Let’s face it: diets don't work.
Yes, people slim down and lose big when they cut out the donuts and soda. But diets are not sustainable because they're all about what you DON'T eat. This sets you up for the misery of self-denial which can mean swinging between rigid restraint and wild abandon.
You're either "on" or "off" a diet.
Admit it: the day you start a diet, you're already thinking about the day it will end. Imagine entering a relationship like that. Did someone say "doomed"? Is a healthy relationship with food possible or are you resigned to join the slow-moving parade of the chronically ill obese population?
It depends on how you think. When you frame your approach to what you eat with restrictions (gluten-free, sugar-free, low-fat, low calorie) your head is in the wrong place.
A lifelong healthy relationship with food involves appreciating how it nourishes you in many meaningful ways.
Consider how the food you eat nourishes you: it fuels your body to live the life you choose, it warms your soul and scents your home and it brings you together with the people you love.
Mindful mouthfuls mean more.
You actually get more nourishment from your food when you slow down to enjoy it. It's a proven fact and here's why: when you're calm, you are in a "rest and digest" state vs. "fight or flight" stressed state guilt-ridden, anxious eating promotes.
Change the way you look at things and the things you're looking at will change.
Changing your eating style to one that truly nourishes you is an opportunity to explore real food in new ways. Various cooking methods reveal the depth of a food's character. Try roasting, baking, grilling, steaming, braising, poaching and even raw methods like ceviche and fermenting. For example, butternut squash is sweet and creamy when it's baked and mashed but it's sticky and nutty when you roast it with olive oil. Raw garlic adds heat and spice to a marinade or dressing but when it's baked whole in it's own paper skin, the flavor is subtle and buttery. Contrast that to the limited potential of processed foods (with the exception of the fried oreo, which proves that a bad situation can be made worse).
There are countless cookbooks with inspiring recipes for real food. The Paleo movement has spawned many good ones that feature meats and vegetables exclusively. Google an ingredient for new ideas for familiar foods. The Food Truth app (free in the App store) offers you 3 inspiring ways to prepare each food in season to encourage a real food eating style.
*The late Wayne Dyer gets credit for that sage saying.