At some point in our lives, we have all tried a diet — a word most have grown to dread. We find that our pants won’t button, that shirt from last summer is just a little too tight, or we just don’t like what we see in the mirror. When that happens, we jump on the latest diet trend and try, maybe succeeding for a few days and then failing. We get really excited the day before starting the diet and during the first few days, but then we get busy, or we just get too hungry and the diet usually fails, quite often resulting in an intense feeling of shame.
That is why I really don’t like diets. I would rather practice healthy eating habits each and every day, feeding my body with nutritious and delicious foods and making this a lifestyle rather than a three-week cleanse!
Healthy eating sets you up for long term success by giving your body the raw materials it actually needs for optimal functioning. In fact, our brains and bodies are designed to want and need food, so restricting your calorie intake actually adds a lot of unnecessary physical stress and emotional burden to your body that can promote weight gain rather than weight loss. Dieting and focusing on calories rather than nutrients increases our stress so that we will actually want to eat more. Because food has such a powerful emotional connection, dieting can quite often lead to periods of restraint and periods of binging, which is harmful to your physical and psychological well-being.
When we give our body the foods that it needs and wants, we experience so much freedom! With this freedom, we can enjoy those occasional celebratory moments and that slice of chocolate birthday cake, actually finding joy in sharing the moment with our friends rather than shaming ourselves. Click ahead to see 11 reasons why you should try healthy eating and ditch the concept of dieting.
Caroline Potter is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), creator of the blog Colorful Eats, and published author of All American Paleo Table: Classic Homestyle Cooking from a Grain-Free Perspective.