Zoe Bingley-Pullin: Sick of eating rabbit food? How to stay excited about your diet
Are you thrilled to be on a diet? Probably not. Most people don’t go on a diet because it’s a fun or inspiring thing to do. In fact, dieting is akin to torture for many people.
I’m definitely the kind of nutritionist that advocates eating well everyday as a lifestyle, rather than dieting. However, if you’re feeling sluggish, are carrying excess kilos and have a certain goal weight in mind, then you may well need a clear, targeted approach. Plus you’ll need some motivation to stay on track.
So let’s address the key problems with conventional dieting and discuss helpful tips to beating food boredom while getting your weight down to a healthier level.
Don’t be a dire diet statistic
So, the thing about diets and why they typically “don’t work” is that they are hard to stick to. They can be really restrictive and after a few days of deprivation, the thing you most want to eat is the thing you should least be eating! Indulging in these cravings can send you back to square one, and then some. Scientists have studied diets aplenty, and research shows that:
- Most dieters will lose 5-10% of their body weight in the first 6 months.
- Within 4-5 years, up to two thirds of those people will have gained back the weight (plus more)!
- Repeatedly losing and gaining weight is linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and altered immune function.
Instead of dieting, researchers say the best approach to losing weight is to eat in moderation and to exercise. Focusing on an intake of more fresh, healthy wholefoods and removing fatty, sugary and processed foods is the key to clean eating, probable weight loss and feeling a whole lot healthier too.
Now to my best tips for keeping your healthy weight loss plan exciting with food inspiration you can persist with it.
8 tips to boost enthusiasm for a weight loss diet
- Don’t deprive yourself. Dieting should be about making healthy choices and limiting discretionary foods. There is absolutely no need to starve, in fact it’s counterproductive and can slow your metabolism down anyway. If you’re too strict, you simply won’t be able to maintain the eating habits and you’ll end up yo-yo dieting. Find healthy foods you love to eat and stock up on them. My own healthy indulgences include smoked salmon, olives, Greek yoghurt, sundried tomatoes, avocado and berries all of which offer great nutritional benefits when eaten in moderation.
- Apply the 90:10 rule. That’s 90% clean healthy eating, and 10% eating for enjoyment. Your girlfriends are going for ice cream? Why should you miss out?! My advice would be that your 10% should be used socially, like eating with family and friends. It shouldn’t be used for tucking into a Ben & Jerry’s in front of the TV by yourself as these are the habits you are trying to break.
- Experiment with new ingredients. Challenge yourself to cook with one unfamiliar ingredient each week. Eating a diverse range of natural foods from all food groups provides us with a wide spectrum of nutrients and phytochemicals to keep us healthy, energetic and happy. Plus, dietary diversity is excellent for gut health! As you begin to nourish yourself with healthier foods you will notice that your cravings begin to lessen. That’s because your body is not seeking those missing nutrients any longer, plus healthier food naturally keep blood sugar levels more stable.
- Get some food inspiration. Jump onto photo sites like Instagram and Pinterest and you’ll be salivating over the healthiest of meals. We eat with our eyes, so translate this to your home cooking. Think colour, texture, temperature, condiments, herbs and spices. Find healthy meals and start following key influencers in this space. There’s no end to the amount of easy and healthy recipe ideas you can discover online, so food boredom and repetition is no excuse!
- Get it delivered. Okay, you’re sick of cooking and out of healthy recipe ideas, so why not let someone else do the cooking for you? It’s your ticket to a convenient, healthy, portion-sized meal with no mess. Dietlicious has over 100 healthy meals to choose from including breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and meal plans
- Do some exercise. Balancing your food intake becomes surprisingly easier when you move your body more. For a start, you’ll boost your metabolism so you’ll burn calories faster when you exercise. You’ll also decrease your appetite for a while after exercise. You’ll be keeping yourself busy, which means less time obsessing about food. Plus, it’s well known (and scientifically proven) that people who exercise more eat healthier food, it just seems to go hand in hand. Exercise can help you achieve results faster and that’s certainly exciting!
- Try new low calorie drinks to stay hydrated. Most diet advice includes something about drinking plenty of water. I agree with this advice, but to add some delight to your drink, spice up water by infusing with fruit, cucumber, a squeeze of citrus or herbs. Iced teas , coconut water and sparkling water mocktails are also great alternatives to alcohol, if that’s one of your dieting goals.
- Educate yourself about nutrition + food. They say that knowledge is power so when it comes to food and nutrition, what better way to improve and enthuse your eating habits and health than to upskill yourself. If you’re looking for foundational nutrition and lifestyle information, recipes, fitness, mood boosters and plenty of inspiration, the Body Reset with Zoe Bingley-Pullin is new and may be just what you need. Sign up now to start tomorrow!