The “Best” Diet for Weight Loss
Some people claim to have figured out the “best” diet for weight loss. Spoiler alert: There isn’t one. The toughest part of weight loss is figuring out what works for you. And although people may shy away from telling you this, I won’t: the road to sustainable weight loss is often longer than you might expect.
The keyword here is sustainable weight loss. We want to figure out how to get you to your goals as quickly as we can, but with an eye on the long term. Almost any diet can get you to shed pounds quickly. Not just any diet can ensure you don’t gain it all back in a hurry. How many times have we seen this happen to ourselves or to others? It’s a frustrating process, and one that can make weight loss feel like a distant glimmer of hope.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way. Here’s what you really need to know when it comes to sustainable weight loss.
Nutrition needs to be individualized to be effective.
All of our bodies are different. Some of us can handle eating a big breakfast right away in the morning, others can only deal with a cup of coffee. Maybe you thrive when you eat ton of carbs, but your best friend claims to look at your plate and gain weight.
Here’s the good news: your diet can be healthy if you eat mainly veggies or mostly meat, a lot of carbs, or a ton of healthy fats. There are plenty of communities out there who eat insanely healthy diets (and have a long life expectancy because of it), despite big differences. It could be a mediterranean diet (healthy fats & veggies), indigenous diet (berries, seeds & wild game), japanese diet (fish, rice & tea) – the list goes on.
You have to make sure you are listening to your own body AND enjoy what you are eating for it to last in the long run.
Food is so much… more.
Food is not just input, output. It’s not just fuel. There is so much more to it than that. Food is comprised of micronutrients, phytochemicals, and zoochemicals, all of which help protect us in some way. Whether that be by protecting us against heart disease, reducing inflammation and blood clotting, or even preventing cancer! Your food also plays a huge role in how your body functions. Certain foods trigger immune cells, make hormones, build muscle, and so on.
Food plays a large role in who we are. It is the center of our communities – no matter how big or small. It can reveal a lot about an invidiual, too! Are you adventurous and willing to try anything? Are you the biggest, baddest cook in the kitchen (and the best party thrower, to boot)? Or are you crazy busy and can hardly find time to cook for yourself?
Food is revealing. It is nourishing. Food is a way of life.
Your diet shouldn’t be something you despise.
Contrary to popular belief, food can be both delicious and nourishing. You don’t have to eat plain chicken and broccoli every meal to eat healthy. Nowadays, healthy recipes can be found anywhere and everywhere (ahem, hello Pinterest). You can even make a healthy dessert option that satisfies both your sweet tooth and your desire to lose weight and feel great. Yes, sometimes it will require a little more work to plan meals, or make sure you fill your house with fresh fruits and vegetables. But believe me, your body (mind, and spirit) will thank you for it.
Here are a few things you can do to actually start losing weight (for real this time):
- Play detective. Figure out what you like to eat and don’t like to eat; what your body likes and doesn’t like; what happens when you make certain choices over others. It takes a lot of trial and error to begin to fully understand what works for you and what doesn’t.
- Keep track of what’s going on with your body. And by that, I don’t just mean logging in your weight on MyFitnessPal. Take note of your energy levels, your mood and how satisfied you are, too. Take a look at the bigger picture. As we’ve talked about before, nutrition is so much more than just fuel. It effects every part of you!
- While you’re experimenting, be careful not to emotionally attach to outcomes. Did you end up overeating at dinner? Why was that? Get curious, but not judgmental! Maybe you didn’t have enough to eat over lunch, or you tried something new that didn’t keep you satisfied very long. Take that information and accept it as it is – simply information – then try your best to learn from it so you can be even better tomorrow.
- Remind yourself that you already know how to eat healthy. Despite all of the conflicting information out there, deep down we already know how to eat healthy. Avoid processed foods and eat whole foods instead. Try to eat more fruits & veggies. Eat a balanced diet that leaves you feeling energized and satisfied. It’s not rocket science. You know this stuff. The trick is sticking to it.
- Simply do your best. Take it one day at a time. Every day presents new challenges, but every day is also a new chance to commit to healthy lifestyle changes. Do what you can, and let go of the things that are out of your control.
You know where to find me if you have questions or want help taking your health and fitness regimen to the next level! Feel free to reach out with any questions, or comment below. I love hearing from you!
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