Diets are usually based on restrictions, but celebrity nutritionist Keri Glassman says it’s time to stop harping on what you can’t eat and focus on what you can.
“People always think ‘I can’t eat this, and I can’t eat that.’ I hate that attitude because it’s so negative,” she says. “Flip the switch, and when you focus on what you can eat, you’re more positive and you feel more motivated.”
“Eat more, not less” is the first of eight rules for losing weight and getting healthy that Glassman lays out in her new book, The New You (and Improved!) Diet. The idea is that if you’re eating the right foods, you can chow down with abandon instead of counting calories—within reason, of course. (Don’t go all Joey Chesnut on us.)
Here are three tips from Glassman on how to jumpstart your health without limiting what you eat:
1. Focus on what you’re eating instead of how much. Most of the foods that make you gain weight are not good for you at all. So rather than eating them in small portions, replace them with healthy choices you won’t need to calorie-count. Start with a whole food, plant-based diet that’s high-antioxidant, low-sugar, and high-fiber and includes healthy fats and lean proteins. “When you focus on eating real foods that are good for you, it’s not about weight loss, its about preventing disease, slowing the signs of aging, and being healthy—and the weight will come off naturally,” Glassman says.
2. Learn to measure your HQ. She’s not saying you can go hog wild, “but if you learn to eat in the right proportions and listen to your body, you don’t need to focus as much on the exact amounts,” Glassman explains. In her book, Glassman details how to learn to track your Hunger Quotient (HQ) on a scale of one to ten. The goal is to always be between four and six rather than fluctuating between famished and overstuffed. “If you let yourself get to extremes, then you’re miserable and you don’t make the right choices. You think ‘I’m starving, so I have to grab a slice of pizza,'” she says.
3. Don’t ignore your health away from the table. No matter how much you deprive your body of calories, you won’t make meaningful progress unless you’re paying attention to all aspects of your health—both at and away from the table. It’s not just eat more, but also drink more (water), sleep more, and stress…less. Says Glassman, “If you just change your diet, and you don’t look at these other areas—like sleep and stress—then it doesn’t matter, you’re not really achieving health.” —Lisa Elaine Held