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Dieting Without Denial

by Lisa Houghton

Think of the word ‘diet’, and it’s probable you’ll start to yawn, or even weep! After all, the whole idea behind a diet is to stop eating the unhealthy foods we all know are the tastiest; something that requires unwavering self-control and extreme denial. However laudable the end goals may be, when thought of like this, the journey is not one most people relish. If you want to shift those pounds for good, maybe a better idea is to stop thinking in terms of going on a diet, and instead start developing an enjoyable and healthy eating plan filled with  exciting new ways  of enjoying your favorite foods.

The problem with diets

The main problem is that a ‘diet’ suggests a finite period of time; a restrictive regimen you’ll follow only until you lose the weight and reach your goals. But the question arises: so, then what? Once you’ve made friends with the bathroom scale once more and slipped into your skinny jeans, do you rush to the kitchen and reach for the cookie jar to celebrate, or maybe reward yourself with a take-out pizza? Whilst there’s nothing wrong with taking your foot off the gas once in a while, there is the danger of falling foul of the ‘slippery slope’. This is especially true if you’ve been following a very restrictive diet. Not only do you feel like you’ve reached the end of an unpleasant ordeal, but your body wants food. Specifically, it wants the foods you’ve been denying yourself; such as processed carbohydrates and those sweet treats you embargoed on day one of your diet. But if you don’t deny yourself those things in the first place, you can avoid those feelings. That’s where Stevia can help; by replacing the sweetness of sugar with a  natural sweetness  you can add to hot beverages, mix into homemade granola, or incorporate into your favorite dishes.

Breaking the ‘feast and famine’ cycle

How often have you refused a tasty treat with the words, ‘I can’t; I’m on a diet’? Psychologically, the whole process of refusal makes you feel like you’re missing out; especially in social or family situations where everyone else is tucking in and enjoying themselves. Often the easiest way is to just relent and have ‘a taste’, which, let’s face it, is rarely enough. This is one of the  issues with diet  plans that cause many people to fail before they’ve even started. It also promotes the cycle of restriction and overindulgence that can lead to an overall increase in body weight, rather than a reduction, as well as other potential health problems. A better solution to this kind of  yo-yo dieting  is to ensure the eating plan you adopt is something you can incorporate into your everyday life and live with every day for the rest of your life. This means finding foods and recipes that promote healthy eating and are enjoyable enough to not make you feel like you’re missing out.

Enjoy happy holidays!

If you’ve battled with weight loss over the long-term, then you’re bound to have encountered many difficult eating scenarios, such as the  Thanksgiving holiday  and more parties and dinners out than you care to remember. These are choppy waters to navigate for anyone looking to lose weight, even if your self-control is solid the rest of the year. There are many useful tips that can help you get through these food-focused events; such as filling up on vegetables rather than the calorific side-dishes, using a smaller plate if you’re eating at someone’s home, and remembering the two-fist rule (that’s the size of your stomach; so that amount of food is sufficient to fill it). If you’re cooking the meal yourself, or bringing along a contribution, you could consider preparing a  dish with Stevia , such as a low sugar pumpkin pie or holiday eggnog. This way you know can indulge a little bit without the guilt!

Long-term success

Imagine being able to enjoy cakes, muffins and even chocolate as part of your healthy eating plan. Whilst the ‘everything in moderation’ rule always applies, by substituting sugar for Stevia in some  great recipes , you can take a step towards ensuring those feelings of denial are a thing of the past and that your weight loss success is permanent. Combine this with a varied healthy eating plan filled with fiber, whole grains and natural protein sources and you’ll be going a long way to achieving those weight loss goals without going through the ordeal of a fad diet or self-imposed famine that is only going to end up being counterproductive.

This information and other information is intended for general reference purposes only and is not intended to address specific medical conditions. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice or a medical exam. Prior to participating in any exercise program or activity, you should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition.

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