Michael Jensen of the Mayo Clinic summarizes a review of long-term weight loss studies: "For any given person, it's really a matter of what can they stick with".
Regardless of what diet you choose it comes down to ADHEARANCE. Can you stick to that diet for the long term? Not just for 6 week but for 6 months plus?
There are NO magic pills!!!
BUT what can you stick with?
With hundreds of diets on offer and thousands of books and articles to choose from I don't blame you for being confused.
When picking what nutrition approach you wish to follow you need to ask yourself: will this work for ME? Will this work for MY lifestyle? Can I see myself still following this 'diet' in a few months time? If the answers are YES, then what are you waiting for?! If the answers are NO then are you still looking for a quick fix? ...remember anything that seems too good to be true usually is!
Let's take Annabel for example; she trains hard in the gym several times a week and has a busy social life. Annabel knows that when she cuts her carbohydrate (sugar) intake down TOO low she feels lethargic, moody, lacks energy and she finds herself bingeing at social events. Therefore, Annabel chooses to take a 'all in moderation' approach to her nutrition. She knows that if she keeps a close eye on portion control and makes sure she gets 80% of her food from wholesome, minimally processed foods and the other 20% of her food from perhaps a little less 'wholesome' and maybe a little more processed foods (AKA junk food) then she is able to stick to her nutrition plan without feeling guilty after a social night out but while staying fit and healthy. Annabel also finds that with this approach she can train hard and she has good energy levels for everyday life.
Kate however knows that she has to be a little stricter when it comes to carbs (sugar). Kate knows that just 1 biscuit is NEVER enough, so she prefers to keep high fat, high sugar snack (such as biscuits, cakes, crisps) to a minimum to help her stay on track.
Then we have Natalie. Each day for Natalie is very different what with work, looking after her 2 small children, housework, the children's clubs, her own hobbies and normal day to day life. Natalie finds that applying the habit GREEN FACE enables her to stay on track regardless of whether she has time to cook at home or grab food on the go.
Each of these ladies have found what works for THEM! Just because a low carb diet works for Kate doesn't mean it will work for Annabel and Natalie. This is the same with all of the 'diets' you see and read about in the media. With obesity at an all time high food/nutrition/diets are EVERYWHERE!!!!! Magazines and newspapers are always writing articles on the latest 'fad diet' and what celebrity that month half a stone in a record 9 days. GREAT, BRILLIANT it worked for them BUT will it work for you? In 9 days, YES maybe you too could drop half a stone but will you be able to continue on this diet past 9 days? Can you see yourself doing this diet from now until this time next year? Probably NOT! Unfortunately quick fixes are exactly what they say on the tin. They get you quick, fast results; however those results are usually lost just as quickly as they were achieved.
So what to do???
1- Pick a nutrition approach that you think will work for YOU. Take a look at your past 'dieting' history, your current eating habits and patterns. What did/do you enjoy (food, patterns, behaviours)? How did/ do you feel?
2- STICK WITH IT! Stick with your chosen approach!!! Now this is the hard part. Most people give up on their 'diet' after just a couple of weeks. How are you supposed to know if that approach works for you if you give up so quickly?! Obstacles and challenges WILL emerge that is life. DO NOT throw in the towel just yet, take each challenge/obstacle one-by-one, one day at a time and TACKLE them.
It is coming up to the festive season, which means lots of social events and parties. It would be so easy to just think "I will start again in January". BE STRONG, STICK WITH IT! If you can't do it now what makes you think you will be able to do it in January? Put some behaviours in place to help you deal with the social events. Such as: check out the menu online and choose your meal before you get to the restaurant so that you can make informed, mindful decisions without peer pressure and temptation.
Decide if you are a STARTER or DESSERT kind of person. Why not keep calories down by choosing to have one or the other. This will help to keep calories down and you won’t feel like you are missing out.
Fancy a few glasses of wine at the party? Then why not be mindful and make a informed choice of a less calorific main meal.
Going out on the town with the girls and you know it is going to include alcohol and some food on the journey home. PLAN AHEAD! Plan your food around your night out. Pick less calorific food, maybe cut back on carbs or fat for the day leaving you with a few hundred extra calories for alcohol.
Out for an unplanned dinner. You order and the food comes. The portion size is HUGE. You could 1. Just eat it and think oh well I will start again tomorrow. Or 2. You could make a sensible decision to ask for a side plate, use the Precision Nutrition PORTION CONTROL guidelines to workout how much you should have on your plate and REMOVE (onto the side plate) the left overs. Now here is the important part. Ask the waiter to take the side plate away and pack it up for you to take home. If the food is left there you may end up mindlessly eating it because you are out chatting and you are distracted. BONUS you now also have lunch ready for the next day. SO not only do you stick to your diet, you also save some meal prep time.
Of course these examples should be used in MODERATION. STOP looking for the magic diet; pick a diet that you think YOU can STICK TO. Stick with it for a minimum of 4-6 weeks before making any drastic changes. The mind and body take time to adapt to change. Work through the challenges and obstacles that emerge. We all love quick, fast results and we all know there are ways of achieving this BUT we all, also know that SLOW & STEADY wins the race.
You CAN still get quick and fast results without having to chose a ‘quick fix’… want to find out how. Tune back in soon for more tips and tricks to achieving the results you desire.
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Thank you for reading.
CHOSE the diet that works for YOU & STICK WITH IT! I know you can do it!