Why Restrictive Diets Flop (And What to Do About it)


Do you spend more time thinking about what to eat or about what not to eat?


Constantly focusing on what not to eat starts your brain down that negative path, and it’s much easier to feel deprived if you are constantly focusing on what you can’t have. If you are constantly thinking about all the pizza, ice cream, brownies, cookies, etc. that you can’t have, then it’s possible you will end up wanting it even more because of all your focus is on those specific foods.

Of course you still need to pay some attention to what not to eat, but make sure you are not neglecting what you do need to eat to fuel a healthy body. Put your thoughts and energy into making sure you are getting enough of the good stuff (and by good, I mean healthy). It’s fairly common for adults to be lacking in protein, vegetable, and good fats.


  • The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.5 grams of protein for every pound of body weight per day.
  • Most experts recommend a minimum of 5 fruits and vegetables with the emphasis on vegetables.


How will you divide up protein and fruits and veggies between your meals and snacks? Chances are if you don’t plan it out ahead of time, you will fall short of the minimums.


  • Good fats (fatty fish, fish oil, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, flax seed oil, olives, and avocados) are essential to a complete and healthy diet. Focus on getting fats into your diet. Even saturated fat from pasture-raised animals (grass fed beef for example) falls into the good category.  Fats to avoid are the trans fats. Trans fats raise your LDL cholesterol level and lower your HDL cholesterol level which is the exact combination that increases your risk of heart disease.

Think hydrogenated (made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil). They are found in commercially baked goods, doughnuts, French fries, shortening, margarine and other highly processed foods.


To help avoid trans fats check the labels for “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” and for shortening.


[Also Read:  What is Addiction to Food and How Does it Affect our Health and Relationships]

As you will probably guess, focusing on what to eat does take some energy and thought. But when all that thought and energy goes towards the positive, it makes a big difference (instead of always focusing on what you can’t have)!





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