Most diets have so many rules it gets hard to keep up with what you’re allowed and not to do. It can get frustrating, not to mention the fact that while some rules are easy to stick to, others can be very difficult to follow, especially since your life does not revolve around dieting and you have many other things to consider when you’re planning your day. So what are the rules some experts say can be ignored without affecting your weight loss goals?
Eating five small meals a day
You’ll find that with most diets it’s recommended to have five small meals each day, rather than three consistent meals. This strategy helps you to avoid getting too hungry between meals and small amounts of food are easier to burn. But what if your schedule does not allow you to prepare so many healthy snacks? In that case, you can skip this rule. Some experts even suggest having five or more meals per day can be dangerous, because if you don’t control your portions wisely, you can easily overeat. You can stick to your three meals a day plan, as long as you add extra fibers in your diet to keep you full for longer as they take longer to digest.
No bread, rice or pasta
Yes, we all know carbs are bad for your weight, but how can you completely banish them from your diet when they taste so good? Some truly enjoy having a home cooked pasta dish, so are they really supposed to deprive themselves from this treat? As long as you stick within the recommended of six ounces of carbs each day amount, and make sure at least half come from whole grains, you should be fine. You can measure out a serving of refined carbs, such as a cup of cooked white pasta, and dig in with no guilt. If a single cup isn’t enough for you, you can pair your pasta with filling protein, such as meaty red sauce prepared with extra-lean ground turkey.
Avoiding food late at night
It’s generally a good idea to avoid any heavy meals late at night, because that’s when your body is less active, your metabolism slows down and all those calories are going to comfortably settle in on your thighs. However, if you’re careful and smart about it, you can have dinner as late as you want to. Most people tend to overeat at night because they haven’t eaten anything since lunch and when you get that hungry, your diet loses its priority. Having a healthy snack in the late afternoon (around four if you plan to have dinner at nine) can help you avoid this. Studies show that the fat in nuts is quite satisfying, so grab a 100-calorie pack of almonds when you’re in a rush. When you’re finally having you dinner, make sure you sit at a table, and remove any distractions. Don’t watch TV or read while having dinner, because you need to pay attention to your food, otherwise you can easily have too much.