We live in a world where weight loss is big money, a new type of diet seems to pop up every month claiming to be the be-all-and-end-all of weight loss. Contradicting studies are pumped out to support these flimsy claims and suddenly everyone’s on a ridiculously complicated diet plan that makes eating out near impossible. But in reality your body isn’t as complex as these marketers would like you to think.
There is only one proven method to sustained weight loss, and that is eat less, move more. If you want to lose weight you need to eat less than you body requires. Sounds simple, because in theory it is, the hard part is doing this every single day for an extended period of time. That’s why people fail, not because of what you eat, but because exercising will power is hard. Trust me I know!
Stop Labeling Food!
There is no such thing as good and bad foods, the labeling is all in your brain. Your body doesn’t know what a cupcake is, it simply knows it’s mostly carbohydrates and fats and deals with it accordingly. By giving food power such as good and bad your creating an unhealthy relationship with food, the guilt comes in and the shame and that’s not healthy.
Denying yourself certain foods for an extended period of time never works. The more rules you have the more pressure you’re putting on yourself, the harder it is to “keep on the diet” and before you know it you’re right back where you started. The discipline to lose weight is hard enough without you making it harder on yourself by putting in limitations around what you can and can’t eat. So relax, you can lose weight eating whatever you want! I promise!
Science vs Marketing Spin
A lot of popular diets such as Paleo and Ketogenic work because by cutting out food groups you’re eating less calories and therefore losing weight. Popular diets aren’t about real science, they’re about marketing. A lot of people are getting very, very rich off selling you diet plans, protein powders, supplements and food products to prop up these diets. Cutting out whole food groups is unsustainable long term, and many people give up which is perfectly normal. We aren’t meant to exclude entire food groups and we don’t need to. Please do yourself a favour right now and stop fad dieting!
How Does It Work?
There is no trick, weight loss is very simply calories in vs calories out. It’s been proven time and time again by hundreds of thousands of people including myself. The best part is it doesn’t matter what you eat, it only matters that you eat under the calorie allowance every day. I use the free website My Fitness Pal to calculate how many calories and I need and track what I eat.
You enter in your height, weight, age, activity level and ideal weight and it’ll give you a calorie allocation. Mine is around 1,400 a day as I have sit at a desk all day and I’m short! I’m aiming to lose around 4-5kg but it will more likely end up at 3-4kg because I’m going for a look rather than a specific target weight. I also exercise 4-5 days a week, a mix of weights and cardio and usually eat some of those calories back.
I sort of stick to a routine, this is because it’s easy for me not because I have to. If it fits into my day I eat it, and sometimes that means I have McDonalds for lunch as a treat. The key to weight loss is not what you eat but how much you eat. It is that simple.
The Number One Mistake People Make
This sounds fantastic but remember that not all food is created equal. For example, a Big Mac, medium fries, medium coke and a hot fudge sundae is 1,460 calories (based on McDonalds NZ menu). That’s one day of food for me in one meal! I could eat that and still lose weight, but that’s all I could eat all day. Do you think that will keep me full? Not a chance.
Many people concentrate on what’s in fast food, such as the fat or the carbs are bad for you. As I mentioned before your body has no idea what the food is, it doesn’t label it good or bad.
If you choose high processed foods then you will struggle to lose weight because generally they contain more calories. However it doesn’t have to be difficult, follow me on My Fitness Pal to see my food diary and you’ll see I eat a huge variety of food!
To get you started here’s a list of snack ideas.
Treats can either be worked into your calorie intake OR it can simple be an occasional extra. It’s ok to have a day each week where you go slightly over, it wouldn’t effect your weight loss long term and it means you can keep sane because you don’t deprive yourself. I personally try to work in treats into my day intake if I can but also I do have days where I completely blow out because I have something on and that’s fine!
If you are ready to get started losing weight whilst NOT restricting yourself, then check out My Fitness Pal and download my free snack ideas list! I’ll be doing a lot more on nutrition, fitness and diet in upcoming posts so make sure you check back regularly for more info!
Disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer or a nutritionist. This information is not intended to replace the advice of a professional.