Why You Should Just Stop Dieting!

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Do you have or did you ever have that friend that was always “kind of” a health conscious friend? You know the one that every time you talked to her (or him) they were always on some new diet plan or trying some new type of exercise? That friend where your conversations generally go something like this:

“Hey Megan!” “Oh hey Kim!” “You want to go grab some lunch? There’s this amazing vegan restaurant down the street and I know you are practicing being Vegan so…”  “Oh girl, this week I'm a vegetarian. Actually maybe I`m a ovo-vegetarian. It’s like being a lacto-vegetarian, except I don’t drink milk but I eat eggs sometimes.” “oh…” “Yea and by the way...I just ate. I am meal prepping like crazy to save time and money. And also to avoid the sadness of not eating tacos one time instead of five…Have you ever drank almond milk? I can’t decide if I should switch to almond milk or just stick to coconut water”.

Yes, we all have that friend. Or maybe, we are that friend! The diet industry is a $60 billion dollar industry! Many diets focus on quick fixes that do not yeild to lasting results. Because if they lasted, we wouldn't keep buying the products and the hype...then the industry would not be what it is today! You know that Chinese Proverb, “Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day.Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime.” Well, that is very applicable to the diet world. It’s better to learn how to eat and eat well, versus the quick fixes that everyone has that apparently can work for EVERYONE today!

There are thousands of diets and breaking down even the top ten would be overwhelming for the average person looking to change to a healthier lifestyle. Many of the diets have a few common things, which means science is proving that those things work best for most people. Instead of trying every diet that SHAPE Magazine write a article about, here are 3 things you can do to reach your health and nutrition goals without feeling overwhelmed and being told when and what you should eat!

Eat High Quality and Less Quantity

One of the things that is common with diets out there is what everyone knows we, especially in America, have a problem with. That’s PORTION CONTROL. Did you know 5 apples is the same amount of calories as a bag of M & Ms? But we could not think of eating 5 apples versus a bag of M & Ms because 5 apples just seems like too much! Our insides do not recognize calories, it recognizes quantities. So instead of counting calories, really focus on eating appropriate portion sizes. Change your meals to add more fruits and vegetables. Eating is very psychological! It even matters what color your plate is when you eat! Train your brain to teach your stomach to be okay with appropriate portion sizes and eating more healthy food choices.

Actually Visit a Nutritionist

People will always have opinions. Even your best friends will try to convince you, with good intentions, that being a vegan is the only way to live well and live long. The word diet does not mean deprivation. Diet is a way of eating. Therefore, make the CHOICE to eat healthy, and you will be on a healthy diet. Everybody and every body is different. If you are looking for opinions, seek one from a professional who can help design a program specifically for you and what your body actually needs.

Remember it’s About Practice not Perfection

Huffington Post recently wrote a article on dieting where the author, Margaret Marshall, wrote something that I think should be the foundation of any diet. She wrote, “Dieting is not a bad thing. A healthy lifestyle is never about perfection, it’s always about practice. Repeating healthy habits in all settings is the practice needed.”  The formula for weight loss is to expend more (calories) than you consume. Make healthy food choices, and get active. Practice changing your actions versus the number on a scale.

There is not a quick fix when it comes to your health. Change is challenging and lasting change doesn’t occur overnight. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, the body that you dream of will take time, consistent effort, and conscious decision making each day! Eat well, live well, do well.