There is SO MUCH conflicting information out there in the weight loss and fitness industry, its no wonder we are facing an obesity epidemic. Everybody has an opinion, everyone says something different, no carbs, low calorie, lots of carbs, raw foods, whole foods, low fat, high fat, high protein, IIFYM, paleo, primal.. What the heck? How are you ever supposed to sort through all this information and choose the right one for you?
Basically- I’m not about to put down any certain diets or lifestyles- EVERYONE has something that works for them, and I don’t believe any one diet is best for everyone. It is truly about CONSISTENCY. If you are truly consistent with whatever you choose, and truly make it a lifestyle change- you will see results. Some people thrive on certain diets that I would seriously lose my mind on, so you gotta find what works for you!
I’m going to outline some of my non-negotiable tips that will help you lose weight and not have you pulling your hair out from hunger or deprivation. I’m also going to shamelessly plug myself here and say if you want a personalized meal plan that takes into account your goals, lifestyle, and everything in between- come talk to me and I can design that specifically for you 🙂
1.) Learn to trust your hunger and fullness signals.
-If everyone ate simply when they were hungry, and stopped when they were satisfied- We’d all be lean, mean, machines. Your body does not naturally want to be overweight. Everyone has a “set point” (within 5-10lbs) weight that is their natural weight without any external forces (ie: diets). Your body is extremely smart. If you start gaining weight- your metabolism is going to kick it up a knotch and bring you back down to where it feels comfortable. If you start restricting and losing weight; guess what? Your body is going to make you extremely hungry and irritable and bring your metabolism to a grinding halt so that you start putting weight back on. (This is exactly why 95% of diets do not work and you put the weight back on.. plus more). Of course there are so many other factors that trigger you to eat. Some people eat because its simply mealtime. Some people like to eat some popcorn while watching a movie, ice-cream with out with friends, wine after a hard day, indulge in treats that they don’t get very often, or struggle with binge eating and emotional eating.
You might be completely surprised if you start listening to your hunger. Maybe you don’t need that dessert, or extra serving, or perhaps you aren’t really hungry right when you get up in the morning. Maybe you need to eat MORE especially if you are staring at the clock at 10am and waiting for lunchtime to hit so you can dig into that sandwich. Eat your sandwich now! Who made up these ridiculous rules? Stop listening to all those “rules” and start listening to your body. It knows whats best!
2.) Get your beauty sleep
Did you know that if you aren’t getting enough sleep there is a lovely little hormone called ghrelin that gets secreted and makes you hungry and craving carbs & sugar like you’ve never craved them before? Lack of sleep totally messes with your entire system and your hunger signals. Aim to get 7-8 hours a night of restful sleep to keep your metabolism running smoothly and having you kicking ass all day. (Not to mention all the other amazing things that happen while you sleep like building those muscles you tore down in your workout that day, or giving you glowing rested skin).
I am a personal trainer so obviously you knew I was going to go here… I don’t care WHAT you do to exercise- but you gotta do it! It will energize you, pump you full of those feel good chemicals, make you feel accomplished and strong, as well as burn fat, build lean muscle and keep your heart healthy for life. Find something you enjoy doing and DO IT! You don’t need to go crazy and attend 6 spin classes a week and lift weights and run marathons. You can do whatever works for you. Get your sweat on. Go for a walk, do some yoga, dance around, rock climb, swim, surf, attend Tara’s super fun bootcamp.. You get the drift.
4.) Eat real FOOD.
You’ve probably heard this many times for good reason. Nobody ever got fat eating plain old protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds etc. It’s pretty much impossible. FILL your shopping cart with everything on the perimeter of the store. Tons of veggies, delicious fruit, meat, eggs, nuts.. Don’t venture down those aisles where you only find processed crap full of sugar and void of any nutrients.
5.) DRINK WATER
I feel like this is cliche to say and everyone knows they are supposed to drink water, but its SO IMPORTANT. Even slight dehydration makes you tired, hungrier, slows down your brain from focusing, and impairs your workouts. Get a water bottle. Carry it constantly. Drink it all the time. You will be peeing 10+ times a day (my friends hate me on road-trips)… but you will feel so much better I promise!
6.) Make in enjoyable.
This is so important. Nobody is going to be able to maintain a deprivation diet forever. You aren’t having fun. You can’t go out with your friends, you can’t stand to eat another plain chicken breast and broccoli and if you have to you might just go CRAZY. I’ve been there. I used to force myself to follow ridiculous diets and I never wanted to leave the house for fear of eating something that wasn’t “allowed”. Instead, experiment with healthy recipes! Try out new vegetables, think of all the delicious things you CAN eat that make you feel energized and healthy. Find things you LOVE to eat. You should make each meal a healthy experience that you really enjoy. Its totally possible to enjoy eating healthy and once you find those foods that you love AND you don’t feel lethargic and bloated after eating them? You want to eat them ALL THE TIME.
Start following these simple tips and I guarantee you’ll be feeling healthier and happier in no time!