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This post was originally published on December 23rd, 2016 and updated on July 30th, 2019.

What is the best diet? How can I lose weight quickly? These are some of the most commonly asked questions among individuals involved in the fitness community. These days many people have a misconception about what the word diet means.

Diet is defined in the dictionary as “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.”

Habitually meaning not for a day, not for a week, but for life. Nowhere in the definition does diet insinuate a method of losing weight. However, due to the media and abundant advertising people fall under this assumption.

Our diets are the sum of everything that is consumed by our bodies. People often times get confused and believe that there are only two options when it comes to eating: healthy and unhealthy. This could not be further from the truth! Instead of constantly swinging from one side of the pendulum to the other, always practice moderation. This doesn’t imply banishing chips, cookies, and crackers from our diets nor does it mean leading a life of forcing broccoli down our throats for every meal.

The Death of Diets is Here. Follow these 4 Simple Rules to Eat for Life:

1) Practice the 80/20 Rule

A diet consisting of 80% whole, nutritious foods (e.g. lean protein sources, eggs, vegetables, nuts, grains) and 20% foods from other sources will go a long way towards a sustainable, healthy lifestyle without overbearing restrictions. Let’s say you aim for 2000 calories per day. Allowing yourself to eat 400 calories from whatever source you choose will prevent binge eating in the future. Grab that candy bar or bag of chips and without expressing guilt because the rest of your diet will contain the micronutrients necessary for general health and well-being.

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2) Stop Binge Eating

Many people fall victim to the habit of eating healthy for a lengthy period of time and then suddenly fall off the wagon eating everything in sight. Placing extreme restrictions on yourself generally does more harm than good.

3) Eat More Frequently

Most of us live our lives in a constant state of chaos in which we skip breakfast, eat out for lunch, and grab whatever is in sight for dinner. Instead of following the common practice of eating once or twice per day aim to eat five or six times per day in smaller portion sizes. By doing so, you will eliminate hunger and prevent overeating.

4) Drink More Water

Commonly people misinterpret the feeling of dehydration as hunger. Keep this from happening by always having a bottle of water on hand. Furthermore, this will help prevent over-drinking of calorically dense beverages including sodas, juices, and beers.

Stop searching for the latest fad diets and trends. Avoid the gimmicks and overhyped products. Don’t diet eat for life!

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