**Trigger Warning: This Blog Discusses Diets**
Fad diets are everywhere. I can tell you that after 18 years in this industry, I’ve tried most of them and they’re generally not good for you. IN FACT, you’ll achieve the most long lasting success with maintaining a healthy body composition when you learn to just eat well. That’s right, people who maintain a healthy body composition are never on a diet, they just have great nutrition habits. This group of people generally doesn’t think twice about cake at a party or how many calories they are eating when they are out for dinner. Their daily habits are so good that they have lots of wiggle room and can just relax and enjoy special occasions without worrying about how much they’re eating. Sounds great right? I’m not a nutritionist, and I will speak to you as someone who has worked hard to get off of diets.
Let’s start by going over some of the fads over the years:
started in the 60’s but became very popular in the 80’s, fat became the enemy. People and manufacturers did everything they could to avoid fat. Low fat was now written on everything from margarine to fruit juice to cereal to snacks. . The result of removing fat from products was that sugar consumption went way up. Although sugar provides us with energy it isn’t lasting. Another side effect was that caloric consumption also went up, and an excess of calories means our bodies store more fat. . Although this trend was marketed as saving society from increasing waistlines it was one of the biggest contributors.
This was the pendulum swing that came from the low fat diet. Living off carbs didn’t go so well, so why not eliminate them all together? I think everyone my age and older remembers when this diet rolled through in the early 2000’s. A whole bunch of our friends lost a whole bunch of weight really fast. Then they gained it all back plus a little extra a few months later. Why didn’t this one work? Well, it simply isn’t realistic or healthy to not eat carbs. Deprive your body for a few months and one day you just eat all the doughnuts because you can’t take it anymore. Also, this diet made people cranky and was really not helpful for active people who really needed carbs for fuel when they were using their bodies.
this diet was a medical protocol invented in the 1920-30s, to help epilepsy that is non-responsive to medical interventions. The keto diet was not designed for weight/fat loss, however rapid weight-loss was a side effect of its implementation. Similar to my comments above for the Atkins diet, this diet generally isn’t sustainable , we need carbs. Although there are a few health issues (prediabetic and hormonal issues) that this diet can help you with, it is unlikely to help you achieve and maintain your goal weight. Long term avoidance of carbs is not necessarily the best option for your health.
The quick fix diets:
Beachbody 21 day fix: you can’t fix anything in 21 days. This plan encourages whole foods, encourages extremely low caloric intake, and further perpetuates the idea of good vs bad food, which in the long run encourages disordered eating patterns. . The plan does not require, but strongly encourages the user to buy into their “mixology” shakes and bars which aren’t made of quality ingredients but are low in cals. They say you can lose up to 15 lbs in 3 weeks, which would not be recommended by most if not all health professionals. A healthy sustainable amount of weight loss would be up to 2lbs per week, anything more than this is guaranteed to come back quickly and with a vengeance.
Holy Moly. I don’t even know where to start with this MLM. 30 days to lose weight, they have “shake days” and “cleanse days”, shake days have you at 1100-1500 cals and cleanse days only allow a few hundred calories. These types of products rely on people not wanting to learn about their overall health and nutrition, instead they are offering an “easy out” to weight loss, that doesn’t take into consideration your overall health or well-being. Most of your calories come from their product line of shakes/bars/snacks and they encourage a fat burning supplement that will elevate your heart rate… There is so much to say here I could write a whole other blog post.
**A quick-fix diet will cause short-term weight loss, won’t teach you how to fuel your body, and will encourage metabolic adaptation (slowing of your metabolism) making it harder to maintain a healthy weight, enjoy all foods, and feel good in the long-term.. At the end of they day, you’ll be left more confused about what to eat, and frustrated.
It’s time to go back to basics. Aim to consume whole foods, lots of plants, multiple sources of healthy fats, and quality protein. When possible aim for foods that are minimally processed. At the end of the day balancing out your meals (3-5 of them per day) with fat, protein and carbohydrates will have you feeling your best.
- Balance your meals: each meal should include protein, fat and carbs – we need them all. Serving sizes: protein = 1-2 portions the size of the palm of your hand , a serving of fat is about equal to 1-2 thumb sized servings or 1-2tbps and a starchy carb is equal to about 1 clenched fist or a piece of toast, ½ cup of potatoes/rice/squash, 1 small apple or a banana. Fill up the rest of your plate and your tummy with veggies like peppers, kale, spinach, carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, peas, edamame, this list could go on for days.
- Keep it simple: try to focus on foods with minimal ingredients, items found in the produce aisles of the grocery store, canned and frozen fruits and veg, unmarinated proteins, plant based fats like nuts and seeds. . Examples: apple, chicken breast, lettuce, cashew… good food doesn’t have ingredients!
- Eat around your workouts. A little serving of starch filled carb 30-minutes before you exercise will fuel your workout. This can help you get STRONGER! Protein and carbs after a workout will replenish your fuel sources and help to repair muscle tissue.
- Listen to your body: if you’re hungry, you should eat.
- Make your snacking mindful. Look for the same components found in your bigger meals, just make it a smaller portion. Include a source of fat, protein and carb to make that snack more satisfying. Example: whole grain crackers, hummus, sliced pepper.
- Get support!! Learning how to eat properly after dieting for years is HARD!! Enlist the support of an expert to guide you through! (at LYB we have built in support systems for you! We also have a wonderful nutritionist Brittany aka The Healing Ginger who is amazing at helping you through!)