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How to Trade in Dieting For Healthy Behavior Changes That Last

Food & Eating Self Improvemnt Weightloss wellness

How to Trade in Dieting For Healthy Behavior Changes That Last

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The notion that diets don’t work (for better health, weight loss, fasting etc.) is becoming increasingly popular, and for that, I am grateful. However, diets and diet culture are still everywhere, usually with promises like “do this for X time period to [insert bogus health claim], lose X amount of weight and feel amazing.” Because we live in a world that still celebrates small bodies and stigmatizes larger ones, diets with these claims are appealing even to those who may, deep down, know better. In my practice, I’ve found clients with a history of chronic dieting all have a breaking point in which they realize just how much diets can negatively affect quality of life. And they want out. Here are a few ways I help them do just that.

The notion that diets don’t work (for better health, weight loss, etc.) is becoming increasingly popular, and for that, I am grateful. However, diets and diet culture are still everywhere, usually with promises like “do this for X time period to [insert bogus health claim], lose X amount of weight and feel amazing.” Because we live in a world that still celebrates small bodies and stigmatizes larger ones, diets with these claims are appealing even to those who may, deep down, know better. In my practice, I’ve found clients with a history of chronic dieting all have a breaking point in which they realize just how much diets can negatively affect quality of life. And they want out. Here are a few ways I help them do just that.

Dieting (and weight loss, for that matter) do not equal health. In fact, dieting is very often one of the least healthy things we can do to our bodies. Health-promoting behavior changes can last a literal lifetime, once you figure out what is most meaningful to you and your health goals and put them into practice. If this seems daunting, working with a registered dietitian can be helpful!

During the times when you’re not eating, water and zero-calorie beverages such as black coffee and tea are permitted.

And during your eating periods, “eating normally” does not mean going crazy. You’re not likely to lose weight or get healthier if you pack your feeding times with high-calorie junk food, super-sized fried items and treats.

But what Williams likes about intermittent fasting is that it allows for a range of different foods to be eaten — and enjoyed. “We want people to be mindful and take pleasure in eating good, nutritious food,” she says. She adds that eating with others and sharing the mealtime experience adds satisfaction and supports good health.

Williams, like most nutrition experts, regards the Mediterranean diet as a good blueprint of what to eat, whether you’re trying intermittent fasting or not. You can hardly go wrong when you pick complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, leafy greens, healthy fats and lean protein.

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