restriction-foodAre you searching for the perfect diet? Most diets focus on restrictions that are hard to make stick. Food restrictions can lead to an unhealthy relationship with your food and cause deficiencies.

I chose this topic because I have tried restrictive diets without long-term success.

It finally caught up with me when I tried the ketogenic diet, and since then, I take a common-sense approach to my food.

I also write about this topic because I know people who put crazy dietary restrictions on themselves which lead to negative consequences for their overall health and well-being.

I’m not a medical professional, but often, I notice with the people that I know that they aren’t as mentally sharp as they were before starting the restrictions. I see other things too.

If the people I know were my clients, I would first recommend they have some blood work done and stop the crazy restrictions.

What I’ve Learned About Dietary Restrictions

I am not a dietician or a nutritionist, but I do know that tight restrictions set us up for deficiencies and an unhealthy relationship with food.

We may think that the diet we are following is the healthiest diet in the world, but if it causes deficiencies or other unhealthy types of eating to manifest, then it is not the healthiest diet for us to follow.

You might even believe the food restrictions are making you healthier especially in the beginning, without even realizing that it could lead to the possible decline of health and well-being over time.

Here are some things that could happen to you after implementing tight restrictions:

  • cloudy thinking
  • depression
  • dry skin
  • hair loss
  • brittle nails
  • low energy
  • fear of certain foods
  • change in digestive health
  • loss of muscle tone
  • poor quality of sleep

I listed a few things above and I encourage you to do your research on this subject. Don’t believe everything you read and hear. You seek first to understand and search matters out before diving deep.

My Diet is the Best for Weight Loss

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people say, that a particular diet is the only way to lose weight. No magical diet will melt away the pounds.

The common thread with all diets is the exclusion of junk food while the primary focus is on eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, and wholesome foods packed with nutrients.

By choosing these types of foods and avoiding the unhealthy fat, sugar-laden, stuff that is considered food, you will lose weight and feel better.

Some go to an extreme of decreasing carbohydrates or fats, while others increase fats or carbohydrates.  There are even high protein diets that work.

But even with the extreme restrictions, the calories are decreased. What happens when your calories are lower than you usually consume?

You lose weight!

Common Sense Approach to Eating

It took years for me to realize that I didn’t have to put tight restrictions on myself to have a healthy mind, body, and spirit.

My years of restriction caused me to develop an unhealthy relationship with food.

Whenever my family dined out or if there was a family gathering, I was the one saying, “I can’t have this, oh, I cannot eat that. We can’t eat here.” It got to the point where dining with me was not enjoyable.

Today, I have no problems dining out with family and friends. It’s fun, and I enjoy the company which is more important than stressing over food.  I am sure those who dine with me now are relieved that I am not continually saying what I can or cannot eat.

My Approach

I am currently working on losing a few pounds, but I am not starving myself or over-exercising to do it.

Here is what I do:

  1. I don’t focus on losing weight.
  2. I drink water when I am thirsty.
  3. I track my food and keep up with my calories using the My Fitness Pal app.

If you’re not into tracking your food or calories, just be sure you practice portion control.

  1. I am active every day some days more than others, and I use Fitbit to help keep me on track.
  2. I eat the color of the rainbow.
  3. I make sure to get the protein I need, and tracking helps me do that.

Remember, you can’t measure what you don’t track.

  1. I treat myself to my favorite foods, whenever I want, I just make sure I plan for it and that I don’t overdo it.
  2. And I allow myself to enjoy food without the stress that comes with restriction.

Final Words

I don’t expect you to do what I am doing. But I hope you learn and discover what works best for you.

Don’t get caught up in finding the perfect diet. Because it doesn’t exist and remember, we are all different.

If you don’t take anything away from this article, I want you to get this,

Enjoy food and make sure you have a healthy relationship with food.  If you put up food barriers, you will find it hard to reach your goals with weight, eating, fitness, and with other things related to becoming a healthier you.

Don’t let diets and food control you; you control your diet and the food. After all, you are the one in control.

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