Can you lose weight without eating diet food?

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We have good news for you.

There may be a few reasons you would want to consider “diet food”,  even if you don’t love it. Contrary to popular belief, eating what we traditionally think of as “diet food” food isn’t necessary to lose weight.  If you just can’t stomach the idea of eating diet foods, don’t worry. 

What are some of the reasons people consider “diet food”?

  Diet foods that have proven effectiveness usually consist of meal replacements and shakes. Keep in mind that “diet foods” are designed to be eaten consistently for a short time, usually a few weeks at most, while you are undergoing weight loss treatment. These aren’t foods you have to eat for the rest of your life. 

If diet foods are designed well, they should help you in the following ways:

  • They are convenient and take a lot of the burden out of preparing different foods.
  • They are rich in key vitamins and minerals that prevent nutrient deficiencies while on a low calorie diet, like Vitamin C and iron. 
  • They have plenty of protein and/or fiber to keep you full, so you don’t feel hungry. 
  • They should taste good enough that you can consume them for a few weeks without getting bored.

Try a few diet foods, and if you find some that meet all of these criteria, they may be helpful to you.  Diet foods are designed to take the guesswork out of dieting and help you lose weight safely. Sometimes, they can also be paired with food you already eat and love once or twice a day. 

If you find diet foods are not for you, don’t worry.

Other methods can help you make sustainable changes that produce weight loss. A dietician or obesity specialist can help you learn about the foods you typically eat, and create meal plans with specific quantities of those foods. The key to losing weight while eating your favorite foods is adjusting the amount of food, your meal times, and the balance between them. Consulting a professional for help is typically required for this approach.

A good diet that is created specifically for you considers your existing health, lifestyle, requirements, likes, and dislikes. An obesity specialist takes all of these factors into account, aiming for a balance of lower calories, interesting food, and management of your hunger. Diet foods can sometimes be used to achieve your weight management goals, but they are not a requirement. 

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