09 Dec

The human brain likes easy categorization, and in terms of health and specifically weight loss, we like knowing, ‘what is the best diet to follow?’ What did you do to lose weight? Did you go vegan, follow the keto diet, start eating high protein, or did you do intermittent fasting? Why do people keep believing there is a ‘magic’ diet that will answer all their questions? We’ve seen hundreds of fad diets, hundreds people following them and losing weight, and hundreds of people come off the diet and regain all their lost weight plus. Why do we keep trying to do the same thing in a different form and expect a different result?I don’t believe there is one 'best' diet for every person to follow. We are all too different – we have different likes and dislikes, different lifestyles, different budgets, different amounts of time to prepare food, different nutrition knowledge, different stress levels, different genetics.

The human body can do well under a whole lot of different nutritional conditions. If we look at some of the different diet styles (veganism, keto, high protein, intermittent fasting etc.), some people have been successful within all of these diet regimes (generally the statistics show that about 10% are able to keep the weight off), so there must be something to them.

When you look at the different diets, you will see that there are some general commonalities within all the diets, which makes it easy to see why they can work:

  • They cause you to pay better attention to what you are eating
  • They focus on food quality
  • They help to control your appetite and food intake
  • They generally promote regular exercise

Since there is no one best diet for everyone, you need to find which eating style works for you. And here’s the secret: working on your long-term nutrition and eating habits specifically, will get you much better results than following strict diet plans and rules.

Steps you can take to find your best eating style:

  1. Have an early breakfast (ideally within an hour of getting up).
  2. Eat regularly during the day – every 3-5 hours is a good guide. We ideally should do this according to hunger, but if you are not in tune with your hunger signals yet, start with eating every 3-4 hours and tune into your stomach so that you can develop the signal. In time your diet can become more flexible as you are able to listen to your stomach and body.
  3. Don’t be afraid of any specific foods. I’m specifically talking to those who think carbohydrates make you fat. All foods can be part of a healthy eating plan. Make sure unprocessed or minimally processed are used predominantly. Think nutrient dense for healthiest choices in foods.
  4. Eat enough! Generally, when people try to lose weight they end up eating too little, thereby slowing down their metabolisms. As a general rule, women should not eat less than 1200kcal and men no less than 1500kcal. You will need more energy if you are exercising regularly.
  5. Eat more during the day and less at night. What this mean is that supper should be a small portion of food! This is because our bodies work most efficiently in our waking, active hours.

Keep yourself hydrated. As a general rule, the amount of fluid you need in a day in glasses is your weight divided by 10 plus 2.

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