I’ll tell you a secret. People who know how to fuel their bodies… NEVER DIET. They just eat real food, in appropriate quantities 90% of the time. The world has made eating right SO COMPLICATED, but I promise, it’s really simple.
I see it all the time in the gym. Wonderful client (all our clients are wonderful!), struggling hard with their weight. Unhappy with how their body feels because it used to be different. Pushing hard in the gym and not seeing the results they want to see. Getting injured over and over again and not sure why. These clients are often perfectionists who give 500% to everything they do.
I LOVE to support these people (usually women). When I start to learn about what they are currently doing so that we can figure out what isn’t working I usually hear something along the lines of: “my eating window is between 12 and 6, I stick to KETO and I stay under 1200 cals per day, and I don’t know why I’m not losing weight”. Well…. That right there is why you are struggling with your weight!
We should absolutely let our digestive system rest, your “eating window” should be 10-12 hours. Forcing your body to go without food slows down your metabolism, and tells your body to store fat to survive periods of starvation.
KETO was developed to help people with epilepsy and as a “diet” has really only been studied amongst obese men… it’s not the best thing for the rest of us. The part of KETO that is helpful for weight loss is the removal of unnecessary carbs. ****Please note, we need carbs, they are good for us, but avoiding crappy carbs most of the time can really help with finding a healthy body weight.
1200 cals per day…. Whoever decided that calories are bad is crazy. Calories are literally necessary to be alive. They aren’t bad, we need them, we won’t survive without them. If you are trying to loose weight and you are exercising, the MINIMUM your should be eating is 1600-1800 cals per day (see my notes on tiny eating windows, starving yourself isn’t good for you!).
Besides the fact that these 3 eating habits aren’t good for you, the worst part is: EATING LIKE THIS ISN’T SUSTAINABLE. Usually what happens is you see “results” for the first few weeks/months of making this massive change, then the change slows or stops – Everytime you take a tiny break from this strict eating regimen you gain weight immediately. This is usually followed by feeling terrible about yourself for “getting off track” or “giving in to cravings” but eventually you just get burnt out from the effort and HUNGRY and you eat the entire contents of your pantry in the evenings/weekends. Does this sound familiar?
If you starve yourself, you will eventually break down and eat, and you likely won’t be making healthy choices… no carbs for last 3 weeks – eat the tub of ice cream!! So let’s just make it a little easier on ourselves…
Before I give you some advice on how to feed your body, can I tell you that I have done all of these things, I’ve lived on 1200 cals/day, I have gone YEARS without carbs, I have waited until 2pm to start eating, you name the diet trend and I have tried it over the years. It is EXHAUSTING, it’s full of ALL OR NOTHING and STARTING AGAIN ON MONDAY and feeling horrible about yourself for eating something you “shouldn’t”. I understand how you are feeling, I also understand how scary the thought of eating normally can be….
Ok here are the basics:
- Eat something with protein and carbs for breakfast (I usually have a protein shake that I can take with me because I am a little too busy in the mornings to sit down and eat) ideally I have a couple eggs as well.
- Eat something with protein and carbs for lunch (I pack my lunch for the next day when i am putting away dinner the night before)
- Eat something with protein and carbs for dinner (are you seeing a pattern…?)
- If you are hungry between meals eat food rather than snacks: you guessed it – carbs and protein.
- Drink lots of water and eat lots of veggies and fruits.
- If you are trying to lose weight it’s ok to be conscious of your carb intake, use a measuring cup to serve your carbs at each meal; eat ½ to ⅔ cup of carbs 2-3x/day (examples of healthy carbs: fruit, starchy veg, rice, quinoa, etc)
- At least 2 meals per week enjoy a treat or special meal, savour your favourite treats with regular frequency to avoid doing all or nothing
- Try to make your food from simple/natural ingredients most of the time
- If you exercise hard – eat a little more food!
I know going back to eating real food seems super scary, but wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to relax and eat? If you would like some support on this reach out!