The word 'diet' means something different to every person. To one person, a diet is simply what they eat to maintain their weight or keep healthy, while a different person may view a diet as limiting and restricting many things to get to a certain number on a scale. Typically, those who diet try to cut out all kinds of carbohydrates, sugar, red meat - you name it. These diets are hard to follow and maintain, which means that very few people can sustain them long enough to see real results.
Though you do need to cut back on certain foods while you're trying to reach your goal weight, diets don't always have to be torturous. The best diet is one that you can follow and by limiting the amount of rules you make for yourself, you can enjoy your favorite foods while getting to that happy number. Here are a few ways you'll ensure success on your next diet:
Don't be so hard on yourself
Sure, a diet will take a little work and willpower, but you shouldn't hate it. When you're constantly telling yourself "no, no, no", that will only make you want it more and feel increasingly miserable during the process. Another diet sabotage that many are guilty of (including myself) is falling off the wagon and then feeling like you failed. By following a diet but still giving yourself some wiggle room, you'll lose weight and won't feel the perpetual guilt of not doing well enough.
Eating red meat
Some avoid red meat on a diet to shave off extra calories. While certain cuts of red meat are fattier (like prime rib), there are plenty of red meat choices that are low in fat, like sirloin and tenderloin. Eating red meat gives you a healthy dose of protein, which keeps you full longer and helps with toning up during exercise. Enjoy a couple servings of red meat a week to keep your diet and cravings in check.
Eating after dinner
How many times have you gone to bed hungry just because you didn't want to have a small snack after the dinner hour. In the past, dieters were told not to eat after dinner or it would be stored as fat. Does the body even know when the dinner hour is, or was? If you workout in the evening or have an early dinner, avoid going to bed starved and have a small snack to tide you over until breakfast. Healthy snacks like air-popped popcorn, veggie sticks and hummus or pita chips will satisfy your hunger and keep dangerous nighttime cravings (ice cream, cookies) from ruining your diet.
Bread is not an enemy!
Everywhere you turn, there is a declared war on eating bread. While refined carbohydrates are not good for you, they are usually found in processed foods like cookies, crackers or white bread. Healthy servings of whole grains offer you energy throughout the day, improve digestion and keep you from binging on junk foods later. A sandwich with whole grain bread or a serving of whole wheat crackers will give you necessary nutrients without the weight gain.
These diet rules break down the walls of common myths we've been listening to for years. While you can diet to drop unwanted pounds, the one and only successful way to maintain your weight is if you have a healthy balance of eating and exercise. Since you can't sustain a diet forever, learning how to cut back on junk food while still enjoying your favorite foods every now and then will make staying at your goal weight much easier.