Developing an effective and healthy approach to diet and nutrition can sometimes be a challenge when we may have decades of diet fads and imbalanced approaches still lurking in our thinking.
For years counting calories or counting fat took the forefront in approaches to diet and weight loss. Nutrition science has now debunked much of that and replaced it with a more holistic, balanced approach. Yes, consuming more calories than what your body burns will result in weight gain. But the simplistic approach to just focusing on the calories will tend to leave healthy meal decisions behind and can result in an unhealthy diet plan that is low in calories, but lacks certain necessary elements such as enough fiber or omega 3 fats.
Another negative result of focusing on calorie counts is that it can lead to binging and restricting rather than paying attention to when you are truly hungry or satisfied. Individuals who have been successful at weight loss learn to eat when hungry and stop when full.
People who count calories tend to get a bit obsessive about food. This system requires planning acceptable food substitutions, what and when you are going to eat next, and if cheating during this meal can be made up for the rest of the day.
Calorie counting can be successful in the short-term, but is rarely sustainable long term.
So what is the answer? There is no one answer. Learning to make lifestyle changes and attitude changes around foods are two of the places to start.
Your lifestyle should include activities that boost your metabolism, cutting back or completely out of processed sugars and foods, learning emotional triggers around foods and having strategies to address those.
Let yourself enjoy the foods that are healthy and even those treats in moderation. Base your diet on your preferences and goals and you will learn that your food choices are YOUR choices and you are not limited, nor enslaved.
Increasing your activity output not only brings you pleasure and stress relief (both which factor in appetite control), but it will turn up your metabolism.
In short, challenge yourself to change your perspective around food and you will find the freedom to make the choices that support your goals rather than being driven by numbers.
Let us know what kind of new strategies you have found effective over the years that have resulted in true lifestyle changes around food.
Featured photo source: Pixabay.com.