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What’s the ‘Add, Don’t Subtract’ Approach to Diet?

Woman eating a salad.
NDAB Creativity/Shutterstock.com

For many attempting to eat healthier or lose weight, changing eating patterns can prove difficult. Shocking, we know. Dietary changes can often feel restrictive and result in poor relationships with food overall. But there’s a new nutrition hack that might help out those looking to change their diets.

The ‘Add, Don’t Subtract’ method sees people focusing on what they can add to their diets instead of what they want to subtract or remove, and it’s blowing up online.

The idea isn’t necessarily new and has been recommended by dieticians for some time, but thanks to TikTok, it’s getting new life. Plus, its easy implementation makes it worth trying. Essentially, you just think about what healthy additions you can make to your diet. For example, if you want a big bowl of pasta, sure, but consider adding some spinach, tomato, or mushroom to the mix for some extra nutritional oomph.


What I ate for breakfast and why Instead of posting what I ate in a day, I feel like it would be more helpful to explain what I ate for a certain meal and why Though I may make high protein waffles, I sometimes crave classic frozen waffles that reminds me of my favorite Sunday morning breakfast during my childhood. Though they’re typically thought of as an unhealthy food due to its carbohydrate and added sugar content, they can be an affordable base to a more balanced, sweet meal! Waffle spread: - 1/3 cup Greek yogurt (you can add more if you want more protein) - 1 tbsp peanut butter - 1/2 tsp honey - Cinnamon #dietitian #wieiad #nutrition

♬ original sound - Kylie, MS, RD, LDN

So will this approach help you lose weight? TODAY spoke with Frances Largeman-Roth, a registered dietician, who said the benefits of this method could aid in weight loss.

Largeman-Roth explained that while things like fruits and nuts might add calories, they also keep you fuller and longer. Focusing on adding fiber and protein can also help. And, by not restricting, you could end up with fewer cravings and actually enjoy meals more.

If traditional diets have always felt restrictive, this method of changing eating patterns might be an easy and healthy thing to try.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Assignments Editor at LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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