Whoever said dieting was easy clearly has never been on one. Losing weight and switching to a healthier lifestyle takes a lot of hard work and commitment. If you’re anything like me, you’ve come up with a lot of excuses for not making the switch. It’s okay. Just because there’s no easy or foolproof way to lose weight, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the journey along the way. Sometimes it all comes down to changing your mindset about the word "diet" and moving beyond false assumptions of what you can’t do while on a diet. Luckily, you have us to bust the five most common dieting myths. But don’t just take our word for it. Read on to find out how members of the Cooking Light Diet are shedding light on these misconceptions as well.
#1 I can’t eat my favorite foods.
Contrary to popular belief, dieting is not synonymous with sacrifice and starvation. While it’s true you can’t overboard with cookies, chips, and cake, you don’t have to give up the foods you love completely. As long as you’re mindful of your other meals and plan accordingly, you can satisfy those cravings with a "cheat meal" once a week. So go ahead and caption that slice of cake or CLDiet-approved snack with #TreatYourself and get back to your healthy ways for the next meal.
"Anything you're craving, you can find in Cooking Light," said Ken Hess, of Decatur, Ala. "Whatever it's going to be, you guys have done it. Whether it's banana bread or cookies, if the kids might want cookies."
"And this is just so simple...delicious food that requires really minimum attention," said Joyce Van Huis, of Scottsdale, Ariz. "And when you love food like I do, that's what you want. You don't want to deprive or starve yourself."
"I'd joined Weight Watchers in the past," said this working mother of two. "We've tried just counting calories before. We would get more food, but it didn't taste as good. Obviously if it doesn't taste good, you're not going to keep it up."
And, in the CLDiet Facebook group, here's what Leigh Ann Coley had to say:
#2 I can’t go out to eat.
I love margaritas and nachos just like the next person, and restaurants certainly don’t make it easy on those of us who want to drop a few pounds. Relax. You can still dine out with family and friends. Although, you may want to avoid places where the carbs are aplenty, served with only a little healthy on the side. It’s all about choosing restaurants that offer healthier options, managing your portions, and allowing yourself to eat off your diet plan maybe once a week. It’s a good thing the Cooking Light Diet allows its members to dine out and enjoy leftovers. In this case, it’s totally okay to save some for later.
"From following the CLDiet fairly closely in the beginning, it has helped when deciding what to order as a healthier option from many take-out places," said Kathleen Varner. "From following previous Cooking Light recipes, I've learned how to pick out key words in menu items that may be a healthier option than our norm."
"Now, I'm much more conscious of a vegetarian dinner and what I want to do when I go into a restaurant," said Joseph Stefani of Bozeman, Mont.
#3 I’m always hungry.
When you’re cutting calories and consuming smaller portions of food on a diet, you’re bound to feel a little hungry the first few days. The Cooking Light Diet, though, has resolved this issue for its community members by providing snack options for in-between meal hunger and offering a satisfying portion of breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes for individuals and families. Yes, it’s easy with the Cooking Light Diet to stave off hunger and fill up on foods that have fewer calories, such as smoothies, fruits, popcorn, and vegetables.
"Like I've said, the food is awesome, I've never felt hungry on it, and taking the time to cook is kind of distracting me from sitting on the couch after work," said this Massachusetts woman, who has lost 50 pounds with the CLDiet.
"Part of what's been good for me is that I feel full," said Joseph Stefani. "I think what I've learned is that what I use to feel was overfull, and I mistook that for full."
Kathleen Carpenter from Massachusetts said the CLDiet doesn't leave her feeling deprived:
#4 I can’t stay on track with work and raising a family.
Time. There’s always so little of it, especially if you’re working 40 hours or more per week and raising a family. And the biggest challenge once you decide to start a diet is having time to prepare healthier meals. The Cooking Light Diet was created to work for you and your lifestyle—not the other way around. By offering quick and easy recipes, make-ahead meals, and leftover and dining out options, the Cooking Light Diet lets you have complete control in choosing what you want to eat every day.
"I think it's great for busy parents who want to make healthy meals for their families, but don't have the time to do the planning and to prepare," said Michelle McBurney, of New Jersey.
"With having to cook for a 3 year old, she's not always willing to eat everything," said Kristen Zawitz, of Ohio. "I usually just go with what will work for everybody. We've tried different things we never would have tried otherwise. It's been kind of an open door for us to all sorts of foods."
#5 I get bored with eating the same foods.
Think you just have to eat salads or drink protein-enriched smoothies on a diet? Think again. To stick with a healthy meal plan, you’ve got to enjoy what you’re eating. And variety’s the draw with the Cooking Light Diet. From low-calorie veggie and protein-packed meals to sandwiches and soups, there’s a little something for everyone. Yes, even pizza and cheesy macaroni made the cut.
"We look forward to the menus each week and are still impressed with the variety and the ability to customize them to our likes and dislikes," said Pam Lolley.
"We haven't had a bad meal," said Colette Rizik, of Northville, Mich. "I have gotten so many recipes that I've wanted to make again. I'm pleased with it. You're likely to find something that looks good to you with all the choices you have."
"We didn't want bland diet food," said Ken Hess. "You'd just go off it in a month. You know, I've never been on a diet where I can eat ice cream, eat bacon, eat bread, eat potatoes, eat sauces."
We think Carolyn Nelson best sums everything up:
Even if you want to start a diet for more reasons than losing weight, the Cooking Light Diet can aid in your transition—not just as a healthy meal planner, but as the perfect jumpstart to a brand new, healthier you!
*Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose more than half a pound per week.
More Great Diet Tips:
- 5 Tips for Eating Out from the Man Who Knows More About Americans' Eating Habits Than Americans
- The Best Diet Tips (And Only the Best!)
- Cooking Light Diet: The Proof Is in the Posting