I hate the word diet, even if that is a type of thing instafamous “trainers” say. It just has such a negative connotation and it also leads you to believe the changes you make to what you eat can be temporary. Well, if you’re only eating 800 calories a day it should be temporary (get yourself some food girl!) but everyone else does not get that pass. If you don’t like where you are, and want to stay at a lower body weight, the changes you make to your nutrition need to be permanent and sustainable!
What does that mean? Most people try to make it super complicated (myself included). There are 3 thing you absolutely need to make sure you’re getting enough of. We’ll talk about those first.
Protein is amazing. It helps you feel full. It helps to maintain lean muscle mass. It helps provide the amino acids your body needs to keep most of its systems going. It is not just a bodybuilder food. Every single person needs to be getting this in their diet.
2. Complex Carbohydrates
Enough of the whole “carbs are baaaaad” talk that goes with every single diet plan. Carbs are not inherently bad. You just need to make sure you’re eating more of the right kind and fewer of the other kind. Complex carbs are whole grains, beans, fruits, veggies and they share an important common denominator – they contain fiber. You don’t need a lot of fiber (25g per day for women and 38g per day for men) but when you get enough you will stay full, your digestive system will stay nice and healthy, your blood sugar will be regulated, and you have a lower risk of developing heart disease. Most people do not get enough fiber, so when you start to focus on this you will start to see and feel a difference.
The “other” carbohydrates, simple carbohydrates, and essentially carbs without any or with low fiber because it has been “refined” out of the final product. They are ok to eat, but remember to do so in moderation. Think of these as sometimes foods while complex carbs are daily foods.
Never in my history of telling people they need to drink more water has someone said “oh I drink enough water” and actually been right. Men need 15.5 cups (124oz) and women need 11.5 cups (92oz) minimum. For me, that’s 5 of my Camel Back bottle. In one day. Every day. It seems like a lot, but your body needs water to function. You’re basically a cucumber with feelings. Please, please, make sure you drink enough water.
What about fats?
Fats are also an essential macronutrient. They are not inherently bad either; you just need to be sure you’re eating the right types. Go for olive oil over “vegetable” or “canola.” Go for real butter over margarine. Go for the healthy fats found in nuts and nut products. Remember fats have a higher calorie content per gram than carbs or protein so you need fewer in your portion sizes. Fats are essential to regulating your hormones so don’t cut them out either.
I mentioned earlier to think of simple carbs as sometimes foods. I personally don’t believe a nutrition plan can be sustainable if you cut out all of your favorite foods and plan on never eating them again. So I call those foods sometimes foods. It’s ok to sometimes get Taco Bell. It’s ok to sometimes get pizza. It just needs to be occasionally and it needs to be smaller portions instead of “the whole Taco Bell menu” or “the whole pizza.” Don’t sit there and try not to eat anything you love again for the sake of weight loss because you will fail and also that’s not really living.
I’m all about making sustainable life choices that will help you learn about what your body needs and how to keep it healthy throughout your life. If you have any questions mention them in the comments!