Quick, what's the first thought that pops into your head when you hear the word "diet?" Probably that when you're on one, you feel like you're going to "d-i-e" right?!
WHAT EXACTLY IS A DIET?
Most people believe that a diet is something that involves pain, suffering, and giving up foods we enjoy. Some of the symptoms of "being on a diet" usually include being hungry and cranky all the time. But this is not really the true meaning of the word and if you get hung up on all the negative stuff, you'll miss the entire concept.
Webster's dictionary defines a "Diet" as:
a : food and drink regularly provided or consumed;
b : habitual nourishment;
c : the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person for a special reason.
In other words, it's what we regularly or habitually eat and drink to nourish our bodies. That's not so bad. But here's the hidden truth that will turn your understanding of diets on its head and practically guarantee that you'll reach whatever weight goal you desire: Being "on a diet" really means having a plan for your eating instead of eating according to any spur-of-the-moment mood or habit. That's it!
This is so simple. But then most basic truths are. However, it's extremely powerful if you take the time to think about it and fully understand what it means. Let me say it again so that you don't miss it: Being on a diet really means having what you eat controlled by a PLAN instead of by your moods or habits.
WHY MOST DIETS DON'T WORK
The reason most diets don't work is because of the extreme measures most of them require. Some force you to give up everything except cabbage soup, or everything except meat and meat products, or everything except salads. This is not only monotonous, it's also pretty harsh -- not only harsh to stick with, but harsh on your physical wellbeing as well.
True, a monotonous diet is often effective at losing weight over the short term (ie: the Atkins Diet) but you have to wonder if you aren't giving up a part of your health in the process (ie: ketosis, acidosis, etc). Many conventional diets put the body in a highly acidic state which can create a number of health problems.
Our bodies are designed to absorb vitamins, nutrients, and minerals from a wide variety of foods and a monotonous diet runs directly counter to that. It simply isn't natural, and is the main reason most conventional diets just don't work in the long run.
THE RIGHT WAY TO DIET
The right way to diet is to think of dieting as a system of correct eating. Your diet should include a balanced plan for a variety of foods, taken in moderate amounts, and in the proper combination. You should also eat only when you're hungry, not when the clock says it's lunch or dinner time.
So forget the fad diets that don't work and get started on planning a diet that you can stick with over the long term. This is the balanced approach to good health and nutrition, and it's an approach that you can live with for the rest of your life.
(c) 2005 by Hiram Perez
About the author:
Hiram Perez has made good health and fitness a lifelong study. Discover other simple and common sense techniques to improve your wellbeing by signing up for a free 5-part mini-course at http://www.Balance-Your-Health.com
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