Why don’t diets work? It’s a question a lot of us often ask ourselves as we stress out and try to lose “that extra weight,” or a bunch of weight, and tell ourselves we’re going to start eating healthy. The reason isn’t commitment, or lack of energy, or anything as internalized as all that. The reason diets usually don’t work is because we’re dieting for the wrong reasons. Anyone can change their diet to be healthier, to reduce or prevent health problems, to keep their heart healthier, or even their skin. If we’re dieting just to lose weight, though, that’s where we fail – it’s really hard to stick with something designed to make us feel bad, especially if that’s why we started the diet in the first place.
Now that fall is here, it’s time to look at some healthy diets that will keep us healthy – and feeling healthy – that we can try without the pressure of weight loss. Simply give some things a shot and see how you feel, and find some flavors you enjoy.
The Heart Healthy Diet
Keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol down are good tips for anyone, but especially if you’ve had a summer filled with delicious, fatty grilled foods, now would be a good time to re-assess. Cutting out certain foods is a good place to start, like saturated and trans fats and salt. A great way to get flavor without all the excess salt is learning to spice with style.
Foods to have more of, though, include:
- Including healthy fats, like what you’d find in salmon, avocado, olive oil and nuts
- Whole grains and foods with fiber
- More fruits and vegetables
It is getting easier and easier to go vegetarian, as least part of the week. Part of this is that more and more people are learning how to properly flavor food, and another is that more vegetable options are available in more places. Going vegetarian helps with reducing the risk of heart disease, possible cancer prevention and an increase in energy. It’s also a lot cheaper to eat vegetarian than it is to eat a diet filled with meat.
The Common Sense Diet
The common sense diet is all about resetting. You’ll be setting yourself some new habits, before you set any goals. Goals are hard to reach if you don’t have the tools to do so, and setting habits is a great way to have those tools at the ready.
- Drink two glasses of water when you wake up and before you eat each meal. This helps your digestive system. Adding lemon juice to your water also helps your metabolism
- Eat smaller meals – usually five: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner. This allows for stable energy
- Eat high fiber foods, including fruits like blackberries, mangos, plums and pears and vegetables like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and carrots
- Cut back on processed and red meat. Plan meals ahead with turkey, chicken and fish making up your animal proteins
- Include one vegetarian meal with your weekly meal plan