It feels like everywhere you look these days someone is giving out advice on dieting and the next big thing in weight loss. Magazines, social media, TV doctors and movie stars promise that if you just follow their advice, buy their books, eat their pre-packaged food and take their supplements you will lose weight quickly and painlessly. It’s so easy!!
And it actually can be easy. But it is also confusing. And it may not be quick, either. So I am going to break it down for you with some quick suggestions and tips.
First, any diet or “expert” that recommends eliminating an entire group of food from your diet should raise a red flag. If you are intolerant or allergic to a food group, then it should absolutely be eliminated from your diet. So, if you have a gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, do not eat gluten. If milk products are an issue, don’t eat dairy. If you have questions about any of these foods or symptoms you cannot explain, please see your doctor for appropriate testing. But, for the general public, completely eliminating an entire food group is unnecessary, with one very important exception:
Eliminate food that you do not enjoy eating from your diet!!
Stop eating foods that you do not like. If you do not like Brussels sprouts, please do not eat them. And no matter what a fitness expert may tell you, if you do not like chicken breasts and broccoli, you can find other healthy alternatives and still succeed!
Why not force yourself to eat healthy foods even if you don’t like them? Because research has shown that weight loss is most successful AND sustainable when it is part of a lifestyle change, not a crash diet. Quick body fat loss fails the vast majority of times, and the weight is all gained back. The way to avoid that pitfall is to shift your thinking from a diet mentality to a lifestyle mentality. And a lifestyle cannot include eating things that you don’t like on a regular basis. Now, this is not carte blanche to eat whatever you want - this is the opportunity to rebuild your relationship with food and your body.