Maybe dieting has never worked for you, or it hadn’t been a concern until you received a recent health scare or noticed a few extra pounds around your waist. Whatever your situation is, if you find yourself at square one when it comes to dieting, this post is for you. I’ll share three things that you can start doing today to get your diet up and running fast.
3 “Go-to” Diet Rules When You Don’t Know How to Diet [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn…
- Useful tips for removing food with little nutritional value from your diet.
- The effect of sugar on your body.
- Strategies for evening eating habits.
Rule #1: Add Before You Subtract
A great trick that you can use to make sure that your diet gets off on the right foot is to add before you subtract.
We know that there are some foods that have little nutritional value. For instance, we know that our candy bar in the afternoon has to go and the cheeseburger and fries at dinner are not doing us any good.
When we want to turn the page on our diet, it makes sense to subtract these types of foods. The question then becomes: what do you add to make up for the gaps in your eating day?
Before you subtract foods from your diet, add slow-digesting foods that are high in volume and nutrients. Non-starchy vegetables like salad greens, broccoli, and asparagus are ideal foods that meet all of these criteria.
Other slow-digesting foods are those that are high in healthy fats and adequate in protein like nuts, seeds, eggs, high-quality meat, and cheese.
A good strategy to kick your diet into high gear is to add a salad to your daily diet.
If you’ve never been a salad eater in the past, then you’ve likely not mastered the art of making a tasty salad.
The trick is to add fats and proteins to your salad. For instance, my typical lunch-time salad contains walnuts, raw pumpkin seeds, avocado, feta cheese, and full-fat dressing.
The fats from those salad toppers not only make this salad taste great, but they also help my body absorb the many fat-soluble vitamins from the vegetables.
This simple meal becomes a win-win addition to your day that will leave you feeling good. Thanks to the slow-digesting ingredients, it will keep you feeling in control of hunger for many hours.
Rule #2: Avoid Sugar
Next, we need to confront the biggest diet destroyer, which is sugar.
Not only will sugar destroy your diet, but it can also derail your health.
Sugar is the main culprit when it comes to blood sugar regulation problems like insulin resistance and diabetes. Cancer cells thrive on sugar due to a defect in their mitochondria. If you’d like to learn more about that, I recommend researching Dr. Thomas Seyfried who is a leader in that arena.
The problem with sugar
The problem with sugar is that despite the fact that it was once a plant, it has been ground down to its most basic form. This makes it is a very fast-digesting food that will get into your bloodstream in a matter of moments.
This rapid absorption causes a spike in your blood sugar, which is an uncomfortable state for your body to be in. Your body pumps insulin into your blood to bring that level down.
Insulin is a storage hormone; its job is to get that sugar out of your blood and pushed into storage. A small amount of sugar or glucose, which is how it is referred to in your body, can be stored in your muscles and liver.
When those storage containers are full, the excess sugar gets converted to fat deposits and goes into the endless storage closets that you know as body fat.
When you put a scoop of table sugar in your coffee or eat a refined food like a cookie, your body digests that food very quickly. It spikes your blood sugar and with insulin’s help, moves any unneeded sugar into storage as fat.
Even with that knowledge, it can be intimidating to give up sugar and refined foods. This takes up back to our first rule. You’ll find that adding the foods we talked about earlier before you cut the sugar helps you feel in control.
I will add that the longer you spend away from sugar, the easier it gets. Your tolerance to sugar will drop, and your blood sugar will stabilize.
Rule #3: Stop Eating 3 Hours Before Bed
A good strategy to get your diet on track is to know when to stop eating for the day.
When we eat late at night or right before bed, blood is directed to your digestive tract to deal with the food. This raises your core temperature making it hard to sleep soundly. It can also keep your blood sugar elevated overnight, which can block fat burning.
I recommend that you stop eating three hours before bed. This gives your body time to digest the food in your system. Simply think about when you close your eyes at night and then count back three hours and declare that hour the end of your eating day.
About the Author
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.