Balance. What if I told you that you could achieve the weight that you desired and the body that you hoped for simply by eating balanced? What if you didn’t have to completely forego sugar or cut out carbs? What if you could maintain a healthy body weight and still eat a treat here and there without feeling like you’ve blown your diet? I’m here to tell you that you can! In today’s world everyone is dieting. And if someone is not currently on a diet he/she is most likely either contemplating a diet or has dieted in the past. For most people a diet tends to be low calorie and very restrictive. I mean that’s pretty much the definition of a diet isn’t it? Diets like the Atkins Diet, the South Beach diet, detox diets, or even diet pills are very common. And the truth is people see results…quickly! Some of these diets boast 30 pounds lost in one month, and some people actually experience this. So now the question is why wouldn’t you want to do an extreme diet like this and see quick results? Simply put, it doesn’t last. Sure you can lose lots of weight while cutting out all carbs and eating primarily chicken and veggies. You can reach your goal weight and feel and look great. This is where the kicker comes in though.

How many people can actually maintain this kind of diet long term? Most can’t. As soon as you reach your goal weight and go off the diet the pounds start inching back on. You usually gain all your weight back plus some. That’s when you realize you need to take action again, and you jump into another restrictive diet that will be impossible to maintain long term. Sound familiar? How can you break this cycle? The answer is simple. Stop dieting. Now I’m obviously not saying you should just go out and eat whatever you want whenever you want. What I am saying is that the real answer to controlling your weight lies with the amount of calories you’re consuming. 

If you’re trying to lose weight, then you simply need to eat less calories than you are expending. That’s it.You don’t have to eat chicken breast three times a day. You don’t have to cut out all sources of sugar. You don’t have to go completely carb-free. What I’m saying is you can still enjoy food and lose weight at the same time if you are aware of the amount of calories you are consuming. Technically, you could eat really unhealthy and still lose weight if you were eating less calories than you used. However, I would strongly discourage this for overall long term health. I believe that balance is the key. Enjoy food, but also make healthy choices. Change your grains to more filling whole grains. Eat more wholesome meats like chicken, fish, or quality ground beef. Try to eat fruits and veggies with both lunch and dinner. And if you still have calories left at the end of the day, then go ahead and indulge in a treat. Don’t deprive yourself. Deprivation leads to cravings which will usually end in a junk food binge. Eating treats in moderation will control those cravings and will eliminate the feeling of being on a diet and will actually allow you to stick to your calorie plan long term. Plus, a treat doesn’t have to be junk. There are great alternate forms of treats that are satisfying and still very wholesome and healthy. Does this eating plan sound more doable? It’s not a crash diet. It’s not restrictive. It’s pure, simple moderation in every aspect of your eating. Sure it will still take persistence and a level of self-control, and it might not appeal to an all-or-nothing mentality. But I will tell you this, it will work long term. Simply put, it’s not a diet, it’s a way of life.

This article was written by: 

Heidi Pearson
ACE Certified Health Coach
(B.S. in Sports & Health Sciences)

Heidi is a certified health coach with a bachelor’s degree in sports and health sciences.  She specializes in helping women accomplish their health goals through nutritional and lifestyle changes. She enjoys creating healthy meals in the kitchen and working out with her husband.

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