Posted on December 16 2019
Time to Read: 3 Minutes
If your diet is restrictive then it could actually take you far away from your goal's than helping you achieve them. Instead of following a restrictive diet, make lifestyle changes that are small but permanent. Here are some tips to switch to a diet that is not restrictive.
I recently had a business meet with this person regarding some tie up and we met at a local cafe. It was a health cafe and the menu was filled with everything from smoothies, sandwiches, salads, desserts etc. There were ample options for vegetarians and non- vegetarians.
I have learnt so much over these cafe meet’s about peoples food habits and dietary preferences. The motivation to write this article especially came to me from my last meet. The guy I was out with was on a Keto diet and could only consume 15 grams of carbs per day. 15 grams is like half a banana, or like one capsicum (don’t even think about eating rice/ chapati. So naturally he could not order anything from the menu (not even tea/ coffee since his diet plan did not allow him to do so). He drank water while I ordered and enjoyed my hummus with farm fresh veggies.
Unlike what people think, a vegan diet is not restrictive. It is eliminating certain foods, but I have never ever been to a restaurant where they don't have options from the menu I can veganise. Sure veganism is a lifestyle choice and here we are discussing diet choices for health, so let me also explain how a plant- based diet is the healthiest for you.
Firstly, you get to eat more food (opposite of restrictive). Plant- based whole food is high in fibrous carbs and micro nutrients. It is naturally lower in fat and higher in proteins. If you want to reach your optimal body weight and maintain the muscle mass you currently have, you don't have to count your calories nor restrict any food group. Just eat till you are full and stop when you intuitively want to stop.
Secondly, vegan food has a lot of variety. My lunch on most days is rice and beans, breakfast is smoothies and dinner is amaranth tacos, tofu stir- fry’s, sweet potato burgers etc. Most of the people restricting carbs cannot get to try the variety of vegetables and fruits out there. Everyday can be a different type of pulse or lentil. There are a 100 plus varieties of rice itself!
Sit back and think about your “diet”.
Is it restrictive? Are you not able to sit an enjoy a meal with your family because of your diet? Are you constantly thinking about food? If your diet is not a lifestyle change, then drop it right now.
If you look at a vegan diet from any other perspective but ethics, you will find it restrictive.
I have never tried a Keto/ paleo/ atkins diet, but ask yourself, is it sustainable? I have had clients who follow these diets till they lose weight and get back to regular eating once they have lost the weight, only to gain it all back. Whats the whole point here? Make a lifestyle change not a diet. When you write a diet plan for yourself or have an expert write it for you, ask yourself, can you do this for the rest of your life? If a dietitian says “this is only temporary”, RUN FAR FAR AWAY.
Keep in mind though every new diet plan will force you to change up a few things about the way you eat. You will have to make adjustments and give up a few things you love, (like I cannot really drink alcohol on a high carb plant based diet and expect to lose weight) but are you ready to live with these changes for the rest of your life. Say for example, I would rather give up alcohol and still get to eat my rice and stay high carbed vs being able to have alcohol and give up on rice, fruits, veggies and all the carbs. Basically if you are like the one sitting and sipping water at a cafe because your diet is restrictive, drop the diet.
Your diet should allow you to enjoy popcorn at the movies, cup of tea with your best friend, social and business meet munches, family movie night snacks and birthday party junks! A high- carb vegan diet does allow for all of these. Plus you get to lose weight and have energy throughout the day! Worth a try no?
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