When you hear the word “diet,” you probably start thinking about all of the food you love but won’t be allowed to eat while trying to lose weight. That’s what makes the “non-diet” plan by Brooke Alpin, MS, RD, CDN, so appealing — there’s no need to hold yourself back or feel guilty about indulging in your favorite junk food. Obviously, you will still need to moderate the amount of those so-called “bad foods,” but you have to admit that’s better than omitting them entirely.
In her book The Diet Detox: Why Your Diet Is Making You Fat and What to Do About It ($16.48, Amazon), Dr. Alpin explains, “It’s these kinds of allowances — along with a clear, concise, no-BS way of thinking about food — that will help you make a long-term commitment to this way of eating.” Alpin claims that cycling through highly restrictive and short-term diet fads over and over again are exactly what makes it so hard for someone to maintain her weight loss.
Alpin elaborated on her diet detox while speaking with CNN, saying: “Guilt makes you fat. There is a time and a place for French fries and pizza and a piece of cake.” So instead of making yourself feel bad every time you splurge, try planning ahead for it. If you know there’s going to be an office party with tons of yummy treats you won’t want to turn down, adjust the rest of your meals beforehand. She also recommends timing our meals or snacks for every four hours to avoid becoming “hangry” (hungry plus angry) and overdoing it when you finally eat.
Although this plan isn’t a form of intermittent fasting, Alpin does encourage eating dinner earlier in the day and allowing your body to fast for 12 to 14 hours overnight. “I think what you are eating is so much more important than how much you are eating,” she explains, “and when you are eating the right foods at the right times, you will automatically be eating closer to the right amounts — and if you are hungry, there’s nothing wrong with eating more protein and fiber.” The important thing is to simply be more mindful about how you’re feeding yourself rather than winging it. That’s what makes this the perfect “non-diet” to start your New Year with a positive change.
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