Do you know what should be on your plate every time you sit down to eat? If you think that you eat sustainably but don’t have a carbohydrate, protein, fruit or vegetable, and dairy when you have a meal, you’ve thought wrong. Your body needs all of these food groups for energy to fuel your body. If you’re one of those people that restricts carbs because you think that it will make you fat, we need to have a chat. Restricting a food group for dieting reasons or a diet plan is way more contradicting than you think. It took me a long time to realize that it is impossible to have a sustainable lifestyle while restricting food in any capacity.

Are Carbs Really Scary?

No, carbs should not be scary. Here’s a sentence you may not like: If you aren’t taking in carbs, your body is using muscles for energy, ultimately slowing your metabolism, causing you to gain weight. Carbs do turn to fat. Although, there is a common misconception about eating fats vs getting fat. Fats help with digestion! Nuts, avocados, cheese, and even dark chocolate should be in your diet every day! The word fats might also be scary, but it is important to take in the right ones. Healthy fats are broken down much easier than most foods. 

Can Fruit Be A Meal Supplement?

No, fruit can not be a meal supplement. Fruit has a lot of health benefits and should be eaten at every meal, but too much fruit will be counterproductive. Fruits are very high in sugar. Too much of it and your body turns it into fat- the bad fat. Never substitute a meal with fruit. It should be eaten alongside of your sustainable meal for a balanced plate.

Should I Stay Away From Dairy?

No, do not stay away from dairy. Stop listening to the diet plans that tell you to cut out dairy. Dairy is high in calcium, which improves heart and bone health. As you grow, your bones get stronger. When you reach a certain age, your bones stop growing. Over time, bones begin to grow holes making them weaker and more brittle, causing you to be more susceptible to bone breakage. Dairy strengthens bones in a way that is sustainable. It is crucial for your diet!

Fear Foods

Stop running away from food! There is no such thing as a "weight-gaining" food. The most unhealthy food in the world can be eaten in portion and will not affect your weight. Sure, you may feel bloated for a short amount of time, but wasn’t the piece of the most delicious cake of your life worth it? You can eat a donut every other day for dessert and still be healthy, as long as you have balanced meals for the rest of the day. Your body is meant for you to eat those sweets and not only nutritional foods 24/7. Allow yourself to live your life and enjoy these foods for special (or everyday) occasions, in moderation. Remember, your weight fluctuates every day! Don’t get discouraged if you see the number change on the scale by a pound or two.

Do Any Diet Plans Work?

Probably not. Every diet plan I’ve ever heard of requires some sort of restriction. Whether it’s a food group or the timing you are allowed to eat, every diet plan requires strict rules for you to follow that aren’t natural. I’ve tried quite a few diet plans over the past few years and here’s what I’ve learned: none of them work. You wanna know why they don’t work? Because as soon as you go off the diet and try to return to normal, you gain back the unhealthy weight that you lost because you weren’t listening to your hunger signals. Strict dieting is not healthy or sustainable. God did not create our bodies and five important food groups for us to torture ourselves on Weight Watchers. (Sorry not sorry). 

How Do I Stop Binging?

Restricting causes binging. When you aren’t taking in enough food during the day, your body goes into shock and you begin to crave things that you wouldn’t if you just ate the right amount of food throughout the day. This is why restricting is counterproductive. From personal experience, I have learned to just eat the cookie and be satisfied, because when I don’t, I end up eating 4 bags of chips, ice cream, bread, and cheese sticks to try and satisfy my craving. You’ll be surprised when you eat the cookie and realize that it's all you needed. You’ll actually take in way fewer calories by allowing yourself the food your body wants instead of binging after you restrict yourself from not feeling satisfied. 

So Where Do I Start? How Can I Get Better?

This is the part of the article where I tell you how to diet. This is the only diet plan that you are allowed to follow. It’s called listening to your body. It’s way more simple than you think. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. If your body is telling you that you are hungry, you need to fuel it with food. If you don’t, your body will resort to muscle for energy and will eat away at it until it has food for fuel. Let me just mention that starving yourself makes you lose muscle, not fat. Refer to my logic about not eating carbs. The same goes here. You will not gain unhealthy weight if you stop eating when you are full. With that being said, it is only human to have a few snacks when you aren’t necessarily starving. The healthiest way to go about dieting is to follow nothing except listening to your body.

I have done a lot of research and talked to a lot of professionals that have helped me understand the real value of foods and what they do for our bodies. This whole article is non-research-based; this is from my own knowledge. Please do your research and prove me right! I promise that there are no diet plans that will give you the results you want of losing weight and being happy, sustainably. It is important that if you have an unhealthy relationship with food that you educate yourself on its real value for your body. 

You are beautiful and deserve to enjoy life and all of its food! It's too short to do otherwise!