Let’s get real: no one likes dieting. Not really.
A diet is another word for “torture.” Most people associate diets with suffering, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how to ditch the idea of a “diet” and choose a weight loss plan that’s sustainable and fits into your lifestyle.
Return To The Classical Notion Of A Proper Diet
The media is responsible for the modern-day notion of dieting, that a diet means “to restrict eating and control portion size” (thanks media). But, this sensationalistic view of a diet doesn’t square with the classical notion of a diet.
A diet is simply all of the food you eat, a general pattern of eating over the long-term. The notion of depriving yourself sounds like torture because it is. Studies on mice show that when food intake is restricted, stress hormone levels rise and depression-like behavior sets in.
Mice coped with this stress by eating more junk food. This is the effect of deprivation, and it happens because you’re stressing yourself out, depriving yourself of food that you value or at least a food intake level that you’re used to.
But, read a review of the Venus Factor diet. It’s more in line with the classical notion of dieting in that its aim is to normalize cortisol and leptin levels, rather than create stress in your body.
Study Various Diets
Even if you choose not to adopt a diet, you should spend time studying it. Why? Because it raises awareness of basic principles of dieting! In nearly every safe and sound diet, you will find repeating themes:
- Eat whole, nutrient-dense foods and;
- Focus on quality, rather than quantity or cost of the food.
Some diets focus more heavily on getting enough fibre, while others focus on optimizing your protein intake. All diets differ in the recommended macronutrient ratio (fats, carbs, protein), but good diets always contain all three major macros and focus on obtaining at least the minimum daily requirements, along with the minimum requirements for micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc).
Choose A Plan You Can Stick To
Choosing a plan you can stick to is a lot harder than it sounds. If you’re used to eating junk food, or not thinking about food all that much, then making the switch involves reorganizing your thought patterns to include that.
Think about a hobby that you spend a lot of time doing. Now, think about how much you think about that hobby. You focus on the small details and really try to perfect your skills and knowledge in that hobby. You need to do that for food. That’s what it takes to be successful.
You have to love eating, but you also have to have a general interest in food, food quality, and how it all relates to your health over the long-term.
Focus On The Long-Term
Speaking of long-term, you must focus on it. It’s so easy to get caught in the trap of thinking that you must lose a pound or kilo a week to be successful. But, successful diets are sustainable. You need to not only lose the weight, but keep it off.
It might take years to achieve your weight loss goals, especially if you’ve been overweight your entire life.
Supplement With Exercise
You shouldn’t rely on exercise as the driving force behind weight loss, but it’s good to supplement your weight loss efforts with a combination of cardio and strength training. Not only do these things improve mood, they can suppress appetite, keep you occupied so that you aren’t constantly thinking about food, and they’ll eventually make you strong and fit – a nice side benefit.
Have Extensive Blood Testing Done If You Need It
Sometimes, dieting isn’t enough. If you’ve tried switching to whole foods, you’re getting a good night’s sleep, and you’re getting moderate exercise, but you’re still not losing weight, it’s time to get some blood work done.
WellnessFX sells high-end blood testing which focuses on important markers of health, like thyroid function, cortisol levels, cholesterol, and liver and kidney function.
You may also want to consider having a gut pathogen screening done to determine if you have an infection that is preventing you from achieving your weight loss goals.
Going To The Extreme
If you’ve gone through all of the advanced testing, you’ve cleaned up your diet, sleep, and exercise habits, and you’re still not getting the results you want, you’re an outlier, but there’s still hope, albeit extreme.
For some, it’s cutting edge. For others, it’s the fringe of respectable science: faecal transplants.
You’ve probably read or heard about it in the news recently as it’s making the rounds as a cure for the deadly C.Diff infection. But, some doctors and researchers believe it might be the key to weight loss for those that have tried everything else (and failed).
A small, but promising study showed that faecal material from lean males transplanted into overweight males resulted in a marked decrease in fasting triglyceride levels and a significant improvement in insulin sensitivity post-transplant.
This means that those males had a much better shot at losing weight because they could now use traditional approaches to weight loss without running into biological roadblocks inherent in their gut ecology.
Sites, like The Power Of Poop, may not be official and are quasi-legal, but they’re the only hope right now for the desperate – that is, if you can overcome the “ick” factor.
Abbie Hodgson is an exercise instructor and nutritionist. She loves promoting health and fitness by posting online. Her articles can be found mostly on health and fitness websites.