If you are trying to lose weight, chances are you’ve found that there are about six million diet plans that are supposed to be the diet plan for you. To narrow that number down, just ignore any of the plans that propose you eat some strange food over and over until you turn purple, anything that asks you to starve yourself, and anything that promises you will lose all of your extra weight in six weeks or less. That should narrow it down to about 2 million, and that’s still pretty overwhelming. So how in the world are you supposed to pick a diet plan?
First, you need to not pick a diet plan. I’m pretty sure I’ve said this too many times, but it’s kind of important: losing weight and eating healthy is a lifestyle choice, not something you do for a few weeks or even months. So, then, how do you decide how you’re going to eat for the rest of your life? Well, I’m going to start by telling you it probably won’t be easy. We all have different bodies and different things that we can or cannot have, so it’s going to take you a while to figure out what works best for you. For me, I now know that my body doesn’t process gluten very well. I also know that I have a slight sensitivity to sodium, so if I have too much salt in a day I will probably feel terrible and gain two pounds. These are things I’ve learned over time, and I still have to remind myself that no matter how much I love ham sandwiches (I have a strange love for ham and bread) I probably shouldn’t have them every day.
But avoiding certain foods isn’t the only part of developing a healthy food plan. For me, and I think it’s safe to say for you, there’s one thing that works for sure: just eat real food. The weight loss world of the internet seems to be obsessed with the paleo diet, and I think they’re onto something. I don’t really have the resources to eat all organic produce and grass-fed beef, but I can make sure that I’m doing everything I can to eat foods that are not processed.
In a culture that is in love with corn syrup and boxed dinners, though, this is actually a little daunting at first. I’m not exactly the best chef, so when I first started trying to cut out frozen dinners from my meal plan, I spent a few months eating the same three meals until I got to that “ah, screw it” moment and just ate whatever didn’t require any cooking. The result of my frustration was that I ate a lot of raw fruits and vegetables and a lot of peanut butter (which I love almost as much as ham.) And while this definitely worked for a while, it’s kind of easy to get sick of eating the same things over and over again. That has probably been one of my biggest weight-loss sins, because after a while I get too frustrated and reach for the nearest box of mac and cheese.
So what are some things you can do to eat real food while not getting bored or frustrated? I think the most important thing is to experiment. There are so many great blogs with awesome recipes for you to try. If you’re like me, there are even some with recipes that are nearly impossible to accidentally set fire to. I promise you it’s not going to be easy, but I also promise you that it will be more than worth it.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring, and if you’re doing it for the rest of your life it will probably help if you actually like what you are eating. I think that’s why I’ve tried and failed at so many diets. I either hated what I was eating or I got sick of it after eating it all the time. Once I realized that I could eat healthy and actually enjoy it, I found that it wasn’t as hard to stick with it.
Question of the Day: What is your favorite healthy recipe? I’m always looking to try making new things, so please share in the comment section down below!