Want to lose weight but wondering can I lose weight without giving up favorite foods? Is it possible to lose weight while still eating what you love?
Losing weight intentionally can be positive, especially if you do it for its health benefits, such as improving your heart and cholesterol. However, while dieting is crucial pillar of weight management, many prevailing myths surround diet and nutrition.
Among the food myths listed by the NIH is the restrictive approach to dieting, in which people believe they can only lose weight by giving up their favorite foods. There are even diet fads that eliminate an entire food group altogether, like carbohydrates, which are still necessary for other body functions.
This article discusses how it’s possible to still lose weight without sacrificing certain types of food. We look into the importance of having variety in your diet and how you can balance your cravings with healthy choices.
WHY YOU NEED VARIETY IN YOUR DIET
The primary reason for incorporating a variety of foods — which includes your comfort food and cravings — in your diet is to meet nutritional needs. You should consume the basic food groups of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy, as these contain the nutrients that the body needs to perform its basic functions.
When you limit your intake of essential nutrients, you run the risk of depleting your energy levels and weakening your immune system. Restrictive diets can even affect you mentally and psychologically by altering your eating patterns and distorting how you view food.
In contrast, a nutrient-based approach means you won’t be deprived of foods that you would otherwise enjoy. The widely popular Mediterranean diet is an example of a healthy and realistic diet plan. Because of its focus on nutrient-rich foods rather than calorie counts, the Mediterranean diet is not only documented for its ability to treat diseases but can also be introduced as an intervention for eating disorders.
Can I Lose Weight Without Giving Up Favorite Foods?
Here are some techniques that will allow you to lose weight without having to give up all your favorite foods.
TRACKING AND PORTION CONTROL
As with all other things in life, you can still enjoy your favorite foods while dieting as long as you practice moderation. While this may sound easier said than done, the weight loss programs on Weightwatchers show that you can eat what you love by looking at nutritional information and then choosing the right portion sizes. They explain there are no ‘good or ‘bad’ foods, only those with differing nutritional values, which you can balance as part of a rounded diet.
Moreover, keeping track of your food intake allows you to avoid overindulging. By staying consistent with tracking and portion control, you’ll find how much easier it is to lose weight without giving up food choices that nourish and satisfy you.
Practicing mindful eating involves focusing on how good food makes you feel instead of being fixated on counting calories. Whenever you eat your favorite foods, try to take your time so you can completely savor each bite and thus consume only what’s in front of you. Mindfulness includes listening to your body—when it feels hungry and when it feels full. The more you pay attention to how your body responds to food, the fewer chances for you to eat more than you can handle.
Lastly, a smart way to keep your comfort foods included in your diet is by eating their healthier versions instead. If you’re the type to eat cereal for breakfast, you’ll find yourself feeling fuller and much more energized when you replace it with oatmeal.
You can also try experimenting with cooking and swapping out certain ingredients for healthier options, such as substituting sugar with honey. However, make sure to do your research! Healthnews’ report on plant-based meat substitutes states that they lack in energy content and certain nutrients compared to animal meat products. As such, while some alternatives may sound healthier, you must examine their nutritional value before using them as replacements in your diet.
You can lose weight and enjoy your food at the same time. It all boils down to consistency, mindfulness, and discipline.
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