You’re not crazy. There is too much contradictory information out there. And as you will hear me say over and over again, that’s on purpose.
Simple is hard to sell because simple seems easy. So if I am hoping to make money “helping” people then it is smart for me to make things seem complicated so you will be convinced you NEED my help.
But at the foundation of everything that actually works to help you live a healthier life in a body you can be proud of are a few basic principles. And this is true of any fad diet you have ever had marketed to you.
There’s a (few) memes out there that list fad diets and then shares why each work (SPOILER: it’s the same reason). If I can find it I will post the image below.
Track Your Daily Food Intake
Starting with a tough one for most of us.
Yes, you need to track what and how much you are eating from time to time so you know you have an accurate representation of where you are starting from.
The good news is, simply increasing awareness from where you are currently at is often enough to spark change.
Whether it is because they are eating too little (yes, eating in a deficit is the only path to losing weight), or they are not aware of how much they are actually consuming, these well intended people are consuming more than they need at some point in their week.
Eating 1,000 calories on Monday & Tuesday (well below what even a small woman needs in a day) certainly puts you in a deficit. But then eating 5,000 calories on your Saturday because you are “relaxing” works quickly to erase that deficit and even put you back in a surplus. That means weight gain no matter how much you are fasting at the start of your week.
And there are great free tools available to help us do this easily. The number one app (doesn’t mean the best) that is a great starting point is MyFitnessPal which you are able to find in your Apple App Store and your Android App Store.
Pay attention to your food all week. Far too many people make a tremendous genuine effort to eat well at the start of their week and they succeed. And yet they do not see results when they step on the scale or look in the mirror.
Track your foods for a week at a time and use it as a reference. I do not think we are meant to track daily for months at a time unless we are trying to go on stage nearly naked. There are definitely mental health concerns when people track for too long and become married to the numbers on the screen.
But there is a huge difference between becoming obsessive about your numbers and simply being aware of how much you usually eat in a week. Become more aware.
Protein is the “Most” Useful Macronutrient (to pay attention to)
Protein is used to build and repair tissue through out the body
Protein is never stored for future use i.e body fat
But protein rarely exists without other macronutrients so you must be careful you are not over consuming your dietary fat, for example. Getting 100g of protein from beef is great until you also picked up 80g of fat and you are not done with your day.
High protein diets protect muscle when we are aiming to lose weight. That means when the fat comes off you still have something to show off and you don’t just look like a bag of bones.
Aim for .8 grams of Protein per pound of body weight.
Try to get 2/3 of your daily protein goal from real food then protein shakes can be used to close the remaining gap. Nothing wrong with that.
Finally, plant protein is great. Yes, I lean toward favoring creature protein, and a daily diet that includes plant and creature protein is ideal, but don’t shy away from plant protein. It often allows for protein consumption without over-consuming dietary fats.
Eat a Fruit & a Vegetable Each Day
The last Foundational Principle is to get back on eating fruits and vegetables.
Here’s the good news, a little bit goes a long way. So find what you like and begin working it in.
Fruits and Vegetables provide us with the micronutrients that keep us happy and healthy. Natures multivitamin.
And these food choices provide us fiber, which is one of the few things we have been well educated on in nutrition. Fiber makes your life in and out of the bathroom better.
Eat (at least, but start with) 1 vegetable and 1 piece of fruit each day.
Focus on real vegetables. If it seems too good to be true (potatoes, squashes, etc.) then it’s not what we are talking about. Green leafy vegetables are so powerful for us so those are always a great choice.
Favorite fruits for health include the A, B, Cs: Apples, bananas, berries, and cherries (real ones).
But no matter how simple the nutrition principles that lead to us feeling and looking the best we can are, our actual lives tend to be what makes implementing them and staying consistent hard. And that is why having a coach walking alongside of you can still be a great investment.
Our 30 Day Kickstart gives you 5 weeks of focus points, new challenges, and new information to help you shape your choices going forward. And people tend to lean out quite a bit. Win win.
And we always have our more intensive 1on1 Lifestyle & Nutrition Coaching if you really enjoy following a program specifically crafted for your unique goals.
If you are interested in learning more about any of this, I would love to sit down with you. Schedule a time to chat below.