I’ll be real with you right off the bat. With the amount of information on dieting and exercise programs, the blueprint to fat loss is available. There are online resources, podcasts, and, thanks to the wonderful folks at Amazon, we pretty much have every book available to us at our doorstep with one click.
The thing is, the struggle isn’t about finding the correct diet to follow. Any diet followed consistently will produce results. It’s the idea that a diet should be followed for the rest of your life that gets people into trouble. The thing that’s amazing about dieting is that it holds us accountable to a set of rules, and that makes it easy for us to follow. We don’t have to think; we just follow the rules of the diet.
The bad thing about dieting is that it doesn’t take into consideration the fact that our bodies adapt and change over time. As we evolve, we require a different set of eating habits.
Let’s look at a bodybuilder for example. Bodybuilders have some of the most disciplined diets to follow leading up to a show, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bodybuilder who diets 365 days a year.
Did I just take the fun out of dieting? Don’t get me wrong, I think dieting can be a good bridge to achieve our goals, but just know that the overall goal should be to find a way of eating that’s habit based. Simply make sure that you form your own set of nutrition-centric rules that you can sustain for the rest of your life.
That being said, here are some practical and realistic tips to execute your #goals regardless of what diet you follow:
- Understand that diets are short-term and eating habits are long-term. Following a strict Keto or Paleo diet? That’s cool. Just know that our body’s hormonal response and needs may require you to break the rules of your diet at any given time and that’s ok.
- Rather than focus on fat loss, focus on strength. Fat loss will occur as a result of strength gains. Muscle is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s an organ that allows us to use fat as fuel and is the most effective site for lowering blood sugar aka glucose disposal – all of which is important to fat loss.
- Being a little hungry is ok. A little bit of hunger allows your body’s metabolic pathways to reset. In other words, hunger allows our body to efficiently use the food we eat to nourish our body and fuel our workouts.
- Keep a water bottle close by. The benefits of water are endless, but let’s pick two. Water is important because it can alleviate hunger. Water also replaces high-calorie drinks if you’re prone to drinking bubble tea during your workouts.
- Value your sleep the same way you value training. There’s no amount of training or dieting you could do if recovery isn’t present. Aside from the hormonal processes that occur during sleep, cognitive health is improved with regular sleep and affects our decision-making process when it comes to the foods we choose to eat.