Weightless has always been something I struggled with. I’ve lost and gained weight so many times in my life well trying every diet from vegan to keto. A lot of the time they would work for a little bit but then I would stop following the plan, lose all my results and just get more discouraged with myself.
I would see everyone else’s transformation photos and think “What’s wrong with me?”
I later realized that I was not the problem. The problem was that I was trying to force my body to do something that wasn’t right for it.
Think of diets as a one size fits all solution and let’s be honest doesn’t fit all. We are all just too unique. We have different energy needs, different goals, and different tastes buds that need to be considered!
That’s why even as a nutrition coach I don’t assign meal plans. I instead work with my clients to learn how to eat more intuitively and to find balance. It’s not about being restrictive or having a perfect diet. It’s about finding something that works for you so consider the following;
Is it Sustainable?
One main thing to consider is how sustainable your new habit it. The idea is to make changes that you will be able to maintain instead of using a short term solution. If you don’t think you can upkeep your habit for a year then it isn’t going to do much for you in the long run.
We keep trying to fix long term problems with short term solutions but think of it like this. How long have you been putting on the weight? So is a 24 day diet plan really going to take it all off?
Healthy eating needs to be ongoing and maintainable or you’ll fall off the wagon. No crazy restrictions and no hard force, it just needs to become a part of your daily life. That’s why I recommend clients get away from things like going without sugar for a month, or dry January. That high level of restrictions just gives you cravings, plus it’s not near as beneficial just enjoying moderate drinking, or moderate sugar year round.
Does it Meet your Energy Demands?
Our eating also has to fit our energy needs. Think of your food as energy because that’s basically what it is. There are definitely days where you use more energy than others. So there are days you should eat more than others.
Plus we all have a different RMR (resting metabolic rate), which is the energy used just to keep us alive and there is no way a calorie formula or a meal plan can accurately account for that.
Instead it’s better to learn how to eat intuitively and listen to your hunger cues! They will tell you if your body needs energy or not.
You Need to Enjoy it!
Along with energy needs your food needs to leave you feeling satisfied too! In a world with so many delicious options so readily available you will just give yourself intense food cravings if you don’t get any pleasure out of the food you are eating! I know this from experience, I’ve quite a few ice cream binges in my day.
Diets and meal plans don’t allow enough flexibility to eat what you enjoy. They tell you exactly what to eat and that might include foods you don’t like or can’t eat. It also might restrict your from some of the foods you really enjoy! I’ve seen very few meal plans that include enough chocolate to meet my expectation.
Does it fit you Budget?
Diet plans are usually marketed as inexpensive but there are often a lot of hidden costs they instantly take away the ability to buy what’s on sale, what’s local, and what’s in season.
They also often require you to buy a lot of ingredients to make the recipes, and a lot of the time you only need a little bit. Before you know it you’ve spend 30 dollars on coriander, a tin of panko, and avocados that you only need for one of the meal. Not to mention multiple grocery runs a week. That’s really just not realistic to maintain.
At the end of the day it’s really better to just eat in a way that makes you feel both physically and mentally good. You don’t need to eat grape fruit and have a six pack to be deemed healthy. It’s more about both eating to fulfil your individual energy needs AND satisfy your unique cravings. That way you can maintain your healthy eating all the time and still be happy.
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