The real reason many people struggle to lose and then maintain their weight loss is because they’ve been taught to do a bunch of diets that don’t work for them and that don’t address the underlying reasons for their inability to achieve lasting weight loss success.
There are many books written on various approaches to weight loss. There are apps and programs you can join. I know you’ve already tried a lot of those, and that hasn’t worked for you. That doesn’t mean those books, programs, and apps don’t work at all for weight loss for anyone, it just means that YOU for a variety of reasons haven’t been able to find weight loss success using those approaches. There are two key reasons why:
- The diet itself didn’t work for you. You didn’t like the food options, it was too restrictive…
- The weight loss program you chose to follow did not address or give you the tools to successfully manage your cravings and emotional eating, which ultimately led you to abandon the diet/fall off the wagon.
If you want to succeed at weight loss, you will need to change numerous aspects of your eating habits and relationship with food. The diet you choose to follow to lose weight does not necessarily need to be the one you stick with long term. Many weight loss diets are more restrictive at the beginning and then expand food options as weight loss progresses. But no diet will work for you if you keep running to pizza every time you’re stressed. No diet will work for you if your strategy to deal with rejection and boredom is an afternoon of snacking.
The purpose of this blog post is to help you find a diet that will work for you, addressing issue #1 above. I work with my clients on all their unique issues related to weight loss, and we come up with a sustainable plan to address them. You can learn more about working with me, and get a free week of weight loss coaching if you’re a new client by clicking here.
The first place to start is your doctor or medical care team. They can advise you on dietary specifics related to health conditions you may have.
Next, make sure the diet you want to follow is grounded in real whole food. If it relies on bars, shakes, and other prepared/processed foods, I suggest you look for a different diet. A great place is your bookstore or library. Take some time to flip through a few books in the diet section. Look for a book written by an MD or other qualified pHD.
All weight loss diets are going to restrict your eating is various ways including food options, quantities, and frequency of eating. Remember, the way you choose to eat to lose weight does not need to be the way you eat long term. The very low carb Atkins Induction, for example, is only meant to be followed for 2 weeks.
What kind of restriction will work for YOU? If you can comfortably give up higher carb healthy foods for awhile including fruit and beans, you might look at a lower carb program. If you’d rather skip the cheese and oil in order to eat to satiation of healthy plant foods like sweet potatoes and bananas, consider a whole food plant based diet. If instead of limiting entire categories of healthy food choices you’d rather focus more on limiting quantity, you might find the app iTrackBites helpful. Note: I personally use this app even in maintenance!
Know that most successful diets have two things in common:
- The elimination of processed, refined carbs and added sugar.
- A focus on non starchy veggies.
If the thought of following a named diet is too overwhelming for you, start by following those above 2 principles and keep the focus on real whole food. A great place to start with your diet is cutting out all refined junk food including sugary cereals, bread (Ezekiel bread is a great one to try however!), chips, crackers, cookies, juice, soda, sauces, all foods with added sugar…Instead, choose nuts/seeds, non starchy veggies, fruit, whole grains, lean protein like boneless skinless chicken breast, wild salmon, non fat plain Greek yogurt, beans/lentils, and starches such as squash and sweet potatoes.
Consider the diet you choose as your starting point. As you progress with your weight loss each week, you can begin to make changes and tweaks based on your personal experience.
Now that you’ve chosen your diet, you’ve got to put in the work and follow it. It is here that many people struggle for varied reasons. Try the diet for a week or two and see how you do. Pay attention especially to your energy levels and cravings. You can always decide to switch to a different diet. If keto is leaving you exhausted and all you want is an apple, there are many other weight loss diets you can try! Don’t give up or lose hope, you CAN do this and it is worth it.