Tried everything? Still can’t shift those pounds? Diet is more important to losing weight than exercise, and it really does boil down to which diet is right for you as an individual.
So, how do I finally lose weight?
While it shouldn’t replace regular exercise, there is no doubt that what you eat plays the primary role in your body composition. Don’t believe us? Head into a McDonalds and take a look at who’s buying up all the Big Macs – case closed.
Everyone is different, and the diet that works well for your friend or family member may not be the one for you. It may be discouraging seeing someone else get the results you want, even though you’re doing everything right.
There is no universally perfect diet, and the old mentality of “eat less, move more” is a super basic way of looking at things. Genetics and other health factors come into play here, so if you have your heart set on some weight loss results then you need to add a little variety and experimentation into your meals. So why not change it up, and dedicate a few months to each of our suggestions to see where you get results?
Cutting calories is that simple equation where what you put in, minus what you use, equals either a positive or negative number of calories – so not a new idea in the slightest. That being said, it does work wonders for some people!
The thing to understand is that not all calories are made equal. 100 calories of raw sugar is very different from 100 calories of fish. The trick here is to do away with the food that has lots of fast burning empty calories like chocolates and candy, and instead replace them with things that will make you feel fuller for longer like lean meat and green vegetables.
Reducing sugar and other simple carbohydrate intake is a way to reduce insulin levels in your blood. This hormone regulates your blood sugar, yes, but it also creates more fat cells to store excess unused chemical energy from food, as well as prevents stored fat from being released for use.
Likewise, limiting the fat in your diet will directly impact how much of it is stored – you don’t get fat if you don’t eat fat. It’s important to point out that not all fats are bad, and that some like medium chain triglycerides and other unsaturated fats are actually very beneficial for weight loss. Try to limit the saturated and trans fats found in snacks and fried foods, and replace them with food like avocado, nuts, and fish.
Not wanting to sacrifice either carbohydrates, or fat? We can relate, it’s all very yummy – so why not try the Mediterranean diet? Our southern European brethren seem to have it all worked out, as they generally live longer and are healthier than nearly every other group of people on the planet.
This is a diet that focuses on eating decent amounts of the good fats in nuts, fish and olive oil, and good carbs as a huge percentage made up of fresh fruits and vegetables – with fairly modest amounts of meat and dairy. Regular physical activity in the form of work and leisure, as well as sharing meals as a large social group, are other mainstays of the Mediterranean diet – it’s no substitute for gym time and meal prep, though!
It’s also important to note when you’re eating because you’re hungry, versus when you’re eating out of boredom, as a means of comfort, or to relieve stress. Eat when you need to, not when you want to!
Lastly, weight loss isn’t this straight line on a graph of pounds vs time. Cutting calories will see instant results in the first few weeks, but then as your body composition changes, that weight loss will gradually being to taper off.