January is coming to a close and everyone has had one solid month of working on their New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve already discussed my view on resolutions here, but to reiterate my main point – you don’t have to wait for the first of the year to make big goals! You can start any time you want – it doesn’t even have to be a Monday. In light of having 11 months left in the year, I wanted to talk about the BEST diet for weight loss, just in case you tried something different last month.
Are you making 2017 your year? How many years have you spent resolving to lose weight, only to eventually give up and try again the next year? That’s one more reason why I don’t love resolutions.
But let’s talk about why some of us set resolutions to lose weight. Some do it because they’ve spent an entire year (or years) feeling awful without any energy. Others have a moment of clarity and realize that they are worth spending time and effort on themselves. Some are trying to escape medical conditions. I think it’s safe to say that most are just sick and tired of being sick and tired. Ringing any bells here??
So what do we do when we resolve to lose weight? Probably Google the best diet for weight loss. Right? Then choose the easiest sounding diet, buy the products (because every diet has certain products you need to buy – Atkins bars, SlimFast shakes, etc., etc., etc.) cross your fingers, and give it a go.
So, how’s it going one month later? If you’re still hanging on then good for you. But what if following a diet isn’t the best way to lose weight? Let’s look at some of the popular choices out there.
- Slim Fast
- Atkins Diet
- Jenny Craig
Low Glycemic Index, Ketogenic diet, gluten-free diet, Whole 30, Juicing, I could go on for D-A-Y-S about all of them out there. If you follow any one of these diets will you lose weight? There’s a high probability that you will.
But here’s the catch. Not one of these diets mentioned is sustainable. You aren’t going to be able to keep them up for very long, most not even for two months. And what happens after that? Any amount of weight that you did lose is knocking on your door again and you’re back to square one. Hang it up for this year and try again next January 1st.
But what’s even worse than you not reaching your goals is the damage that you’re doing to your metabolism by following these diets. When you’re done with your diet, your body will be in a worse metabolic state than when you started. Not exactly what you had in mind when you made those resolutions.
By following a low calorie diet – which is pretty much all of the diets mentioned above, your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs. Drastically reducing your calories will send your body into starvation mode, significantly lowering your metabolism. This makes is much harder to lose any weight at all. If you do manage to lose some though, your metabolism can remain slowed even after you stop dieting, making it that much easier to gain the weight back.
You are hoping that by not eating enough your body feeds off of your fat stores. But it doesn’t. When your body enters into starvation mode, it preserves your fat. Lean body mass, AKA muscle, is broken down which is what you see reflected as the down trending numbers on your scale. Muscle mass fuels your metabolism, so any loss of muscle results in an even slower metabolism.
What IS the best diet?
The best diet is to NOT diet. Learn how to fuel your body the right way so that you can make choices for the rest of your life that will propel you in the direction that you choose. Learn how to feel good! We only get one body, after all.
You are worth investing in. Why not take the money you would be spending on buying chemical laden products from these “diet” companies and invest it in teaching yourself valuable information about nutrition?
The internet is a great wealth of information but it can also be a bit too wealthy. It’s so, so easy to find misinformation in the world of nutrition. Everyone wants to sell you a miracle product. You can still find reputable sources though and learn all you can. Find solutions that are suitable to you that you can choose to continue for the rest of your life.
You can also chose to work with a nutrition professional in your area. There are registered dietitians everywhere! Plus, there are many that offer online coaching, so they’re only a Skype away. Before you go crazy googling though, let me just clear up the difference between a “nutritionist” and a registered dietitian.
A registered dietitian has completed a Bachelors of Science in nutrition, an internship, and passed an RD Exam. In addition to that, they are required to do continuing education on an ongoing basis. The information that they provide is research and science based. Additionally, dietitians are trained to work with you on other issues you might be facing, such as emotional eating or difficulty preparing meals.
A nutritionist, on the other hand, could be anyone. In most states, you – the person reading this right now – could decide to call yourself a nutritionist today. And no one could stop you. Are there good nutritionists out there? Probably. But please, please beware!
Working with a dietitian should not be a forever thing. The goal is for you to learn how to overcome whatever it is that’s blocking you from reaching your goals. Whether that’s what to eat, how to cook, how to meal prep, or how to stop eating. Find someone who you really click with and who can teach you how to get past these blocks. You’ll learn much better and faster with someone you like and you might actually enjoy the process!
There is no competition, I want everyone in the world to be healthy and to feel good about themselves. That means getting off of the New Year’s merry-go-round and really making a decision to grow in a new direction.
If you are interested in working with a registered dietitian, check out this information of nutrition coaching. Please contact me for information and we can see if we might be a good fit for each other.