A diet that doesn’t actually involve dieting? This certainly sounds too good to be true.
But you better believe that it’s a reality, with core principals centered on moderation and being free of guilt when it comes to eating.
This diet plan is more of a lifestyle change and features all your favorite foods as well as simple swaps to curb overly indulgent cravings.
So if you want to learn how to eat what you want and lose weight, this blog outlines everything you need to know…
Why a Diet of Deprivation Doesn’t Work
The honest truth is that many people have the mentality that life is hard enough, why should we be deprived of the things we enjoy?
When it comes to restrictive dieting, this is where deprivation and overcompensation come in to play.
Dieters who restrict themselves of entire food groups i.e. carbs or fats, tend to develop a yearning for these very restrictions, due to deprivation.
Most of the time this is a battle of mind-over-matter, but restrictive diets are not sustainable in the long-term.
In fact, obesity researcher Janet Polivy has found that diet deprivation can lead to an increase in binge eating and weight gain once the diet period is over.
Even the anticipation of beginning a new restrictive diet can lead to bouts of binge eating and weight gain. This is known as the ”last supper” effect.
Cardiac surgeon and host of the hit show, Dr. Oz, explains that you simply cannot cut out entire food groups in order to lose weight.
Your body’s natural instinct is to go into ”survival” mode and send starvation signals to the brain as a means of protection.
By living on an overly restrictive diet, your body will overcompensate for a lack of nutrition. It will begin to store the foods you eat as fat, rather than shed it.
Additionally, once you have lost those first few pounds, your leptin levels will drop. Leptin is an appetite-regulating hormone which helps to control cravings.
Once your leptin levels are too low, you will begin to crave all the things you have cut out of your diet i.e. carbs, sugar, and fat.
This is why so many people tend to gain back the weight they have lost and then some, once the restrictive diet period is over.
Learn How to Eat what you Want and Lose Weight
Yes, eat what you want diets are a real thing, but it’s important to keep in mind they are still centered on living a healthy lifestyle.
The general idea is that you can indeed eat what you want and lose weight, but your food choices just need to be healthier ones.
This type of diet does not involve restriction or deprivation of any kind of food group whatsoever. But if you’re craving a late night treat such as ice-cream, opt for the low sugar version. Find healthy ice-cream recipes on Low Carb So Simple.
Learn how to lose weight while eating the foods you love with these simple fundamentals:
1. Control Your Portion Sizes
This is one of the most important fundamentals when allowing yourself to eat what you want. Portion control is vital.
Yes, you can have your favorite pasta, but remember to stick to a decent portion size in order to lose the weight you want.
Your portion size ultimately determines the amount of the calories you consume. It’s simple, the larger the portion, the more calories.
Use a kitchen scale or ruler to measure out portion sizes until you are familiar with the correct portion size for your body.
2. Never Skip Meals
This is another fundamental to keep in mind- skipping meals will not speed up your weight loss.
Initially you may notice a drop in weight, but eventually, your body will catch on and kick into the ”survival” mode we mentioned earlier.
Skipping meals can also lead to intense cravings and bouts of hunger which can lead to binge eating and further weight gain.
3. Prioritize Your Sleep
What does sleep have to do with weight loss? Everything!
When you lack adequate amounts of sleep it’s likely that you’ll experience mood swings due to hormonal fluctuations and low energy.
When you’re consistently low on energy and feel crabby, you’re more likely to reach for foods high in carbs, sugar, and fat.
Yes, these foods will make you feel great initially, but they don’t work to keep you satiated for long.
This can lead to over-eating as you try to compensate for your fatigue and lack of energy. Make sure to get an average of 7-8 hours of solid sleep per night, if possible.
4. Get Some Exercise
Eating the foods you love most does come with a small catch – you will need to do some form of exercise.
This doesn’t have to be overly strenuous exercise, but moving your body for 20-30 minutes at least 5 times per week is healthy. It may include going for a brisk walk, 30-minutes of yoga or pilates -anything that raises your heart rate helps to burn calories.
If you know you’re heading out for an indulgent meal later in the day, work a little bit harder to burn a few extra calories.
The more you exercise, the more you boost your metabolism. Exercise also helps to release feel-good endorphins which help to curb food cravings.
5. Avoid Attaching Guilt to Foods
This is a big one – how often do you eat something you love and immediately feel guilty afterward? Eating is natural and shouldn’t be treated as a moral undertaking.
It may take some time to change this mindset but try and avoid attaching feelings of guilt when indulging in the foods you love.
Try and replace these feelings of guilt or shame with positive affirmations.
Understand that the rest of the foods you eat are wholesome and healthy and help to balance out the indulgences.
Counting calories and guilt-tripping yourself takes away from the joy of eating what you want. Allow yourself this one human pleasure!
6. Change Your View of Food
Finally, remember that food is fuel and essentially, you are what you eat. Food is not the enemy, it’s essential to your survival and overall levels of happiness.
Eat as much as you need to feel satisfied, but learn the difference between over-eating and under-eating.
A great way to gauge your level of satisfaction when eating is by using a scale of 1-10. If 10 means you’re uncomfortably full, try and aim for a 5-6 feeling of fullness to ensure you’re not over-eating.
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