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Ditch dieting in 2020

First quitting sugar was the in thing to do, then it was paleo, followed by keto, and then plant based. To be honest, my preference is to stop labelling the way we eat, and trying to force it into a category.

You see, the second we start trying to give a label to our eating habits, we create rules and with rules comes restriction, and then eventually comes "falling off the wagon". But eating really shouldn't be about any of those things. When we eat, we nourish our bodies, providing fuel, nutrients, social connection and pleasure. So I'd like to declare 2020 the year of the anti diet and instead propose four tips instead:

  1. Start with veg. If you put your veggies onto your plate first, you easily crowd out other foods. Vegetables, being high in fibre, are filling and low in calories. So rather than putting a focus on what you shouldn't eat, let's focus on the things we need more of in our diet. Vegetables don't have to be boring either - there are so many ways you can prepare them and dress them up to make them the central part of your meal, rather than the afterthought side dish.
  2. Stop restricting yourself. Saying no to restriction isn't the same as eating whatever you want. It's about making wise choices - factor in an occasional glass of wine or a piece of chocolate. By including small amounts of treat foods you enjoy in your diet, you wont experience feelings of deprivation, so you're a step closer to building a healthy habit.
  3. Commit to regular meals. Its so easy to let the day get away from you - you get called into meetings, involved in that report you're writing on your computer or caught up teaching. The list of excuses I hear for meal skipping are limitless. The problem is, when we skip meals it isn't because we're not hungry so we end up making up for it later by having a whopping great dinner, that we really didn't need to be eating at 8pm. 
  4. Be prepared. Whether its a well stocked pantry or making sure you have leftovers, don't wait until you're hungry and your kitchen is bare to think about shopping. Make a plan because when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

It really is as simple as that. So ditch the extra pressure of trying to be perfect, and instead seek out healthy habits and attitudes to food.

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