Most people still believe that the best way to lose weight is with highly restrictive diets. They immediately think about what they have to say "NO" to. They focus on what they "can't" have.
Tell me, how does it feel when you think about what you can't have? If you're anything like me, you immediately begin to feel cranky, deprived, depressed and irritable! Even if I haven't had pizza for months, if you tell me I can't have it, I'm going to want it immediately. It's all I'm going to be able to think about. Is this any way to go about attempting to lose weight? I don't think so.
Why not take the opposite approach and concentrate on what you CAN have? What you can say "YES" to? Why not find a healthy way of eating that you can live with?
If you are serious about losing weight, of course, there are foods you are going to have to eat LESS of. Most of us can't devour pizza, beer, cookies and milkshakes all day without packing on the extra pounds.
But food is not your enemy. Food is your friend. Food is a wonderful, delicious part of life. And it can continue to be even when you are eating more healthfully and losing weight.
By focusing on all the wonderful foods you can eat, the process becomes less intense and more enjoyable. And when you are eating a wide variety of nutritious, delicious foods that you like, you are much more likely to stick with it for a while.
The key is to not get too extreme trying to follow the "perfect" diet. There's no such thing as a perfect diet. I believe that stressing and obsessing over what you eat can be just as unhealthy as not paying attention to what you eat.
Stop thinking of foods as "good" and "bad." There are foods that are more nutritious and less nutritious. More caloric and less caloric. Foods you should eat more often and only once-in-a while.
I like the way Ellie Krieger suggests that you categorize foods into three groups:
- Usually: foods that should be the foundation of your diet and that you can always say yes to. These are what are known as your power foods in Weight Watchers lingo. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lean proteins and low-fat and non-fat dairy are the "usually" foods.
- Sometimes: foods that you can eat occasionally or sometimes. White flour, higher fat meats and sugary foods are sometimes foods.
- Rarely: foods that you should only eat rarely. Junk food, candy, fatty meats and high fat desserts are rarely foods. Yes, you can have them, but they should be once in a while indulgences, not things you consume daily.
Doesn't that feel better? Like a healthy eating plan that can help you lose weight and keep it off for good?
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
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