“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”― Jim Rohn
Adjusting your diet for weight loss can seem confusing. When you search for diets, you’ll find yourself bombarded with opinions. Low fat, low carb, intermittent fasting, atkins and so on. Knowing which is the best can seem like an impossible task. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it’s a hell of a lot easier than you probably think…
What’s the best diet for me?
Diets are often hailed as being perfect for X. Be that a certain body type, a certain age group or any other factor that denotes a group of individuals. Yet this type of diversity between groups does not exist when it comes to the foods we consume. Of course there will be groups who have special dietary considerations, such as those with diabetes. But the vast majority of us don’t react any better to one specific type of diet where weight loss is concerned.
So what does this mean? Well, in essence it means you aren’t restricted to a certain way of eating, regardless of what your personal trainer, friend or weight loss groups says. Eating low carb leads to almost no more weight loss than eating low fat, even though it was a trend that dominated the diet sphere for decades! Following one set dietary plan over another does ensure that you’ll lose more weight, even though those selling them would tell you as such.
But this only raises another question. Because if the diet type doesn’t matter, then what does? If you can follow any diet and lose fat as fast as any other diet, then what is actually making the difference?
What is the one important factor?
“Want to learn to eat a lot? Here it is: Eat a little. That way, you will be around long enough to eat a lot” –Tony Robbins
What you eat really doesn’t matter when it comes to losing fat. Everything you have ever been taught you can wipe out of your mind. It’s time to start from a fresh sheet. Because the only thing that matters, is the number of calories you take in!
The time you eat doesn’t matter! The reason people lose weight whilst doing intermittent fasting is because they have a smaller part of the day to consume calories. Not because it “unlocks” some ancient part of our physiology!
The reason individuals drop weight on a paleo diet is because the high protein and fibre content keeps them full, whilst cutting out processed foods removes many of the calorie dense food items from their diet. It’s not because they are “eating like a caveman”.
The reason you lose weight whilst using a commercial diet plan is because the structured meal lower your calorie intake, not because they have provided you with some special formulation of nutrients.
It’s important to take on board that if you gave me full control of everything you ate and drank, I could make you lose weight with cake and soda. All I would need to do is ensure the number of calories you ate were less than the number of calories you burnt during the day.
Don’t get me wrong, this would be an awful idea, as you wouldn’t be eating or drinking huge amounts, you would be very unhealthy and you would feel awful. But the point still stands. There is not one diet type that is “better”. As long as they lower your calorie intake, you will lose weight!
So if all diets can work, which should I use?
“I try to come at fitness and nutrition from a perspective of gentleness and what will make me feel good afterwards. I try to stay out of the mindset of needing to fix myself. I do whatever seems fun to me.”―Taylor Schilling
When it comes to choosing the best diet for you, self-knowledge is key. Because your optimal weight loss strategy is determined by which diet you’ll stick too.
Need social support, but don’t want to be in a group setting? Work with a partner or friend, maybe by keeping food diaries that you share with each other. Or hire a professional, for instance a (well educated) personal trainer (Contact me here! ;-))
Need an approach that is super quick and easy to follow? Then maybe employing smoothies for a number of your meals a day will help (although ensure good nutrition and don’t skimp out on essential nutrients! Many “juice” diets are defined are dangerous, with those on less than 600 calories per day needing to be on medical supervision). Or alternatively maybe you’d find batch cooking your meals ahead of time helpful, so you can “grab and go” through the week.
Or maybe all of these approaches just cannot fit into your busy lifestyle. But you still don’t need to fret! Even simply logging will work! You can use applications such as My Fitness Pal, but many people find this too long winded. If that’s the case for you then don’t worry, as even just writing down what you eat as you eat it with a pen and pad will make you consider what you’re eating more, and so reduce the amount (and calories!) that you consume.
And so on and so forth. The key here is to understand that any dietary approach can work for you. All that really matters is:
- Does the diet reduce your calorie intake.
- Will you enjoy it enough to stick to it.
If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then you’re on to a winner!
If you’re interested in following my long-term focused approach to weight loss, then you can contact me about personal training in Leicester, or you can download and use my Body Vision app. And as always, I am very active on my Body Development Centre Facebook, my Body Vision Facebook and my Body Vision Youtube accounts, so feel free to post any questions you have there!
But until next time, take care and have a great day!