Five easy ways to eat better, lose weight
1. Aim for “good enough” instead of “perfect”
While at first this may sound as though it has all the trappings for falling back into unhealthy food choices, just the opposite is true.
She explains that holding tight to a perfectionist approach is unrealistic, often setting people up for failure. When you think you have to follow a perfect diet, she says you may develop the all-or-nothing approach of “perfect” eating or “crap” eating, never really finding a balance. In the end, you cave in. Your desire to follow the perfect diet can take a nosedive when temptation lurks. Or, you could end up with eating disorder behaviors that stem from your overly-strict desire for so-called perfection.
She advises people to remember these wise words: “The decent method you follow is better than the ‘perfect’ one you quit.”(2)
2. Ditch food rules
Scott-Dixon says it’s just too much to deal with all the what if’s and why not’s behind good eating, so instead, she said she “ditched the rules and let hunger be [her] guide.” Quite simply, she says to adopt what she also calls a “F*ck It” approach to eating, which means abandoning rules and instead, tuning in to your hunger and fullness cues.
3. Eliminate “cheat days”
Rather than give yourself one measly day to have so-called “bad” foods, give yourself permission to eat what you feel is appropriate throughout the entire week. Cheat days can easily lead to overindulging, not to mention that it’s not fun to return to the non-cheat days with a down mood from all those “no, I can’t have that until Saturday” (or whenever your cheat day is) thoughts.(2)
4. Own your own choices
Forget battling with the good versus bad choices and silly justifications. Simply own up to your choices, and know that it’s not the end of the world if you mess up along the way. “I started owning my choices,” she says, “and letting my adult values and deeper principles guide me when I sat down to eat.”(2)
5. Stop rationalizing
Enough with the excuses, says Scott-Dixon. She explains that emotions and circumstances shouldn’t drive your eating decisions. Instead, get in touch with your feelings and understand how they might be the driving force behind your choice to reach for ice cream instead of fresh fruit.(2)
By taking these steps into consideration, it’s entirely possible for you to reach a healthier weight, or maintain the good weight you already have.
Trust me, I know. Her advice is sound; after losing 70 pounds myself many years ago, I’m familiar with every point she makes. I know how easy it is to fall into perfectionist eating traps, as well as the other aspects she delves into. Her five steps are right on.
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