Diets don't work, period. And there is no one-size-fits-all approach to health and wellness. The word "diet" technically means "the food that you consume", but the big food and fitness corporations have turned the word into a multi-million dollar industry.
Diets have a start and end date and that's not what you want for lifelong results, you need a lifestyle change. That is the key. Not something that you start and end in a few weeks or months. The weight will come back! Along with the feeling of failure and dissatisfaction. You need a lifestyle change that is sustainable for you during your current life stage.
Below are just a few things to consider that will help you ditch the diet mentality.
Counting is not intuitive eating. Intuitive eating is listening to your intuition, eating when you are hungry, not eating too much, and making food choices that naturally lead to health. Some people feel like counting calories and tracking numbers on a scale will help them reach their ideal weight, but it likely won't make them happier. Instead of focusing on numbers, whether its the number of calories, number of fat grams, or number on a scale, shift your focus to health and you will naturally make better choices. You should not be rationalizing your health choices with numbers. It's incredibly freeing when you realize you don't have to live your life from meal to meal, calorie to calorie. So instead of obsessing over numbers on a nutrition label, read the actual ingredients! Instead of obsessing over how much you weigh, focus on how you feel! This will help you to naturally make better choices for your body.
Eat Real Food
Unfortunately, we live in a society that has become very disconnected from our food and from the earth. When making food choices, ask yourself: was it picked from a tree, pulled from the earth, or caught in the ocean? Many of the frozen dinners, fast foods and packaged foods hardly even resemble what they originally looked like. I wouldn't even consider many of those processed foods to be "real food" but more of a food-like substance. Start to choose foods that don't even come in a package. The foods that don't have labels and claim to have health benefits are often the most nutrient dense - fresh fruits and vegetables don't come with food labels. An easy way to reconnect with your food is to buy food that is in season, shop at local farmers markets, touch, prepare, and cook your own food. Strive to eat food that is live, in it's whole form, and colourful as often as possible.
Listen to Your Body
Your inner wisdom and intuition will always guide you towards the right direction, if you take the time to listen. Trust yourself. You already have all the answers you are looking for. Eat when you are actually hungry and stop when you are full. Sleep when you are tired and rest when you need to. Push your body because it is energized and rejuvenated by exercise, but don't over do it. Health isn't all about your diet and exercise, also consider your mindset. Be kind to your body and choose thoughts that support you and serve you well.
I hope following these simple tips will help get you out of the diet mentality and onto finding a lifestyle shift that is best for you!