Inclusion not exclusion. Have you ever been told that you are forbidden to do something and then all you can think about is doing it? Or have you ever told your child not to touch something and then they do it anyways while looking at you? If we are told that we cannot have something, then our urge to have that thing is even greater than it was before. It’s because that thing is forbidden, and we crave it.
That’s how I think about restrictive diets, for most people they don’t work because a certain food group is restricted, you can’t eat it, or you will fail the diet. I think you will have far greater results if you include healthy foods into your diet instead of excluding un-healthy foods out of your diet. For example, say you want some ice cream, go ahead and have the ice cream but include a big serving of fresh fruit with it and eat the fruit before the ice cream. Are you craving a burger and fries? Go for it, but eat a big serving of plain vegetables first, eat the burger second, and the fries last. Do you want fried chicken and French fries? No problem, just eat grilled chicken and a big serving of plain vegetables first. If you’re still craving the fried stuff, go ahead.
I’m willing to bet that more often than not, you will start noticing that you can’t or don’t want to eat the un-healthy foods anymore. Of course, there will still be times that you power through and eat the un-healthy stuff, but at least you are getting some healthy food in your body for the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The key is to always eat the healthy foods first.