It seems like everywhere you turn, someone is suggesting that you have to give up _____ if you want to lose weight.
“I haven’t had a carb since ‘nam”
“Foods that start with the letter ‘P’ are the devil.”
“You need to stop eating solid foods after 6pm EST.”
“You should eat exclusively pureed baby foods.”
“Low-fat is where it’s at.” (Diet rules are doubly effective if they rhyme).
“Watch out for those egg yolks.”
I could go on. The point is, there is a ton of conflicting information about how to lose weight and what you must sacrifice in order to do so. (Because you must sacrifice something, right?!)
Sure, people often have compelling personal successes with whatever they’ve done. But I want to touch on a couple of things here:
- Eliminating foods or entire food groups likely does lead to some weight loss, at least initially. But it’s probably not due to the food itself but more so because you have decreased your overall intake (especially if whatever food used to be a large component of your diet).
- Ask whomever is telling you about their experience how long they’ve maintained their weight loss. This is not to cause any sort of beef between you, just to make you aware of the fact that lots of things work for lots of people in the short-term but if you’re after lasting results, you should take any restrictive advice with a grain of salt. Really, who cares if eliminating white foods helped your friend lose 15 pounds, if she gained 16 back when she started eating them again?
Ultimately, there are no foods that will make it inherently impossible to lose weight. In fact, an overly restrictive diet maybe be one of the reasons that yours isn’t working for you.
(Want to learn 3 other reasons? –> 4 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight <–)
That being said, there are 2 foods that I encourage you to eliminate if you want to lose weight & get healthier:
- Foods that make you feel physically ill (for example, if you have to beeline straight to the nearest port-o-potty every time you eat dairy, maybe don’t).
(If you don’t know which, if any, foods are causing you physical discomfort, purposeful + temporary programs like Whole30 can help you gather information about how certain foods impact you. Programs like these are helpful because the initial elimination phase is to remove foods from your body in order to see the effects of their reintroduction).
- Foods that trigger unhealthy behaviors (for example, if just having just one chip means you are going to have all the chips, maybe you shouldn’t have any chips right now).
Note: your relationship with a food may differ depending on the situation. For example, you might be totally fine having just a handful of chips & guac (instead of the whole basket) whenever you get Mexican food but having them in the house is a different story.
Remember, also, that your relationship with foods can change. Just because you have a hard time eating a certain food in moderation right now doesn’t mean that it will always be that way.
But right now, if you’re unable to eat a certain food in moderation, it may make sense to just not eat that food for a while (even just in certain circumstances). It doesn’t mean you can never eat it again, it just means that right now you are choosing not to.
So tell me, if you gave yourself permission to ease up on the foods that are “forbidden” and instead only eliminated foods that fit one of the above criteria, what would that look like? Head over to my free Facebook group, Live Diet-Free, and let me know!