Low-fat. No fat. High-fat. Juice cleanse. High protein. No carbs. Good carbs. Eating for your body type. Eating for your blood type. Counting calories. Counting points. Counting the days until your 17 days of dieting is DONE. If we’re exhausted by simply thinking of all these different diet plans, heaven help the poor souls actually trying to sift through the plethora of dieting options in search of a diet that will be achievable, successful, and (is it possible?) enjoyable. While dieting will never be a completely one-size-fits-all experience, we do have a few tips and ideas for a way of eating that will suit nearly everyone. Will it get results? That’s up to you.
- Nix the diet. Have you ever noticed that the very minute you try telling yourself that you cannot have something, you suddenly decide that you’ve never wanted anything more? Oftentimes, telling yourself that you cannot have sugar or carbs plants those sworn-off items firmly into your head. Much like your favorite toddler, our minds have a difficult time processing “no” or “don’t.” What our minds focus on is the very thing we’re trying to say “no” to.
- Instead, say yes . . . but. Sure, you can have an ice cream sundae, BUT only after you fulfill your goal of eating 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day for 5 days. Of course you can have a couple slices of pizza IF you stick to more responsible food choices for the 4 meals before and after the indulging.
- Quantity check. We don’t know about you, but we found that the very best way to sabotage your healthy eating efforts is by feeling hungry and deprived. This is why we are huge fans of bulking up our food in smart ways. There are so many great products available in supermarkets that allow you to do just this.
Some of our favorite tips:
- Supplement whole grain pasta with either shirataki noodles (near-microscopic calorie count) or spaghetti squash.
- Stock up on packaged coleslaw mixes. These bags of shredded carrots and cabbage can be added to soups, stir-fries, casseroles, sandwiches, salads, burritos, and more, without injecting much flavor of their own.
- Get puffed up. Among the under-appreciated items of the cereal aisle, bags of puffed wheat, rice, or kamut can be a breakfast sanity-saver. If you’re a huge fan of big, heaping bowls of popular breakfast cereal, but are NOT a fan of their caloric impact, supplement your bowl with puffed cereal. One cup of the puffed wheat has a mere 44 calories. Add that with a 30-calorie cup of almond milk, and you’ve got a decent-sized breakfast addition that won’t bust your diet.
- Protein actually does live up to the hype. Tired yet of hearing about the wonders of protein? This is one case where the fuss is for good reason. Simply making steps to eat an adequate amount of high-quality protein helps ensure that your muscles can grow stronger, your hair and nails can be stronger, and your bones and skin will be in better shape, too. Plus, it makes you feel satisfied in a way that an apple or carrot simply don’t.
Your fitness coach has a ton of other ideas to share with you on the best way to reach your nutritional goals. Eating well doesn’t have to be hard – dieters can just sometimes make it that way.