The Common Sense Diet

Glen D. Williams
 


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As many a diet plan has stated (when describing the competition), “rapid weight loss tricks your body into thinking you're starving and overwhelming you with hunger. " We've watched ourselves and others try this thing or that, only to balloon out again as soon as the goal is reached. . . or before. I, for one, am saying it's time to stop all the diet programs and live the way we already know is healthy. There is a rational, common sense, dare I say, simple way to reach our optimum weight and stay there.

Diet Pills, Plans, Programs And Publications exist for one reason. . . to sell you something. You can follow the plan in any of the ads next to this article and lose weight. Your doctor is probably the best judge of which program is best for your specific health condition. Most doctors I've spoken to say the same thing that the diet products say, “A healthy, well-balanced diet with lots of vegetables is necessary to lose weight. " Now, the plans may differ on what the right balance is but they all say balance is required. Even the ones guaranteeing you fast weight loss by “starving" your body of something (carbs, fats, etc. ) caution you to transition back to, what. . . a well-balanced diet? So, why don't we transition ourselves without the expensive pills, plans, programs or publications? With a doctor's advice, it should be easy to transition to a healthy diet a little at a time, without shocking our system into starvation.

Eat A Little Less: Our common sense diet begins with a gradual transition to eating less. Not that anyone in the diet industry will tell you, but, if you are overweight, you're probably eating too much. . . at least that's the way it works with me. One person told me, “Glen, to lose weight, you don't need to do push-ups, just push-backs. " Pushing back from the dinner table is the concept behind gradually eating less. We don't need that second serving. . . and certainly not that dessert. So, transition to eating less by taking smaller servings for a month (while transitioning to at least 3 meals per day). Then, in a few weekly meals, eat only one serving. . . then 10 meals. . . then all of them. When offered another serving, get used to smiling while saying, “No, thank you! I've had enough!" Since most of us eat foods that are unhealthy, our common sense diet needs to do more than eat less. We need to slowly transition to more healthy foods.

Eat Unhealthy Less Often: It isn't that we can't ever eat pie, ice cream, cake, pizza, ribs, etc. . . It's that we can't eat something like that every day. Probably not even every week. We'll get into how to transition away from these things in the next section, but first, let's accept that they are not healthy foods. We all know this even while we're chewing on that last tasty bite. Common sense says, you can't stay on a diet that rules these things out or replaces the real thing with those imitations that taste like cardboard. Eating is about more than nutrition! So, have them! If someone serves you a piece of pie, enjoy it! Go out to eat less than once a month but enjoy it when you do. Christmas party. . . have fun! Instead of imprisoning yourself, empower yourself by making those things a special treat. Do you have a favorite dessert or meal? Agree with yourself that you can have that as a reward, once you reach your goal weight. That way you'll make room for eating healthier.

Eat A Little Healthier: Just like eating less, what makes this diet work is a gradual change to healthier foods. Begin by developing a taste for fresh green and yellow vegetables. While adding salad and lots of veggies to main meals, cut the carbs back to only one serving. Then, a month or so later, replace dessert with fresh fruit. A month later, replace chips with light crackers. Then, ice cream with sugar-free pudding, for instance. Replace beef, lamb and pork with chicken, turkey and fish for 35 % of your meals, then 60%, 80 %, 95%. Add fiber and fiber foods to your diet a little at a time. Add plain water to your diet, gradually working up to 10-12 8oz. glasses a day. By eating little healthier gradually, our bodies adjust without going into shock.

Shop Healthy: It's difficult to eat healthy when there are so many unhealthy things around the house to eat. As we gradually move from unhealthy foods, the supermarket becomes a very tempting place. By following this one rule, we can eliminate 90 % of the temptation to abandon our new diet. Here's the rule: If you don't buy it, you can't eat it.

We started this article with the idea that you can lose weight on all diet plans. That's the easy part! The hard part is staying trim and healthy without the diet plan. That's impossible unless we've developed the habits of eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. It's the weakness of every diet that, after you reach your goal you have to learn how to live without the diet program. Isn't it just good common sense to reach your goal weight by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet in the first place? That's why it's called the common sense diet!

Glen Williams is Webmaster for http://www.e-health-fitness.com , founder and CEO of EHF, Inc. He has done extensive research on personal and family health and fitness issues and has been helping and advising people on health since 1987. You can comment on his articles at Health And Fitness Forums .

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