There are so many diet trends out there right now which causes lots of confusion so I wanted to give you quick summaries to provide you with some basic information. Remember, everyone is unique. The diet that works for the lady down the street may not work for you. Keep this in mind when you're deciding how to approach weight loss.
1. Calorie counting/points counting: This is based on the simple equation that calories in must be less than calories out to create a caloric deficit and lose weight. No specific foods you can or can't eat. Just counting calories. If it fits in your calorie budget, it's all yours. Long term calorie restriction can harm your metabolism and returning to higher calories without weight gain is very difficult.
2. Ketogenic Diet- This diet restricts carbohydrates to the point that your body switches over to use stored fat as its' energy source. The big issue with this diet is that many don't find this diet sustainable in real life. It works well for weight loss but maintaining the loss can be tricky.
3. Whole 30 Diet- The focus is on eating whole foods and cutting out all processed foods as well as legumes, dairy, soy, alcohol and sugar. This is an elimination diet that works well to heal the body that's undergoing any inflammatory process and usually does result in weight loss simply because you can't eat what you normally do. Whole 30 is good for your body, no doubt. But again, can be challenging to maintain depending on lifestyle you desire.
4. Paleo Diet- This is a plant based diet that focuses on eating what humans are thought to have eaten in the Paleolithic era. Dairy, legumes and grains are limited. You can eat meat, nuts, seeds and fish. Again, the issue with this diet isn't that it's not healthy but most people find that eating Paleo isn't something they want to do long-term.
5. Raw Food Diet- This is a type of vegan diet that aims to make >75% of your food raw. You'll be eating nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables but nothing can be cooked. Some will add raw fish and eggs. Not sure what the major benefit of this diet is for people to stick with it but there are raw vegans out there. I can assume most of their life is spent chewing. ha!
6. Ayuverdic Diet- This is a Hindu based nutrition method to prevent and cure illness. You work with someone trained in Ayuverda called a dosha who will work with you to decide what foods and spices are best for you. Not a very popular diet but can be an alternative approach to healing your body.
7. Intermittent Fasting- A recently popular diet that uses different periods of fasting to promote weight loss without harming your metabolism. This diet is based in the theory that our ancestors once fasted regularly, many cultures fast after religious feasts and fasts have had many health benefits. This is for you if you want a no fuss approach to fasting. Nothing tricky about it- just don't eat food for a set amount of time. This approach isn't for everyone though so make sure you discuss this with your doctor before initiating.
8. Vegan Diet- Diet that eliminates all meat and meat products including dairy and eggs. Not necessarily for weight loss but can help some heal inflammatory or autoimmune disease. Many do this diet for ethical reasons.
9. Vegetarian Diet- This diet also eliminates all meat but allows eggs and dairy, some people eat fish too. Both the vegan and vegetarian diet are generally a good short term solution for your body however long-term some may have several vitamin deficiencies and note that they don't feel as good as they did several years ago when they first started the vegetarian or vegan diet.
10. Macronutrient Diet- This diet focuses on counting carbohydrates, proteins and fats instead of just counting calories. The idea is that if you set your ratios just right and eat those prescribed macronutrients that you'll find food flexibility and weight loss with the ability to maintain. The idea is great. Serious athletes like body builders commonly use this method to get ready for competitions. In real life though, keeping track of everything you put in your mouth every single day can be laborious. You can use the macronutrient diet method to learn to eat a certain way and then stop counting, see if you maintain your weight loss because you've learned how to eat a certain macronutrient ratio without having to keep track. Some call this "intuitive eating."
Hope these short summaries lay out most of the basics what you should consider while deciding how to approach your weight loss journey. Need help deciding which one is for you? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember the diet you choose should be sustainable and promote not just weight loss but also health!
Have you or anyone you know ever lost a bunch of weight but then gain it all back plus some? How frustrating and defeating to work so hard to lose the weight and then gain it all back. Losing weight is HARD work. It takes discipline and perseverance. I want you to be successful so I'm going to give you five things to do to avoid the diet cycle.
1. Have a reasonable goal. Don't plan to lose weight too quickly. Usually quick weight loss leads to weight gain that occurs even quicker.
2. Use reasonable means. Extreme changes in your lifestyle are usually the ones that aren't maintainable. In order to put yourself in weight loss maintenance you need to be able to continue the changes you made in order to lose the weight.
3. Learn to cope. Life's tough. Sometimes really tough. Learning to cope with stress without the need for high sugar foods is going to be IMPERATIVE to your long-term success. We are sugar addicts and sugar is an easy "high" of feel good hormones in our brains that we can use to make us feel better when we're under stress. Find something else to make yourself feel better when you're under stress.
4. Make sleep a priority. Sleep allows your mind and body recovery time. Sleep will keep your hunger hormones in check, decrease your cravings and help you have the will power to turn down those high sugar foods.
5. Don't drink your calories. Learn to say no to sodas and juices. Drinking water is a great way to decrease your calories and keep your body feeling good. Water is also a good way to help your stomach feel full.
Keep these five things a top priority when deciding how you'll lose weight and you'll not only lose weight but also maintain that weight loss!
We all know that person. Or maybe you ARE that person. You know- the person who works so hard to lose weight. You look great and feel great. But in the next few months or year you gain ALLLLL the weight back (plus more)!
That's the frustrating diet roller coaster.
It's not a matter of self-discipline. You had the strength to lose the weight. So what's the trick to maintaining weight loss?
First, you need to lose weight the correct way in order to maintain that weight loss. Gradual weight loss over several months without extreme measures is the healthiest, most sustainable way to go about it.
Really evaluate your relationship with food. Figure out what triggers your over- eating or maybe under-eating and binging.
Second, lift weights. Adding muscle mass is the single most effective way to increase your metabolism. Yes, your metabolism will increase with any exercise but simply doing a cardiovascular exercise such as jogging or walking will actually sometimes lessen your muscle mass. And this is especially true if you're exercising while dieting. That decrease in muscle mass from dieting and cardio exercise will actually decrease your metabolism making it easier for you to regain weight that you've lost... So go lift some heavy weights!
Third, continue to regularly check your weight. Get on the scale even when you're not going to like the number you see. Especially when you're not going to like the number you see. Own the number, but know that it doesn't define you. If you catch your weight gain when you're five pounds up then it's much easier to lose the weight and get back to your 'goal' weight.
The struggle is real when it comes to weight loss and maintenance. Remember to give yourself some grace but also have high expectations. As always, if you need help I'm just a direct message (on instagram @befitforpurpose) or email (email@example.com) away. I'll stand in your corner, cheer you on, help you overcome obstacles and celebrate your victories with you.