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Don't Diet - Eat to Live!

Updated on January 21, 2012

When you diet, you set into perpetual motion an eating plan that is unnatural. When you eat to live and enjoy your eating, you set into motion a plan that you can live by forever. This type of eating allows you to lose weight, and keep it off. Everyone, no matter how fit, how good their diet, gains unwanted pounds at certain times. Post-pregnancy weight. Love handles after the holidays. Post-vacation pounds. Weight that just creeps up on you until everything is snug and you find the scale tipping ten pounds higher than it used to be. So, how do you eat to live and still lose weight?

Forget about dieting. It's not that dieting doesn't have it's place. But in general, people who diet tend to regain all of the weight that they lose during the diet because they return to the same old eating patterns that got them there in the first place. And that's because at some point, you will have to stop your diet and resume living. What you can do is change how you eat for good, and if you have already done that, then you can modify how you eat when you want to lose a few pounds.

Now, when I suggest that you change how you live forever, am I suggesting that you give up pizza forever, if pizza is absolutely your favorite food? Absolutely not. I am suggesting that you don't put pizza at the top of your food pyramid, however. Maybe you can make salad your main course, with a slice of pizza to round it out. Maybe you can change from 'Meatlovers' pizza to 'thin crust, half the amount of cheese, pepperoni pizza.' I know that I'm not willing to live without dark chocolate forever. I won't do it. In fact, I rarely live without it for a day. I keep a very good quality dark cholocate in my freezer and have a little every day. I do the same with cheese. I also never plan to say goodbye to carbs. I have a whole cupboard devoted to pasta. But when I cook pasta, it complements the vegetables and protein that I cook, not the other way around.

Speaking of vegetables, and fruit, it's easiest to incorporate them into your diet if you start early in the day. If you wait until dinner to get your five fruits and vegetables, I can guarantee it's not going to happen. Besides, they fill you up during the course of the day, and provide essential nutrients and fiber that keep you from eating more fattening choices.

Finally, think about portion control. If you eat small portions throughout the day you will fuel all of your activities, never feel a lag in energy, and you will keep your metabolism going. Your blood sugar will remain stable instead of peaking and plummeting. If you are eating out, have the server divide your portion in half before it ever gets to the table. You can take the second half home and save it for the next day, or even snack on it later, which despite providing the same amount of calories, will actually help you lose weight because you don't have to digest the whole meal at once, and it will save you from snacking on something else later on in the evening. And if you are like me, you like your evening snack!

Another piece of good news for those of you looking to change your way of eating for good, rather than going on another diet, is that there are healthy recipes out there for all of your favorite comfort foods.If I am in the mood for mac and cheese, then instead of making the full fat variety, I consult a healthy cooking magazine and know that I am sure to find a substitute.

So eat and enjoy without dieting.


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    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      This is so sensible and you've incorporated so many helpful tips. It does take a certain mindset and discipline that seems to be difficult for many people. We're so used to easy packaged, prepared foods and too few people take the time to make healthy meals (even the quick ones)!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thank you so much!

      I am so glad to see Americans finally going back to eating and demanding real food! The old saying has never been truer 'You are what you eat' - and we have become junk. Sigh!

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 8 years ago

      Great tips.

      I really like the idea of not dieting and yet eating smaller and more frequently.