The dieting mind set: Finding balance in our eating plans

When it comes to dieting, far too many of us set ourselves up for failure before we begin the process. We literally dread going on our “diets” and before we even start, are planning our mishaps.  In fact, we find that we’ve eaten our “last” bowl, sometimes bowls of special treats, such as Rocky Road ice cream, before the kick-off.

I have no idea why we too often do this to ourselves.  The far too popular thinking is to over-indulge on the foods most enjoyed, before beginning a diet.  This thought is one to be conquered and annihilated. While food isn’t the enemy, our apparent inability to properly portion the foods we eat, certainly seems to be.

A looming problem is that the vast majority of us eat the wrong foods far more often than we eat the right foods.  Our bodies need the nutrients we lacking, not eating the five to six servings of vegetables and three to four servings of fruit we should consume, daily.  This is why so many of us feel hungry when we really aren’t.  If we actually consumed the proper balance of fruit and vegetables each day, our bodies would not release hungry signals, curtailing the consumption of unhealthy foods and weight gain.

Portion control is another problem that we have. We live in a society of “Big and Large.”  Super sized fries and empty calories by the gallon of your favorite drink are offered with almost every fast food meal that can be bought. We must learn to strike these items from our food choices.

We must learn to embrace the process as one that builds a healthier body rather than one that deprives us of something.  We cannot think of our weight loss plans as something negative.  When we feel deprived, we must remind ourselves that we are freeing our bones from carrying excess weight, rolls, and bulges.

However, if we find ourselves so caught up in the dieting process that we forget to enjoy some of the goodies that life has to offer, that is not a good place to be. Watching our weight and counting calories does not mean that we can never go over our allotment. The goal is to find balance.  Once we learn to portion our food correctly; indulge in moderation; and incorporate enjoyable calorie burning activities into our daily routine, we just may be amazed at the results.

Dieting for weight loss and health is only depriving if we allow it to be. If we cannot monitor and control ourselves when we indulge, then it would certainly be best to not indulge. However, if we can learn to incorporate small treats , in moderation, into our routines, and intentionally burn the extra calories, we should find ourselves happy and successful, having met and able to sustain our overall goal; one of finding balance.