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The Anti-Diet: How Not Dieting Is the Key to Losing Weight

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These four simple strategies will help you get started with the anti-diet. Sure, they seem to go against everything you've heard about weight loss, but experts say that's exactly the point.

Use your senses.

Employing all five senses, not just taste, when you eat is an easy way to be more mindful. "This gives you more pleasure from your food, so you end up being more satisfied," says Lilian Cheung, a Harvard School of Public Health lecturer and a coauthor of Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life. Stop eating on autopilot and relish each bite. Look at the colors on your plate and inhale the aroma. Listen to the sizzle of that stir-fry or the crunch of the carrots. Enjoy the texture of that creamy Greek yogurt.

ID your hunger.

"Give yourself unconditional permission to eat when you're hungry," says Evelyn Tribole, RD, the author of Intuitive Eating. But be sure it's the stomach-rumbling, physical kind. Ask yourself, "What am I hungry for?" If you're bored, sad, or feeling celebratory, it's not food that you're craving.

Table the labels.

Research in the journal Appetite revealed that one in four dieters, as opposed to one in 25 nondieters, labels foods with the words guilt or no guilt. Part of what drives you to overeat ice cream or chips is a fixation on the allure of bad foods, says psychoanalyst Carol Munter, a coauthor of Overcoming Overeating. Try to view all foods as being equal. This takes practice, Munter says, so remind your­self of your new mind-set when you catch your­self thinking Brownie equals bad, and grape equals good.

Slow down.

Instead of inhaling your dinner, sit at the table while you eat and make the meal last at least 20 minutes. When you go slow, it's easier to read your body's hunger and fullness signals. Need proof? In a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, women consumed less, yet reported feeling fuller, when they put down their utensils between bites and chewed each mouthful 20 to 30 times.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, March 2013.


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maggieamiano wrote:

This is the best! Check out for a badass blog on anti-dieting. She's a coach who helps people give up dieting and lose weight! I've been following her for a month and have already lost a ton of weight.

12/10/2013 06:50:35 PM Report Abuse
zmansports wrote:

Each individual needs to find some physical activity that they enjoy and participate in the three to four times a week. Each session should also be 30 to 60 minutes. It could be as simple as walking during some part of the day, parking in the back of parking lots, or taking the stairs in buildings. A lot of these ideas would help people to strive for healthier lifestyles.

11/14/2013 01:05:06 AM Report Abuse
zmansports wrote:

Adding larger portions of fruits and vegetables during those moments of hunger would be a better alternative to the over-consumption of favorite unhealthy foods. I know that people would lose a good amount if they followed these type of habits but participating in some type of physical activity each week.

11/14/2013 01:04:23 AM Report Abuse
zmansports wrote:

People do not understand that in one sitting they are eating enough food for two or even three people. So giving them the option to chow down their most appealing food would fail in many aspects. People are taught on a day to day basis that more is better. I do agree that the majority of the time stick to a particular diet will usually lead to a disappointing failure. Statistics on success rates tell us that. I do agree with the article on how people should only eat when they are hungry.

11/14/2013 01:02:40 AM Report Abuse
zmansports wrote:

I think that the habituation strategy could work but at the same time I don't think that it is a good idea to allow everyone to go nuts on their favorite unhealthy food. This could just encourage bad habits of eating other foods on excess for a decent amount of people. The majority of populations do not understand the amount of food they should be eating at one sitting to start with. Restaurants all around even teach us that portions or serving sizes should be as big as possible

11/14/2013 01:00:37 AM Report Abuse

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