For something that we say that we hate, we sure do a lot of dieting. More than half of all Americans say that they’re actively trying to lose weight, and millions of us are trying to do so by cutting calories or going on special diets. The idea, of course, is that our willpower and special diets will force our bodies to shed the pounds — at which point we will get off the diet and onto something more sustainable that, we hope, will help us keep the weight off.
The problem is: None of this stuff works!
Diets overwhelmingly fail. That’s partly because people don’t stick to them, and partly because dieting itself is a flawed idea. Weight loss is much more complicated than fad diets make it seem. Furthermore, health is more than how much you weigh. Even if you do crash-diet your way to your goal weight, study after study has shown that you’re very likely to regain all of that weight soon after you reach the goal.
This is why dietitians and nutritionists, despite what you might think, hate dieting. They say (correctly) that it doesn’t work. And they offer a better way: Long-term health through a sustainable diet that fills you up.
What Should My Diet Look Like?
A healthy diet is simple, experts say. The key is to eat a lot of whole foods. Whole foods are unprocessed foods, like fruits, vegetables, and meats; experts say that vegetables are the ones that you should be eating the most of.
If you do this, then you’ll get all of your nutritional needs covered without having to read every nutrition label. Of course, there’s still a role to be played by supplements, including multivitamins and other, more specific supplements (including the very popular CBD, which we’ll talk about in just a moment).
How to Make the Change
The simplicity of our best possible diet may or may not strike you as reassuring. It’s nice that we know what to eat, but how can we fight our cravings for processed junk? How can we go from eating all junk to eating all whole foods?
The key, experts believe, is to move slowly, stay positive, and keep goals realistic.
Too many diets fail because we beat ourselves up over small mistakes. If one cookie destroys your diet, then that doesn’t give you much of an incentive not to eat a second cookie, does it? And in a country where so many of us are depressed and anxious, building a diet plan around guilt and anger is a terrible idea.
Instead, focus on the good stuff. Instead of thinking about what not to consume, think about what you should consume. Make a salad. Eat a carrot. Take the right supplements: A multivitamin every morning is a great start.
Enhance Your Mood
And, speaking of your mental health, you should consider CBD. CBD, which is derived from marijuana, is a supplement that won’t get you high but will lower your anxiety levels. Not a bad deal, right? Read up in resources like this select cbd review to learn more about the right brand names to choose and the best way to take your CBD.
Day after day, keep thinking about the good stuff that you’re putting in your body, including your supplements and your healthy foods. As for the bad stuff, some experts are recommending something radical: Just eat what you want. So-called intuitive eating is a strategy that recommends removing the stigma from bad foods.
Eat What You Want?
The idea is not that you should be eating lots of cookies, of course, but the hope is that you will no longer see a whole box of cookies as an all-or-nothing proposition. Don’t eat the whole box on a “cheat day;” instead, just eat a cookie when you want one, and stop when you don’t. Without the stigma or that day-before-the-diet Mardi Gras, you might just find that the bad foods aren’t as big of a problem as you think.
Intuitive eating also releases you of “label anxiety.” You know what’s good for you, so just relax. Fish is generally healthy, so if you’re enjoying some Cajun seafood dining, don’t obsess over the sauce or the salt. Just eat, enjoy, and remember to finish the salad before you order dessert.
Bring it All Home
This is no crash diet, of course. It will take a while for you to see results. But if you care for your mental health and stay positive as you push to introduce more and more good foods to your diet, you’ll likely find that you’re filling up on vegetables more often and deciding that you’re no longer hungry enough for a cookie.
It all begins where you spend most of your time – at home. Buy healthy food, prepare healthy meals in advance. Learn how to leverage home workout equipment and body weight exercises, workout when you have spare time. Sleep well, live smart, and make good decisions.
Now, that’s what progress looks like.