How to Diet Without Following an Actual Diet Book

If you’re like me, your willpower is embarrassingly weak and any chance you get to sneak a cookie, you take. Dieting has never been my strong suit, and I fear eating healthy will be an eternal goal for me. By now we know that dieting is hard, and there are plenty of dieting books out there that are begging for attention. But ultimately, it’s not going to come down to the book, it’s going to come down to you and what you want. So, if your shelves are filling up with endless Chrissy Teigen recipes and Weight Watchers guidebooks, save your money and think about what this article is going to tell you.

First and most importantly, if you want to be on a diet, you’ll be on one. You can buy as many dieting books and recipes as you want, but if you don’t want to diet, then owning them will be pointless. But wait, you say, I want to lose weight, but just can’t. Save it. Own up to your excuses and hop on the healthy train. Even if you do own tons of dieting books, you may be surprised how easy it is to lose weight without following them. Sometimes we may not have time to make those “delicious but healthy” recipes, or maybe we simply hate the taste. In these cases, the first thing to do is to figure out what foods taste good to you. More specifically, which vegetables do you like? Which fruits? If you can figure out what — of the healthy options out there — you like to eat, then you’re on the right track.

Once you’ve mapped out what you like, figure out which unhealthy foods you can’t resist. If you know that you would kill for a snickers bar, make sure you’re aware of your unhealthy obsession so that when you do start your diet, you can make a habit of staying away from Snickers bars in the store. In the end, dieting is really only knowing your body, your food pallet, and being able to distinguish healthy from unhealthy. And then of course, the hardest part, following through afterwards. Once you get a feel for your tastes, start eating the healthy foods you enjoy, and save the unhealthy foods for one of those rare “treat yo'self” days.

After you start narrowing down your meals to enjoyable healthy foods, remember to include all of the nutrients that doctors suggest: proteins, vegetables, fruits, vitamins and carbs (more or less). Try to shoot for healthier versions of the foods you love — wheat vs. white, reduced fat vs. whole milk, low-fat, etc. Here is a whole list of substitutions to check out! This is the part where your willpower will be put to the test. I believe in you!

Another thing: exercise. Although exercise is only one component of weight loss, and much smaller than actual food choice, it’s a good way to keep your body in shape while you diet. Even if your form of exercise is simply ten push-ups a day, at least it’s something. You definitely don’t have to be a track star to lose some weight.

Whether you’re thinking about dieting, are in the midst of the struggle, or never planned to but still wanted to read this article, hopefully you learned something about yourself. Good luck and stay healthy!