Avoid Dieting in Order to Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Focus on Adding in Rather than Eliminating
One of the most common ways to encourage healthy eating is to go on a diet. This method, however, has not been proven to be very successful in the long run. For as soon as the diet is stopped, unhealthy foods are reintroduced and the weight or other health problems begin to return. A better alternative to this is to develop gradual, but long-term eating habits that will eliminate the need for fad dieting.
Eating healthy is not about eliminating foods, but rather about introducing healthier alternatives.
Natural Instead of Processed
Whenever possible, choose natural foods instead of processed foods. Natural foods are generally a bit more expensive and take longer to prepare, but they also contain more nutrients and help to promote higher levels of energy.
Opting for natural foods generally means that most of the cooking is done from scratch. This is often difficult after a long hard day, but preparing the meals in larger portions, or partially preparing the meal in advance can help to save time in the end.
Processed foods have become very popular in today's society for three primary reasons. One - they are quick and easy to prepare; two, they are highly addictive; and three, they are high in satisfying calories. Processed foods, however, are the main reason behind so many health problems that affect the Western countries, and thus are best avoided whenever possible.
Make Gradual Changes
One of the biggest pitfalls of dieting is that a diet requires you to make changes overnight. This does not leave any room for anyone to develop healthy eating habits, but rather it is very difficult on the body and often results in yo-yo dieting or binge eating, both of which are very unhealthy.
The key is to make gradual but permanent changes that are easy to stick to.
Focus on the Positive
Generally, when it comes to dieting the focus in on reducing calories or eliminating foods. This is a negative approach and it will only increase the food cravings and increase the need for more calories. Therefore, the key is to forget about counting calories and about eliminating the foods that you crave so much. Instead, the focus should be on adding in the good foods because it does not result in a feeling of deprivation.
Eat According to Your Needs
Everyone's body is different and has different nutritional needs as well. Therefore, it is important for each individual to eat according to their metabolic type. Some do well on a strict vegetarian or vegan diet, while others have the need for animal proteins. Some are able to do the raw food diet, where most foods are consumed in their raw state, while others are unable to cope on such a dramatic diet.
The best way to find out what your body wants is to feed it the foods that it craves in their most natural state. Making gradual changes will eventually lead each individual to the foods they were designed to consume.