Editor’s Note: For many people “diet” is a nasty, four letter word. Actually, we’ve blogged about how diets are unsustainable methods for weight-loss before, like in A Solution to Permanent, Healthy Weight-Loss. In today’s guest post, Lauren Bailey writes about why moderation works better than diets.
Oh how I rolled my eyes every time mom reminded me, “all good things in moderation.” She was referring to shopping and drinking but nowadays the saying applies to so much more. Your food intake is just one of the hundred things you worry about.
Unfortunately, we usually put good eating habits on the backburner when stressed. Then, one day, you begin to reminisce about how your body looked 10 years ago. You can’t overcome the intense desire to get it back and when January 1st rolls around, you jump on the fad diet train.
The multitude of diets on the market makes it easy for someone to tell you how to eat. Mr. Atkins seemed like a pretty nice guy, you may have chosen him as your nutrition guru a few years ago. Or to make things even easier, you may have chosen the diet with the best celebrity endorsement. The Zone Diet? Jennifer Aniston sold you on that one didn’t she? Or maybe, Whoopi Goldberg convinced you to try Slim Fast.
We’ve all been there. The marketing strategies of these companies make most fad diets look so easy. However, the majority of Americans end up reporting the same results. Quick weight loss is common at the beginning (usually water weight).
All of a sudden, we feel deprived. Life doesn’t seem like it’s worth living without all of your favorite foods. You invite your girlfriends over to celebrate the occasion: You’re dumping your diet. All starchy carbohydrates and sugary cocktails welcome. You don’t even revert back to square one because you end up fatter than before you started that stupid diet!
Cut yourself some slack. We are only human, and food is meant to be enjoyed. When you suppress your cravings, your mind constantly reminds you of the deprivation. That piece of cake left in the conference room is all you can think of. You resist the urge to eat it, and you feel skinnier when you get home. The following day, you reward yourself by eating 5 blueberry muffins left over from the morning meeting.
If you would have just eaten half of that piece of cake, you would have probably been much nicer to your husband that night. Plus, you would have felt fulfilled and may have even eaten a healthier meal for dinner.
This is where being skinny becomes part of a lifestyle rather than a two month diet. You can’t restrain yourself every time junk food is within a one-mile radius. The key is to eat a little bit of whatever you crave, and stop before things get nasty.
So, if you are going to eat a Big Mac for lunch, don’t supersize your fries, make your soda diet and eat a healthier low-cal meal for dinner. So let’s say you spent $6 and 800 of your calorie intake on lunch. Don’t punish yourself for the next month. Just have a lighter option when the evening rolls around. Plus, don’t eat McDonalds 7 days a week. Limit it to once or twice a week instead.
That snobby little word, moderation, knows what he’s talking about. If you make moderate changes to your portion size and calorie intake, you may not lose 5 pounds every two days. You’ll probably lose 5-8 pounds a month. Your stomach will shrink, and you naturally won’t be able to finish a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder a year later.
At the very least, it won’t feel like cruel and unusual punishment to share the other half of your sandwich.
About the Author
Lauren Bailey regularly writes on the topics of online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99 @gmail.com.