No Deprivation Diet?

Dieting has to mean deprivation, right? I mean, how can you lose weight and still eat the things you crave?

Hold it right there.

If you love butter, bacon, cheese, pesto, olives, and guacamole, keto might be the way to go. Another option would be Atkins, which is very similar to keto. Both programs are low carb, so you'd have to ditch the sugary stuff. But fat is a big, fat YES! Total calories are kept fairly low, but fat is satiating so hunger is rarely an issue on either of these plans.

If you're looking for something more moderate, you might like The Zone. On this plan, you eat about 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat. It's very doable. The goal is to get your calories from the most nutritious sources, but there are no forbidden foods. Every meal and snack contains protein, fat, and carbs in the correct ratio. You choose the foods! If you screw up, never fear. You can return to The Zone at your very next meal.

What if you love to splurge once in a while? You could experiment with the Slow Carb Diet invented by Tim Ferriss. (Read all about it in his 4-Hour Body book.) This diet includes a Cheat Day once per week. You stick with the plan for 6 full days, then take a day off and eat anything you've been craving! Unfortunately, I have found that once a week is too frequent for me. If I lose any weight during the week, I put it back on with the Cheat Day. I believe this diet works better for young, active people.

Another possibility is the Fast Diet. This plan restricts your eating on 2 nonconsecutive days of the week. On your fast days, a maximum of 500 total calories are consumed. On the other 5 days of the week, there are no restrictions. Many people successfully lose weight on this diet. If you don't mind fasting, this could be the plan for you.

No matter which diet you choose to follow, having a positive attitude is crucial. Focusing on deprivation, or the foods you cannot eat, will only serve to make you angry and resentful. Choose to focus instead on all the benefits you are gaining by losing weight. You will look and feel so much better! Your skin will clear up and you will have more energy! Your joints will stop aching! You might be able to get off your meds! Losing weight and changing your diet can completely cure diabetes!

Have you found success with a diet I forgot to mention? Please add your voice to the discussion.