Dieting is a tricky beast and kind of like fashion (or underwear... changes everyday). There is usually a style of dieting that is “in”. Remember the Atkins Diet? Have you heard of the Keto diet or Herbalife? Many have tried it, some have succeeded, and many have failed. But why? How come some people can lose weight and others cannot seem to get the weight off? I cannot give you clear cut reasons as to why, but what I can do is help to offer insight and lead you down a path to better a solution than diet hopping.
Why they do not work:
1. Sustainability – A big reason by we see immediate results on a diet isn’t the diet itself. Yes, most all diets dictate what we can or cannot eat (for example, meal replacement shakes for Herbalife), but what they also do is bring general awareness to what we are consuming. Therefore, more times than not we will reach for a salad rather than a piece of cake (good carbs vs. fatty carbs). As the diet looms in the back of our mind, and we are restricted from foods we usually eat, the metal capacity to stay on course becomes challenging. If we fall off the bandwagon the binge is hard, and getting back on track it is mentally daunting. Bye, bye progress. As you can see, there is a huge psychological component attached.
2. Calories In vs. Calories Out – If the diets don’t work the easiest solution for weight loss is restricting calories. Logic tells us that if we burn off more than we eat then we should lose weight. If this were true, wouldn’t we all be skinny? So why doesn’t it work? I am glad you asked :). There are two reasons why:
1. Our bodies love fat more than muscle. With that said if we restrict our bodies of calories we will store everything we eat as fat and burn muscle for fuel. Our bodies will sacrifice everything to preserve and store more fat.
2. We have a set amount of calories our bodies need in order to function properly. This is called our Resting Metabolic Rate (key word: Resting; meaning even with no activity). My RMR is 2,800 calories per day. We can talk about how to find that number a different time. If we fail to reach this number consistently by, let’s say over 50% (this isn’t the magic number just random), our bodies have become so efficient at staying alive we slow our metabolic rate. This means we will burn less and less calories for energy and begin to store them as fat. For us we may feel lethargic, slow, moody, irritable, and overall awful. Our body compensates for the restricted calories.
View nutrition not as a diet but as a lifestyle. Also understand that any change is hard and there will be set backs and that’s okay; we are human. Having a beer every now and then or cookies isn’t the end of the world. When it becomes and issue is when that’s an everyday occurrence. At Packerland CrossFit we have three simple rules when figuring out nutrition and how it fits into our lifestyle:
1. Eat Real food – If it came from the ground, had eyes, or will perish on a shelf consider it eaten.
2. Mostly Plants – The most bang for your buck here. They are the most NUTRIENT DENSE food with the least amount of calories.
3. Not too Much – A good plate of food would be a palm size serving of meat, palm serving of a good carb (rice, starches, some fruit, etc.), thumbs size serving of fat (nuts, seeds, coconut oil, etc.), and the rest veggies. And no seconds to the best of our ability.
At the end of the day we only get one mind, body, and soul. Once nutrition becomes part of your everyday routine there doesn’t have to be struggle. Change is hard but we are here for support. #YourHealthMatters
A little food for thought,