5 Tips To Lose Weight Without Dieting Or Restricting

Registered Dietitian By Carlene Thomas, R.D.
Registered Dietitian
Carlene Thomas is a registered dietitian nutritionist and licensed dietitian nutritionist. She received a B.S. in dietetics from James Madison University.

Get ready to have your mind blown, because despite the billions of dollars we spend on the diet industry each year, dieting doesn't always lead to weight loss.

You'd think that at some point we'd all take a step back and realize that despite our cultural obsession with dieting, we're also obese. Something isn't clicking.

I don't like diets, despite what the title "dietitian" means to the average person. I don't like what diets stand for (temporary strict rules that consume one's thoughts and turn you into a hangry person), and I think there's a much better way to enjoy food and life and health.

In fact, focusing on adding to your habits and meals instead of removing, and taking time to enjoy food can help you eat diet free AND still lose weight. It works and it's better for your mind and body.

Here are five things you can do, starting today, to lose weight without dieting:

1. Focus on quality, not quantity.

So many diets focus on how many treat items you can have. Sure, you can have five fat-free gummy candies or one sugar-free fiber bar. But is that really what you want? What I want is a dark chocolate caramel topped with sea salt. And I only need one.

If someone decides to replace what they really want to eat with a less satisfying replacement, guess what? They eat the same number of calories (if not more) for a less gratifying experience.

Focus on quality, not quantity. If you want ice cream, go to exactly your favorite place for the best taste and savor it. Enjoy it. It's a luxury, so treat it like a luxury investment.

2. Add a salad a day.

Adding a salad a day, whether it's at lunch or dinner, has major benefits. Not only are you getting a nutrition-packed addition to your day, but you're also experiencing lots of sights, sounds and tastes that come with a fiber-dense salad that keeps you full.

3. Use treats as confetti.

It's not a matter of avoiding certain foods. It's about using them appropriately. The typical American doesn't have a good sense of balance, and it's making the country fatter. Instead of blacklisting pasta, for example, adding it as "confetti" on top of a vegetable mix or salad lets you enjoy in a better proportion.

4. Bigger is better.

Sometimes we serve up more than we should … and we don't stop eating until the plate is empty. Adding high-volume, high-nutrition foods to your plate first (what's up salad!?) helps your plate look robust, without the piled-high treat foods.

5. Luxuriate and linger.

Time is our biggest luxury these days. Instead of rushing through a meal, give yourself time, if at all possible, to luxuriate on the moment, and NOT while working. Go outside and enjoy the entire experience. Meet up with a friend. Slow down and savor. More often than not, we rush through a meal as part of our daily routine, not paying attending to how full we are … it's a habit.

Do you eat and live diet free? Share your experiences!

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