What is the anti-diet? Can you lose weight by eating normally?
So… you have diabetes, you know that what you eat affects your diabetes, and you want to lose weight. It must be time to diet, right? Wrong!
Enter the Anti-Diet Diabetes Diet. This way of eating and approaching food can help you feel better each day, lose weight, and manage your blood sugar. Over time, an anti-diet can help lower your risk for diabetes complications and comorbidities such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, neuropathy, and heart disease. All you have to do is eat like you love yourself!
Food and Blood Sugar
What you eat (and how much) are as important for managing blood sugar as other self-management behaviors, such as exercising, measuring blood sugar, and taking any prescribed diabetes medications. Eating right can help lower blood sugar. An anti-diet may not specifically target weight loss, but healthy eating can have weight loss as a welcome side effect.
Diabetes Diet versus Anti-Diet for Diabetes
Let’s go back the idea of the anti-diet. For those people (are you one of them?) who have tried one, two, or dozens of diets, the anti-diet may be counterintuitive. It may be confusing if you are used to following strict rules and avoiding tempting foods. It may even be scary if you tend to think of “diets” as temporary and are unsure about a lifestyle change like an anti-diet.
Those concerns are all valid, but they are beatable. An anti-diet is not a green light to eat pizza and soda for breakfast, croissants for lunch, and ice cream for dinner every day. Instead, it is a way of living that focuses on how you feel, and eating foods that make you feel better. This approach can, at the same time, help you lose weight and lower blood sugar.
Diet versus Anti-Diet
Follow someone else’s rules
Make your own rules
Designed for the “average” person
Designed for your needs each day
Focuses on the “end goal”
Focuses on today’s actions
May require meal replacement or other diet products
Emphasizes whole foods
May have benefits that end when the diet ends
Can have lifelong benefits
Ends when you go off the diet
Can be sustainable and last forever
Might not allow for special occasions or “real life”
Fits into your life and meets requirements such as
May prohibit certain foods or food groups
Allows for “treat” foods
May lead to feelings of guilt or shame
Promotes success and self-awareness
How would you prefer to live?
An anti-diet is a holistic approach to food. It emphasizes listening to your body and selecting foods that you truly want. This may include the occasional doughnut, hamburger, or piece of dark chocolate, but will more often include so-called “healthy foods” because, undeniably, you feel better when you eat them.
There is plenty of science to back up the choice of nutritious foods. Not only are they healthier in the long-term, but they have immediate benefits. You are more likely to feel proud of yourself for choosing them over junk foods. Furthermore, they can stabilize energy levels, keep your digestive system regular, and reduce hunger.
How Do I Anti-Diet?
Has dieting become second nature to you? Is it possible for someone not to know how to “anti-diet?” Absolutely! It is not always obvious which foods are most nutritious or how to focus on the process of healthy living rather than an end goal.
Since anti-dieting is personal, there is no rulebook. There is, however, some general information you can use when considering what to eat.
Less-processed foods tend to be healthier than more-processed foods. Processed foods are often higher in sodium, sugar, unhealthy fats, and calories, and lower in natural nutrients.
Cooking at home gives you more control than eating out. You can choose what goes into your food, how to cook it, and how much to serve yourself when you make your own food. Restaurant food can be high in salt, sugar, and fat, be prepared with heavy sauces or in cooking fats, and come in oversized portions.
How you eat matters. Eating slowly, enjoying your food, eating when you are hungry, and stopping when you are full, affect your weight and health just as much as what you eat.
Fresh fish, poultry, eggs
Canned vegetables and fruit
Frozen vegetables and fruit
Olive and vegetable oils
Canned soup and chili
Muffins and pastries
Protein bars and shakes
hips, pretzels, and crackers
Frozen and boxed meals
It can take some practice to get out of the mindset of dieting to reach a goal, and into the habit of choosing foods that can let your body thrive. Lark Diabetes can help you:
Learn which foods can support blood sugar management and weight loss.
Develop a more positive relationship with food.
Build habits that let healthy living become more natural.
As you work with Lark to lose weight and eat right for diabetes, your personal Lark coach can also guide you in other self-management behaviors that can make a world of difference in your blood sugar and A1C levels. You may be surprised and thrilled at the power you have!
Lark helps you eat better, move more, stress less, and improve your overall wellness. Lark’s digital coach is available 24/7 on your smartphone to give you personalized tips, recommendations, and motivation to lose weight and prevent chronic conditions like diabetes.