How To Diet Without Eating Less Food
I talk a lot about reducing processed foods and even try to avoid some of them as much as possible. But there is a step that can be even more important, and even more relevant for your progress: adding new food – especially nutrient dense food.
And the reasons are not the ones you might be thinking. It is not only because it is “good for you” or “healthy”. Well, of course those are important reasons. But there is more to it.
There is no benefit in deprivation while dieting
Starting to diet might seem like there is a lot we can’t or shouldn’t do.
No fast food.
Try low carb – no pasta.
Don’t eat so much fat.
That is sad. Makes us feel miserable. Brings no joy to our lives. Please don’t go on that road.
Now, I’m not going to tell you to binge eat fast food and have creamy pasta every night. But I will tell you there are ways to avoid feeling like you are missing out. And I know you are thinking “yeah right…”. I would not have believed myself either. But I was lucky – I just took some good steps that made me feel good about the change and kept improving. Please, please, give me the benefit of the doubt and try it.
So, how is your fridge stocked at the moment? If you are like I was, most of the food in your house does not need to be refrigerated (unless you buy mostly ready to eat meals, but that does not count!). I challenge you to stock up that fridge with good stuff. Fresh produce and fruits, good meat and good fish. Start small – we don’t want to waste. Think about main meals and snacks and consider alternatives for both.
Trying new ingredients – and enjoying life
Good, you are still reading. Now the question is: what to buy?
First, take small steps. If there is still food in the fridge, do not throw anything away (I know some might advise that, but I am against wasting money and food – even less healthy ones). Make a list of all “real” food or with minimal processing you like. Things like:
Grains and similar
Meat and fish
Milk and derivatives
Basically, list stuff you like on each food group – focusing on the ones you are neglecting. If you don’t usually eat fish, try to include at least one option you can buy. If your fruit intake is very low, which fruits might you convince yourself to try? Make a list of some of these points.
And if you are struggling because in your mind you already eat all the stuff you like, take a step back. Identify only the food groups you need to improve and go shopping with only that. Explore your local market and bring something new home. Even if you only buy one thing – a small change is better than no change at all.
Learn how to cook healthy and tasty food
This is where the fun (or nightmare) begins. You bought it, you need to cook it. I see two situations here:
If you already like cooking (like I did), you take the challenge and even enjoy this new way of looking at things. Learning new recipes, trying with new ingredients. Here is where you have one of the benefits of adding new foods you are not used too. You almost forget you are skipping a pizza night because you were focused on that vegetable lasagne.
If the kitchen is your least favourite spot in the house, do not despair. Cooking can be easy and quick. It takes some work, and you might need to learn a few things. But once you learn the basics you are set up for life. I will be adding some cooking tips to this blog to help you with this, but in the meantime, you can always contact me if you have questions or need help.
Do you feel this is too much for your right now?
As always, my posts and suggestions are based on my personal experience. I try to give you some kind of roadmap or possible steps in case your reality is different – but I cannot cover it all.
Let me know in the comments the struggles you face today, so I can consider those in future posts.