Many years ago, when I was 19, I came across a magazine article about exercise and nutrition. There was a list of exercises and a daily meal plan of sorts. It suggested things we should be eating (eat this instead of that) but what really stood out for me was that every week it listed an item to remove from your diet.
Depriving Yourself From the Foods You Love Doesn’t Work
I used to drink an endless amount of soda and that was actually the first on the list. For the first few weeks, I worked on cutting it out. It took about 3 weeks to give it up for good. The second item was mayo. It was a slow process but well worth it!
Cutting out those foods helped me drop the weight. It worked but there were things that I cut out from my diet that I missed. My body would crave it so badly and in the end I’d cave and eat more of it than I planned. Instead of eating half a candy bar, I’d eat the whole thing and another if I had it.
I loved the idea of slowly cutting out certain food from my diet but I hated cutting it out forever. It doesn’t work. You’ve tried that, right? How long did that last? If you’re anything like me, it probably didn’t last long. That is why I don’t think you should completely cut out the foods you love. Eat what you like but not as much as you’d like.
Limiting Unhealthy Food From You Diet Works
This is what you need to do and what works for me. It’s a very slow process but it works. Look through your food diary. If you don’t have one, then keep track of what you eat for 3 days. Then look through it and choose ONE “bad” food on there. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with a list of foods in one week. It’s too much!
Set a goal
Pick one item you want to work on limiting. Let’s say it’s soda. You notice you’re drinking soda twice a day every day of the week. That’s a lot of soda and something that will take awhile to give up. Instead of drinking soda 7x’s a week, you can go down to one can a day 3x’s a week.
You don’t want to rush it! This really works. I have been successful in limiting a lot unhealthy food from my diet. I’ve done it with candy (I’m down to one snack sized candy during the week days…it’s my weakness), soda, popcorn (I completely cut it out since it was never a favorite and not worth the calories), cheese, etc. I still eat these food but in moderation. My body doesn’t crave it like I used to so a little bit is very satisfying.
Wean Yourself Slowly
Start by cutting the amount of soda you drink in half. If you drink one can of soda for lunch and one can for dinner, then drink half a can for lunch, and the full can for dinner. Do this for a week.
The following week, cut it down to 1 can a day. If you really need your soda for both meals, divide that can of soda into half: half for lunch, half for dinner. Give it 2 weeks before cutting out more. You want to give your body time to adjust.
After those two weeks, pick one or two days during the week and work on drinking half a can. If you drink one can (at this point) a day, 7 days a week, drink half a can Tuesdays and Thursdays (or whatever days you want)and 1 full can the other days. Do that for a week.
The following week, cut out soda completely on Tuesdays and Thursdays and focus on cutting out another day (starting at half a can on that day for a week then cutting it out). Work one week at a time until you reach your goal.
It is a slow process but easier to stick to than quitting cold turkey! Follow this process and you will be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.