So, why do so many dieters throw in the towel so soon?
There are oodles of reasons why popular diets rarely lead to long-term weight loss success. That’s why most dietitians, like us, recommend a non-diet approach to losing lbs.
We advocate changes to your eating and lifestyle that you can actually live with—not for just for four weeks—but for the rest of your life.
In the US, nearly half of us are on a diet and two-thirds of us are overweight or obese. Clearly, the diets most Americans are trying to peel off pounds don’t work. Fad diets, fasts, gimmicky products (did I say raspberry ketones?), celebrity diet (disaster) plans (Snooki’s cookies?) are all part of the problem.
Instead, follow a moderate, calorie-controlled program that you can live with for the rest of your life is the best approach. Calories do count so find ways that are the easiest to live with that help you cut out 250-500 calories from your normal diet.
5 Winning Lifestyle Approaches to Losing Weight and Keeping It Off
1. Skimp on liquid calories. Because they provide essentially no satiety value whatsoever, those calories are essentially wasted. I also eat a higher protein diet and focus on the most filling foods (ones that provide the biggest volume or serving size for the calories) to help manage my hunger.
2. I don’t drink—except for very, very special occasions. Alcohol stimulates your hunger, while decreasing any willpower or inhibitions you may have to say, a pint of Haagen-Dazs or a gooey brownie. That’s a double-punch that I don’t want to fight.
3. Avoid exercise fat traps. I’ve learned the hard way through 20+ years of being super athletic that I can’t eat whatever just because I work out a ton. It just doesn’t add up. The calories you eat far exceed what you can burn off with exercise and working out also sparks hunger, making it even harder to not want to eat more.
4. Don’t skim meals, especially breakfast. In fact, over the years, breakfast has become my second largest meal, after dinner, because of point number 5.
5. Don’t eat after dinner. I’ve followed this rule for about 5 years now and have never missed nighttime snacking. I normally eat dinner around 6:30 pm and go to bed around 9:30 pm. Nighttime noshers add hundreds of generally junk calories to their diet, making it hard to lose weight.
We find that most people don’t have to completely overhaul their diet to be successful in winning at losing: often, a few small changes to your daily food choices, lifestyle, and other habits, you can wind up losing weight once and for all.
Here are three great articles on a non-diet approach to losing weight that work!
Julie Upton, M.S., R.D., CSSD
Co-Founder, Appetite for Health