Here’s something that seems too good to be true: This writer stopped dieting in order to lose weight.
Name a diet, and writer Carina Rossi has probably tried it in her journey to drop the pounds and get healthy.
Detoxed, teatoxed, juice cleansed, soup cleansed, shredded, cut carbs, going dairy-, fat-, gluten-free, and even a brief sugar-free stint, she says she tried it and put her ‘poor body’ through it.
“But you know what? Not one single fad diet worked long-term – surprise, surprise!” said Rossi.
She said she always turned to the latest fad diet whenever she believed it could be a ‘quick fix’ to what she was really neglecting : Her overall health.
“Looking back, the problem wasn’t that I needed to lose weight, my body simply needed to be healthy – a concept that’s often ignored when fad diets are involved.
No matter which diet I tried, I wasn’t happy and I definitely didn’t feel healthier for it. Ditching [insert stupid diet here]was so easy because it didn’t satisfy me nutritionally. Instead it was forcing me to deprive my body of what it desperately needed, ultimately pushing me to quit in frustration, or come to the end of the diet only to binge on the foods that I’d missed,” she said.
But after having a long talk with herself, she found that the ‘magic trick’ to her weight loss was *drumroll* balance!
“And with a change in my approach to food and exercise, things started to make perfect sense. Weight became easier to shift, I slept better, my skin began to glow, and without boring you with a list as long as the fads I’ve tried, I became a better, more-balanced version of myself.”
But she isn’t trying to be one of those annoying, already-skinny women promoting further weight loss in a snap, Rossi added it took her a decade to change her mindset about what it meant to be healthy (not just skinny), so that her eating habits, sleeping habits, and even hygiene followed suit.
“I quickly ditched the restrictive eating and irrational mind games I’d secretly play at mealtime, and took a closer look at what made me happy and satisfied me nutritionally. It’s all about knowing what it is your body needs and fueling it accordingly. Once you nail your nutrition, you’ll never be a slave to those sweet/savory cravings again,” she said.
She found that what worked for her was a ‘well-rounded and sustainable’ meal plan that combined healthy carbs (like whole grains, beans, and veg, like sweet potato), healthy fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oil), fiber (fruits, veg, and chia seeds), and protein (think lean meats and eggs).
“It’s this healthy meal combo, combined with exercise, that makes losing weight and keeping it off possible,” she said.
But since we’re only human, we can’t deny we get those cravings for some naughty stuff too. (Looking at you, chips, cheesecakes, and creamy, cheesy, ooey-gooey pasta. uuUugh.)
Rossi says she came up with a three-step process when a craving hits:
Step one: “If you can’t happily resist, ask yourself whether it’s because your diet is lacking in what it needs to keep a sugar craving like this at bay. If so, fix that!”
Step two: “If step one can’t be resolved quickly, look for a healthier alternative. Maybe a sherbet or a frozen yogurt will do?”
Step three: “If step one and two simply won’t do, just have the goddamn ice cream and don’t cry about it. There’s always tomorrow!”
“At the risk of sounding annoyingly clich, life is too short to be on a diet that takes the fun out of my favorite pastime: eating,” she said.