One of the things I get asked most often, well next to “How can I lose 20 pounds in a week?” is; “Should I start a diet and if so which one?” Well, my answer may surprise you.
Diets are definitely not something you can maintain long term, in my personal opinion. We’ve all been there, trying to stick to something and then end up at a party or have to travel and then we quickly fall off the wagon. This can create a downward spiral, leaving you to feel like why should I even try? When we don’t see the scale move, we tend to give up. However, if you want to live in a box filled with restraints, then absolutely, going on a strict diet is for you. If you’d like to live out your life in a healthy manor but yet get to enjoy drinks with friends, then joining the latest diet craze is probably not your best option.
However, and this is where my answer may shock you, I don’t think going on a diet is a bad thing all together. Most of us need guidelines when we get started on our weight loss journey. Following a diet plan can help a person achieve weight loss that they may not have achieved if they changed nothing or very little about their eating habits. What you put in your body isn’t as much of a concern as it is how much of it your are putting in your body. Is it okay to eat a cupcake at your son’s birthday party this weekend, absolutely! Even if you just started this week on your road to lose 20 pounds or whatever your goal may be. Should you eat three more once everyone leaves, probably not. But why it might be a good idea for you to pick a diet you think sounds good, is that it gives you a way to plan and work on a goal. It’s just like anything else you do in life. You wouldn’t just jump right into something you know nothing about. So why not research a diet plan you think sounds like something you can do and work at achieving it.
With all of that being said, I don’t think crash dieting or fad diets are what you should have in mind. Don’t make it your goal to lose 100 pounds by the weekend. Choose healthy dieting. Clean eating, and portion control, or meal prepping. Knowing what you’re going to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and even keeping a journal can keep you on track and help you to achieve maximum results. Give this a try for at least 12 weeks. You’re more likely to make lasting impressions if you stick with something longer than, lets just say 21 days ;).
Now, once you start seeing the weight fall off, you will realize that you made some great changes. Once you start making a conscious decision to eat better, it will eventually become part of your life. Just don’t get hung up in all of the small details. Losing weight is simple, it’s all about being in a caloric deficit. That’s it! Give yourself a guideline to follow, set a goal and go for it. I promise, if you work at it you will achieve it. Going at it blindly is what gets people discouraged. If you’re working out, you’ll only help yourself more by not making excuses for your diet.
What “diets” have you tried? What tricks worked best for you when you were starting your journey? Feel free to share in the comments, or ask us a question!
Here are some of my personal picks of ways to portion control and meal prep. This is the number one piece of advice I give all of my clients is to spend time prepping your food for the day or week. Don’t find yourself hitting the drive-thru 5 days a week because you didn’t go to work prepared!