Losing weight is hard enough, to make matters worse there is a plethora of misinformation available thanks to the internet and typical journalism designed to grab your attention.
The reality is that effective dieting relies on 3 basic nutritional principles that can’t and won’t change unless we have some sudden drastic genetic mutation.
#1: Energy In vs. Energy Out
Everything can be measured as energy including the food we eat and the workout you plan on doing later today. As much as people want to believe you can eat what you want and lose weight it’s mostly untrue.
Weight gain is simply eating more than you are burning through exercise, normal daily activities or the basic calorie we need just to function. To lose weight you need to tip the balance by either increasing how much you put in or how much you put out. Better still – do both!
Our bodies don’t make fat out of nothing so the inconvenient truth is that if you are gaining weight you are eating more calories than you need to. If you’re stuck at a certain weight and can’t move up or down you need to eat less or exercise more. Simple as that.
If you don’t believe me, record everything you eat for a week without lying or omitting anything. The numbers won’t lie.
#2: No Two Macronutrients Are The Same
There are 3 main food groups – carbohydrates, proteins, and fats – and we need them all. You can’t get by on a diet that consists of only one or two. Despite what all the fad diets are telling you, remember this, they’re trying to sell a product.
Most people tend overeat carbs and undereat protein, even those who “eat healthy”. Vegetables, fruit, and other traditionally healthy choices are great but you need to incorporate a source of protein like meat, fish, eggs, or dairy. Not only is protein important for growth and repair (like after a workout) but it also leaves you feeling fuller for longer after meals.
Fat is also extremely misunderstood and a major reason for this issue is in it’s name – FAT. Nobody wants to eat fat because they think it’ll make them fat. But we need fat for brain function, hormone production, and as a steady source of energy throughout the day (rather than the high/crash of sugar).
#3: It’s all about timing
Eating all the right foods in the correct amounts won’t work if you are forgetting to eat all day and scoffing it all in at 10pm before you go to sleep. You need to be eat well portioned meals regularly throughout the day. To be more specific, you should be eating every 2-3 hours. That’s right, you should be eating 5-6 times a day, not just breakfast, lunch and dinner. I prefer to not give each siting a special name – it’s just 8am meal, 10:30am meal, 1pm meal, etc.
You should be eating often so as to not take yourself into starvation mode aka ‘Eat Everything mode’. This quickly leads to hormones being released that tell your body to store it all up as FAT.
And don’t even think about skipping breakfast, you have just starved yourself for 8 hours while you sleep, YOU NEED FOOD!
Stop blaming genetics, you are either eating too much or not eating enough.
Have balanced meals that include a source of protein and fat to go with your 5 cups of brocolli.
Get used to eating often; it doesn’t have to be 5 course meals but you need to eat to fuel your body.
Also, drink more water because you know you should.