This may or may not turn into a rant. I’m freewriting here.. lots of run-ons ahead I’m sure – deal with it. I’m trying to get through to YOU, not necessarily going for a writing award! I apologize in advance.
This eating better thing is a MUTHA right?? I mean, everywhere you turn is a tidbit of advice, opinion, suggestion, and discovery that contradicts the last thing you heard. One of my favorite nutrition professionals (Dr. Layne Norton) states it best when he says something to the effect of “according to Netflix documentaries and the internet, we’re not safe eating ANYTHING anymore. Can’t eat Carbs, cant eat fats, cant eat proteins.” Pretty much the feeling of it all summed up right there. Eating has a major purpose in our body’s function. Somewhere between “food industrialization” “foodie competition” and “Instagram likes” we’ve hijacked its purpose and completely ruined our health in the process. I’m not here to preach a certain lifestyle or persuade you to follow a specific “diet.” I would really like to simplify the idea of nutrition and “dieting (I hate that word)” to you all without the scientific terms and long words.
The simple of it:
What you eat toward the daily function of your body should be a set combination of PROTEIN, CARBS, and FATS according to your personal specific needs (determined by your height, weight, goals ). You NEED ALL 3. For the sake of weight loss and the current trends, I’m gonna focus a little on CARBS and FATS here. I feel bad for carbs. Society hates them but we cant get enough of them. Carbs are important for immediate and balanced energy. You have some vital organs in your body that are assigned the role of breaking those bad boys down. Unless you have a medical condition that states that one of those organs is malfunctioning or shut down, it is not the best idea to be cutting those carbs out of your diet drastically for the sake of losing weight. This will have long term effects on your metabolism. It is however in your best interest to learn the measurement of carbs you should be taking in daily – this allows certain levels in your body including the ones that effect your moods to be operating at an efficient and healthy rate. I get it, You saw a friend cut carbs out of their diet and they magically started shedding lbs. Seems like a good idea right? Its not the lack of carbs that is making them lose the weight. It’s the sudden amount of calories NOT being brought in from that source of foods. Cutting out the Carbs wasn’t the answer - It’s the sudden decrease in calories. What you don’t take note of is the amount of weight brought back in by your friend when they went back to eating similar to old self. Eventually over time the absence of a healthy intake of calories is going to slow your metabolism down (UNDEREATING). When old habits return after you’ve lost your weight and you begin to “treat yourself” for following a diet, you naturally and immediately increase the amount of calories you’re bringing in and weight gain returns harder because of the condition you left your metabolism in. Your insulin response is off. Hormones are off. But you lost weight doing that practice, so there you go again cutting those carbs super low to lose the weight again. You do this cycle enough over the years and your metabolism takes such a hit that some serious health problems arise (eg. insulin response, thyroid issues, hormonal imbalance) Same goes for Fats. You’ll hear that a low fat or non fat diet is a good way to lose fat. First off, detach the idea of “FATs makes me FAT.” No!! Foods fried in fats in an unhealthy daily overconsumption of calories makes you fat. Fats are also as vital for energy as carbs. When you learn the daily intake of FATS you should be taking in, they will never be a contributor to weight gain. They will however contribute to healthy energy for your body’s daily function as well as hormonal regulation. Your body has vital organs that have a role to play in breaking down FATS. Unless you have a medical condition that states that one of those organs is malfunctioning or shut down, it is not the best idea to be cutting fats out of your diet. YOU NEED BOTH CARBS AND FATS in healthy balance and consitency. There’s a price to pay when severely cutting out either one from your diet. Again, (assuming there isn’t a specific medical condition you have requiring it) you wont be cutting either fats or carbs from your diet FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE so why suffocate the components of your body that need those nutrients to operate efficiently for the sake of “shocking your metabolism” or losing weight.
The magic diet:
It doesn’t exist. Every diet out there is the end all be all best way to eat (according to it’s practitioners) KETO is the BEST… no no no.. Paleo is the best… no no no.. PLANT BASED is the best… no no no.. ATKINS por vida!!!!! On the surface they all work!! WHY?? Because all of a sudden you drastically changed up some bad habits and are putting all your chips in toward attempting this diet in hopes of it working which in the process creates an accountability and a caloric deficit you didn’t have before. And then you celebrate and slowly start to go back to old ways and you go eat at this place you saw on Instagram and you post pics of the food and the drinks - before you know it there came the weight again. In the meantime this other newly discovered trend kicks in and so you give that a go, and the next trend a go, and the one after... The problem with these “diets” is we use them as a short term fix or stab at weight loss and then we deviate away from them. We become unmotivated again – we resent them because of the restriction - we overwhelm ourselves because of the boring repetition psychologically. The trick is to develop the understanding of balanced eating. The understanding in the importance of saying NO to cravings and over indulgence more. A social outing does not require you to consume every indulgence within reach. (when you realize how much 2 chabelas can catapult you 1000 calories over instantly when you had a “good day” nutritionally, it’s a sad realization) Learn to moderate. Learn to know that if you have goals, certain items won’t be contributing to your progress. Moderation and the understanding of caloric intake is your biggest asset. It is still possible to gain weight while practicing KETO, Paleo, ATKINS, and yes, even Vegan/plant based – the diet isn’t the fix – your daily calorie intake and your awareness of it in regards to your body’s needs is the fix. When you understand the caloric value to foods and how fast those numbers can add up in the blink of an eye, you got some power on your side. At that point you can still eat with purpose and enjoy some kinda social life.
It is important to understand this: “diets” are temporary, lifestyles are long term. If you develop an understanding of food and an understanding of how fast you can overeat or overconsume your calories; you therein develop the awareness you need to succeed. The next part is the decision making because you now know better. We all have an inner voice that we override when we know what we’re eating probably won’t be contributing to our hopes of losing weight. We gotta gain or regain the power of that inner voice and understand that initially when switching to a healthier nutritional lifestyle, that voice doesn’t have our best interest at heart – it only knows it needs to fulfill craving you’ve programmed it to demand. IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO CHANGE YOUR WAYS. Weight gain, no matter how much you’ve gained over time, is not irreversible. There are TONS of success stories left and right with people that have had TREMENDOUS results by changing their ways and not letting the OLD SELF give in to the cravings that led them astray every time they sought weight loss in the past. The path to a healthier self is never ending. It’s a lifestyle that requires you to always understand that the decisions you make when it comes to what you eat and drink result in a step in the better direction or a step further from progress. Stop setting yourself up for short term success followed by failure bouncing from diet to diet to diet and unhealthy binging. Make long term changes. Make a pledge to yourself to learn moderation, restrain when necessary, and power OVER cravings.
We live in a time where so many curated facts are compiled to make you believe that this or that is the best for you and it usually involves TONS of restriction rather than moderation. Listen. If you find an accountability in extreme restriction or drastic diets to catapult you into weight loss, I ain’t mad atcha. But understand this. At some point you’ll be bringing those things back into your diet and there will be a trade-off or a price to pay if you haven’t overcome the control over the craving. I want for those reading this to develop a healthy relationship with more proper foods here, some moderate indulgences there (assuming they fit your calories), less gimmick riding and more balance. Understand that the friend that just posted that insane bomb looking plate does not have the same goals as you or the same caloric needs as you for that matter! Add to all of that some consistent “GET OFF YOUR A**” therapy and become active in some way shape or form and the weight will come off, it’ll stay off.. you’ll be sane.. you wont fear carbs or fats or proteins..
and stay away from fat-burners and the likes of magic supplements! LEARN ABOUT FOOD.
Don’t be a square, be aware!