’ and refined foods you may experience more cravings than you’d like. Fat, protein, and fiber offer satiating properties, which is crucial if you are trying to stay in control of your appetite while losing weight. Remember though, that a little goes a long way. Munch on fresh fruit, whole-grain pastas, brown rice, 100 per cent bran cereals, olives, nut butters, yogurt, beans, lentils, lean protein, and raw vegetables. You will definitely feel more satisfied and will be less likely to mindlessly pick at foods within close sight.