A diet is really an eating plan implemented with the intent to lose weight. It includes restrictions on when and where its acceptable to eat, and what food to eat.

Now that were clear on what a diet is, lets understand this: Diets dont work.

Study after study has proven dieting doesnt do a thing when it comes to wanting to lose weight.

It may lead to temporary weight loss, but it wont last. Nearly everyone who loses weight from dieting gains it all back because a diet isnt a lifestyle, its a temporary life change.

Why Celebrity Diets Are Bullshit [Gen Why]

In the long run, dieting can only lead to disordered eating and can help foster unhealthy relationships with food.

Ive tried dieting many times, and I always end up feeling miserable and developing a short pattern of disordered eating after.

While many definitions exist, I define disordered eating as any type of mindset that leaves you feeling worthless, guilty, embarrassed, ashamed or any other negative emotion while and after consuming food.

Im somuch happier and more pleasant to be around when Im not limiting myself to what foodsIm allowed to enjoy.

There is the rare exception of people who go on diets and manage to keep the weight off, but I believe these people have sacrificed a portion of their mental and physical health to do so.

Personally, this is why I think diets fail: They dont take a persons mental health into consideration.

While yes, we do need food to survive, many foods (especially those for the holidays)exist mostly for pleasure. Sugar cookies, gingerbread men and chocolate truffles are meant to bring pleasure to the person consuming them.

Were meant to treat ourselves to enjoying taste.

Our society is obsessed with dieting, and this obsession only worsens around the holidays.Internet articles with titles like X Ways Not to Blow Your Diet at Thanksgiving are abundant throughout November and December, and Im sick of it.

Who cares if you trade in your kale salad for a sugary sweet potato casserole? Who cares if you trade in a spinach smoothie for some hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles?

You are allowed to treat yourself. You. Are. ALLOWED.

Theres nothing wrong with choosing vegetables over sweets, but you should be doing so for the right reasons.

If you genuinely enjoy broccoli more than cake, go for it. But if you enjoy cake more than broccoli, and still pick the broccoli because your inner voice is whispering to you youre a failure if you dont, you have a problem.

Food isnt something were supposed to obsess over. Its not supposed to dictate how we judge others or ourselves either. Its not supposed to control our lives and our well-being. Its supposed to keep us alive, and its supposed to bring us joy.

We have enough to deal with in our lives. We should be able to take an extra slice of pizza or an extra scoop of ice cream (or both) whenever we damn well please.

Your mental health is more important than your physical health, so put your brain before your body. After all, you wont have a body to use if your brain isnt in the right mental state to use it.

You are so much more than what you eat and how you look. You dont need to diet to feel good about yourself, you need to eat loads of food you love so youre not hangry at work or at home.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/wellness/holiday-diet-mental-health/1684287/

At least 50 million American adults suffer from a sleep disorder.

And because most people dont know very much about sleep hygiene, they dont know how to address the problem.

If you are tossing and turning all night, you may need to eat differently.

Here are some diet tips to help you sleep better and wake up refreshed:

1. Curb your caffeine intake.

You probably know drinking coffee in the late afternoon or evening will make it nearly impossible to fall asleep.

However, most people dont realize that consuming too much caffeine during any time of the day can cause sleep problems as well.

A study from the National Sleep Foundation found that consuming three or more cups of coffee a day can cause insomnia.

What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Drinking Coffee

Unfortunately, many people consume a lot of caffeine throughout the day to stay awake.

If you need to drink several cups of coffee to get through the day, you probably arent getting the sleep you need, and you are only compounding the problem by binging on caffeine.

You are better off working out in the morning to get your boost of energy.

2. Avoid fatty foods before bed.

We all know eating too much sugar late at night is a terrible idea. However, cutting back on fatty foods is also a good way to improve sleep.

Fatty foods tend to take a longer time to digest, so they will keep your body up at night and keep you from getting a good nights sleep.

You should generally stop eating altogether at least three hours before going to sleep. If you do need a late night snack, eat nuts, a couple whole-grain crackers or other foods that are high in complex carbs.

Also, eating fatty foods can cause serious heartburn and indigestion, making it much more difficult to fall asleep.

3. Eat foods that bolster melatonin.

Melatonin is the substance that regulates our sleep cycles. Melatonin levels typically increase in the evening, which helps us fall asleep easier.

However, some people have lower levels of melatonin, which can make it very difficult for them to fall asleep without taking medication.

The good news is, there are number foods you can eat to increase your melatonin levels. Bananas, cherries and milk all contain melatonin.

Consuming them a couple of hours before bed may help you fall asleep better.

4. Reduce sugar consumption.

Eating sugar late at night is a bad idea, especially if you are suffering from chronic sleep problems. You should also be careful eating sugar during the day if you suffer from anxiety.

Thats because consuming foods like cookies and candy can cause your blood sugar levels to spike, which can trigger the release of the stress hormone adrenaline.

What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Eating Processed Sugar [Body & Mind]

Thiscan even make it more difficult for you to sleep later at night.

If you are suffering from anxiety, you may want to significantly cut back on your sugar intake. You may feel much more relaxed during the day and have an easier time sleeping later at night.

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Read more: http://elitedaily.com/wellness/food-eat-ditch-better-sleep/1686436/