Everything you know about dieting is wrong

Diets don’t work for everyone. They’re often restrictive — denying yourself foods you love — which means you’ll inevitably fail.

But being determined to improve your health is a goal that we can aim toward.

Here are the reasons we should ban the word “diet” and try improving our overall health instead.

Imagine telling yourself that you’re not allowed to eat any chocolate. Ever.

These kinds of “diet rules” are never sustainable in the long term. And when you inevitably cave in and have one piece, “failure” sets in. Then, what the heck, you’ve devoured the entire chocolate bar.

For many, “diet” means a set amount of time during which you exercise superhuman willpower to resist temptation. After enduring this overwhelming hunger period, you reward yourself with a junk food splurge. Not only does this “restrict-binge cycle” have a negative effect on your relationship with food, it also means you end up achieving the exact opposite of a what you set out to do in the first place — a balanced approach to eating with the occasional treat thrown in.

Try this: Focus on “substitution” instead of “elimination.” It might mean switching your potato chips for nuts, soft drink for water, or adding one more colorful vegetables to every meal. Small tweaks have big payoffs long term, not to mention they’re less taxing on your willpower. Once you have mastered one, try another.

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