How To Eat For Fat Loss – The Right Way
With lockdown restrictions starting to ease we’ve seen an increase in people contacting us for help with losing weight ready for the summer. Our starting conversation with new clients is always around what their current diet is like, what their dieting history is, and what they understand about some of the changes that they may need to make to achieve their goal.
There are many ways to lose weight – you’ve probably tried a variety of diets yourself – most like the ones that either have heavy marketing budgets behind them or come with a celebrity endorsement. And whilst all diets will get results, the common thing we see with our clients who have tried low carb, low fat, slimming world, weight watchers, the Cambridge diet, 5/2, detox, juicing or any of the popularized diets, is that they either hit a plateau and can’t get any further with their weight loss, or that they have gained the weight back over time – sometimes even more than they lost.
There are generally a few reasons for this:
- The diet is unsustainable for them. What I mean by this is that it is a way of eating that they can only do for a short period of time. It’s not something that they would be willing to do forever.
This could be that their calories are too low, or they have restricted their diet too much – taken whole food groups, or specific foods out of their diet because they believe it is those foods that make them gain weight.
- They don’t enjoy how or what they are eating. The best diets are ones that don’t feel like diets – ones that contain all the foods that you enjoy. When you try and eat a diet that you don’t enjoy it’s unlikely that you will stick to it for any period of time – and when you do stop, you’re likely to go back to how you were eating, and may even have a little blow out to “treat” yourself.
- The diet doesn’t teach them why they are losing weight. Most clients that have lost weight on a low carb/keto diet believe that it is cutting out the carbs that have made them lose the weight. In reality it is the calories that they have taken out from not eating the carbs. You could also lose weight cutting out fatty foods, processed foods, or just eating all the food you like, but in the right calories for your needs. Whilst this is not necessarily the problem it often leads to bad food associations and it is not unusual for people to tell me that they can’t eat carbs or they instantly gain weight, which is never the case. This sets them up for long term yo-yo dieting, or more often a binge restrict cycle of eating.
- They believe there are “free foods” or “good foods”. There are no free foods and no food is good or bad. All foods contain calories, some are more nutrient dense than others. If you eat more calories than you need you will gain weight, whether that is broccoli, pasta, potato, meat, fruit or cake. Diets that are set up in such a way nearly always lead to a plateau being hit and people believing they can’t lose weight, no matter how “good” they are.
A better way is to understand how much food/how many calories you need to lose weight/body fat for your activities levels, weight and muscle mass. Take some time to learn how to make adjustments to what you currently eat so that you stay full and stay within the calories that you need to be eating. And start the day with a balanced meal that contains protein, carbs and fats so that your blood sugar levels stay stable and your appetite is controlled through the day. Our clients regularly eat pizza and burgers, all of them eat snacks, they all eat a proper breakfast, and those that want to still drink alcohol. They all say that it doesn’t feel like they are on a diet.
If any of the points I’ve made resonate with you, why not book in with one of our coaches and let them set you up with a diet that will get results that you can keep. We will structure your plan on your likes, dislikes, lifestyle, budget and whether you need your meals to fit with families or not. Dieting doesn’t need to be hard or miserable – you just need to approach it right.