Problem: How To Deal With Yo-Yo Dieting
Following a rigid diet can seem easier than changing your eating habits, but the majority don’t work in the long run and can lead to health problems. “Repeatedly going on very low-calorie diets carries a risk of permanently lowering metabolism,” True says. “Diets that eliminate entire categories of foods, such as carbs, can lead to vitamin deficiencies.” Psychologically, constant dieting also breeds an unhealthy mind-set of denial and reward.
Solution: Go Mediterranean
If you’re looking for an eating plan to follow, consider the Mediterranean diet, which True hails as “bar none, fabulous.” Composed mainly of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish, olive oil, and nuts — and low in unhealthy animal fats and refined food — the Mediterranean diet “answers a lot of ills, including obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes,” says True.
And there’s more to it than food guidelines. “The lifestyle is a crucial component.” Taking pleasure in preparing food and eating with family and friends adds to the nutritional benefits.
Solution: Focus on Adding, Not Subtracting
In addition to eating more fruits and vegetables, True suggests adding a variety of whole grains to your regular rotation, including quinoa, amaranth, barley, millet, and spelt. ”They offer a wide array of powerful antioxidants, as well as fiber, which helps stabilize your blood sugar so your cravings for comfort food go down,” she says.
Solution: Learn from Your Lapses
Johnson says that the biggest obstacle to changing your habits is an all-or-nothing attitude. “It’s a foregone conclusion that dietary lapses will happen. The trick is to see them as lessons and not as a confirmation that you’re a failure.” If you know you tend to eat too much cake at an office birthday party, for example, bring in a healthier snack of your own next time.