If you’ve exasperated yourself with dieting and are still seeing no results, then let me give you some advice for when diets don’t work. Many people relate dieting to healthy eating and give up on both. Others would just rather diet than exercise and eat well. If this sounds familiar, or you think you’re just not capable of reaching a healthy weight, then take some advice when diets don’t work from someone who’s been there. When I finally stopped trying to follow a diet plan, I lost more weight than ever, and even reached a point where I lost too much. Try these 9 things when diets don’t work if you’re tired of diet books, and just want to reach a healthy weight. It’s actually much easier than you think!
1. Quit Counting
The very first thing I’d advise anyone to do when diets don’t work is to quit counting calories. First off, it puts you out of touch with your hunger levels, and makes everything all about numbers. That sounds like food prison to me! Living is about enjoying all things in life, including food. Counting calories takes that away, and makes you think more about a number, than what your body is telling you. Quit counting, and I promise, you’ll probably start to lose weight, even more than you could imagine, and also be able to keep it off longer.
2. Choose Quality
Next, above choosing “diet foods” choose high quality foods. Bulk up your meals with vegetables and always include healthy fats and protein. Keep starches to a minimum, but when you do eat them, as you should, be sure to eat high quality starches like sweet potatoes over fries or bread, or choose quinoa instead of cereal for a protein boost and a grain-free option. When choosing protein, choose lean forms, from good sources, not cheap powders or bars. And always, always include veggies.
3. Eat Smaller Portions
You dont have to diet so much as you do consider the portion size of what you’re eating. Eating smaller meals all day keeps your blood sugar stable, and helps you lose weight better than eating large meals, three times a day. It also gives you more energy than eating larger meals, which are hard to digest, making you sleepy.
4. Just Walk
If you’re dreading exercising everyday, I’m here to tell you that you need it to lose real weight, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Just start walking! Walking for 40 minutes daily is a great way to burn calories, reduce stress and increase your metabolism. Whether in your neighborhood or on a treadmill, walking briskly each day is a great way to lose weight. I know, because I’ve done it!
5. Get Rid of Temptation
Then next thing I’d advise anyone who's trying to lose weight to do is to quit buying diet foods, and buy real food. Don’t buy those tempting foods that you know you’ll binge on either. If you know you can’t handle 2 tbsp. nut butter or just one bowl of cereal, then just don’t buy it. This is the best thing to do to prevent binging, overeating, and not being mindful. If you have to, throw away what you’ve got, or give it to someone else. Anything that causes you to overeat, healthy food or not, isn’t doing you any favors.
6. Shop with a List
The next thing I’d advise you to to do is to visit the store with a list. Make a list of tons of vegetables you like, or ones you might want to try. If you don’t know of any, then just visit the store and pick up some that look appealing to you. Then, you can find recipes online for them when you get home, or ask around. Don't forget to add lean protein, a few healthy fats, and a few healthy starches to your list. Stick to this list when you get to the store, and don’t stray from it. Doing so will ensure that what you bring home is what you’ll be eating, and this is a great way to plan out your meals, and keep a budget at the same time.
7. Quit Reading so Much
Next, I want you to quit reading so many diet books. Though some aren’t as bad as others, almost all of them involve you being out of touch with your own body. Just because one person loses weight one way, doesn't mean it's the best for you. You truly need to listen to your own hunger cues and needs, above anything else, including what the latest diet book on the market is.
8. Consider Food Allergies
If you can’t lose weight, no matter what you’re doing, you also need to consider food allergies. Any food allergy gone unnoticed can be a true cause of weight gain. Get an allergy test, or consider an elimination diet if this concerns you.
9. Eat for Your Blood Sugar
Lastly, the best thing you can do to lose weight the right way is to eat for your blood sugar, not against it. Avoid too much sugar and refined foods, and be sure to eat balanced nutrients at every meal. This keeps your blood sugar stable, which minimizes your fat storage. When blood sugar levels are down, fat storage decreases. Anytime excess sugar is in the bloodstream, it converts to fat. Excess caffeine can also cause this, so be sure to be mindful of that as well.
I hope you’ll be sure to consider these things next time you’re frustrated with dieting. If you’re truly trying to lose weight, being mindful and caring for your blood sugar, is the best way to do that, along with moderate exercise. Remember that losing weight is best done slowly, and with patience. The stress from dieting can actually make you gain weight, not lose it. Take care of your brain and body when dieting and quit being at war with it! What’s your biggest dieting frustration?