Do You Want to Lose Weight, Don’t Go on a Diet!

I’m nutty for nutrition. I’ve become one of those people who can’t stop talking about the connection between food and health. Now that I know how much changing what you eat can transform your life, I can’t stop proselytizing.   –Robin Quivers

The word diet spelled out in vegetables on a wooden board.

Dieting is a $20 billion a year business! Just think about that for a second, $20 billion dollars is a lot of money. That equals the GDP of the Dominican Republic. Yes, Americans spend roughly the equivalency of the Dominican Republic’s GDP on diet aids and fads. That is still hard for me to wrap my head around.

Diets are dumb!

In life most people go on a 30-day diet, lose a few pounds and get excited and celebrate with a donut or whatever your guilty pleasure might be, on a side note I LOVE donuts, but I know not to eat half a dozen. Then think they can eat like they did before the diet and poof all the weight comes back and then some. Which in turn leads to more dieting and then more celebrating and anguish. The term for this type of dieting is called Yo-yo dieting.

Fresh & Colorful Fruits and Vegetables

This is one of the biggest reasons why I think diets are dumb! Just think about this for a second, what kind of food did you grow up eating? Was it healthy with plenty of fruits, veggies and lean meats or did you eat red meat, processed foods, soda and candy. Do you really think going on a 30-day diet will work? Sure you will lose around 10 to 15 pounds, but studies have shown the first 10 pounds is mainly water weight, you are basically losing the water that diets and diet pills suck out of you. That is not healthy at all!

How can I change?

I believe the only real way to lose weight and to keep it off is a lifestyle change. You must WANT to change and stick with it or it will not work. Eating healthy is a mindset and in order to succeed you have to change your life. I for one used to eat a less than healthy diet. But, over time I realized eating processed foods and drinking soda really made me sluggish and irritable, I needed a change. So I started researching what might cause these conditions and voilà it’s bad food, especially processed foods, you know what I am talking about chips, cookies, ice cream, packaged meals etc., all the stuff that tastes so good. After researching this and coming to the conclusion that my diet was the root cause I changed my diet and started eating a healthier. Now I feel great and look good too.

This of course did not happen overnight, it does take time to switch to a healthy diet, it’s not a quick fix or at least it was not for me. Some of the things I cut back on or quit all together were soda (I quit), sugar, processed foods, red meat, alcohol and I started eating many more veggies and fruits, nuts, lean cuts of meat sparingly throughout the week, and more fish. I try to cook every night and only eat what I can grow or the local farmer can grow. Granted Farmer John cannot grow tortillas, cheese, chips (yes they are processed foods, it’s my one guilty pleasure) for me, I wish he could that would be great and probably much healthier too.

Speaking of eating healthy, if everyone would take the $20 billion we spend on diets that fail and instead invest it in good healthy organic foods from a local farmer’s market, we could all live healthier and cut the cost of medical care in half if not more. No more weekly visits to the doctor, no more spending hundreds of dollars a month on meds. Because we all know the pharmaceutical business is out to make money; they need you as a guinea pig. They do not want to cure your illness, they want to treat it and have you as a customer for life. Not just for a one-time fix!

What do I eat?

You might wonder what does the Semi Frugal dude eat to stay healthy. Well I am glad you asked, there are so many foods to choose from and with Facebook, Pinterest, All Recipes, the ideas are endless. I have a few favorites I have made over and over again, I mainly try variations of them. My most favorite dish of which I had tonight would have to be veggie fajitas, I cook up a pan of red, orange and yellow peppers throw in a jalapeño for an added kick with some onions, my mouth is watering now just thinking about that, they are delicious! Or if you are feeling adventurous and want to try another variation on the delicious veggie fajitas recipe try these Smoky Vegetarian fajitas by The Picky Eater, you will not be disappointed. Another favorite I got from another great blog over at The Comfort of Cooking is made with a sweet potato stuffed with bbq chicken I also love to add some sauteed onions and a little shredded cheese thrown on top for good measure. Most days though I usually just stick with anything I can cook with onions and peppers, I can eat those delicious vegetables by the bushel.

I hope this article has opened your eyes to the dangers of diets. Diets are a waste of time, if you really want to change your life you must change the way you eat and exercise daily. Eating healthy is a mindset not a quick fix. I guarantee you, your life will be much richer and more fulfilling with a healthy diet.