9 True Rules of Dieting
Here I am, cooking dinner and watching TV at the same time, and what could upset me more than yet another diet commercial?!
Every month, magazines and doctors come up with new amazing diets that will make you look like models in no time… In our consumer society, we tend to believe that everything is available immediately, but a pregnant woman does not expect her baby to be born within 3 months, nor do athletes expect to be fit for the Olympics after a couple training sessions. So why would you expect to lose 20 lbs. in 3 weeks?
Since it seems that we have forgotten the simple rules of dieting, I decided to list some essential things you need to remember when going on a diet:
1. Snacking is not bad for you, as long as you do it at regular intervals between meals and as long as you snack on healthy power foods, such as fruit and nuts. A 3pm snack can help you not overeat at dinner time.
2. Carbs are not your enemy! Look at the French for example. They eat bread up to 4 times a day and their obesity rate is 25% lower than the American rate. However, you cannot eat carbs only. You need to include protein and veggies (fiber especially) into every meal, so your body can better process the food you ingest.
3. Protein diets, carb diets, fruit diets … Forget them all! Whatever you do, do not eat only one type of food, since you would not actually be dieting but depriving your body of essential vitamins. So, even if a protein diet helps you lose weight at first, you will eventually put it all back on once you start eating normally again, and you might even get sick during the entire process.
4. Do not take pills, or even special herbal teas! If caffeine, berries, and pineapple were the only things that went into the manufacturing of diet pills, we would not need pills! No concentrate of fruits will ever make you lose weight unless it is mixed with something else. Moreover, if you read the label carefully, you will see that, to lose the weight, you actually need to work out and reduce your portions in addition to taking the pills.
5. Readymade “diet meals” delivered to your door might help you lose weight but, if you want to remain slim, you will need to have those meals delivered to you every day for the rest of your life. Since you are not actually learning how to cook your own healthy meals, when the time comes when you need to resume cooking for yourself, you might go back to your old bad habits. So, you should take the matter into your own hands and not have someone else do it for you!
6. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can make you lose more than 2lbs per week without damaging your body A LOT! Any real nutritionist will tell you that losing weight takes a while. Losing it too fast means that you will put it back on even faster. If you lose it slowly and gradually, the weight will stay off.
7. Nobody goes from eating 3 burgers at lunch to eating half a cup of rice and a cup of veggies. Portion control has to be implemented gradually. If you reduce all your food portions at once, you will starve and, at some point, you will eat like crazy to stop feeling hungry, therefore ruining all your previous efforts. You do not want to be controlling your portions just to fit into your bikini or wedding dress. You want to lose the weight and keep it off! You want long-term healthy habits!
8. Crazy workout DVDs that want you to work out once a day, such as “Insanity” or “P90X,” might indeed give you a great body. However, they usually forget to mention that, if for some reason you slow down or even stop working out, all your muscles will turn back into fat. So, it is better to work out regularly three times a week than working out every single day knowing that you cannot make a long-term commitment.
9. Finally, dieting does not mean you have to feel miserable! You have to indulge from time to time. Party means “party!” It does not mean “I can’t eat a slice of your birthday cake or this tasty Thanksgiving dinner because I’m on a diet.” However, you might want to go for a run or eat light meals with lots of veggies the next day.
So, remember! Smaller portions and working out are the key; dieting is supposed to make you happier since, as the weight comes off, you start feeling healthier and in control of your body.
Image from http://www.beautiful-body-ideal-weight.com/the-dos-and-donts-of-dieting.html