I lost over 10kg eating burrito bowls, ice cream, scrambled eggs, and toasted cheese sandwiches.
I have a lot of people ask me about diets and nutrition saying their friend did this, or this article told them that; things such as using fad diets (some quite extreme), taking supplements, replacing meals with shakes, or using detox cleanses.
Unfortunately a lot of the information exists so people can sell products, or earn money from advertising on their website, I’m not saying these products are necessarily bad for you or don’t work, there is just nothing special about them. A lot of them are unsustainable diets or are designed to keep you buying the products by forming a habit around the product line as opposed to eating properly.
But there is good news! You can save money, lose weight, and enjoy nice food.
Following the idea of flexible dieting you can work out your intake requirements, with a little effort you can track what food you are eating and adjust macronutrients to match your intake requirements, after the first week or two it becomes even easier, you understand what you are doing better and have a lot of the information for your common foods at your fingertips.
Why are there so many different diets and supplements available if they don’t really help?
Because business people jump at an opportunity and studies often give them a headlines they can use to market a product, regardless of the actual content of the study. A study is designed to answer a specific question, it’s preferable for it to be novel and show something new because it has a greater chance of being published. Some studies are written a certain way to make the answer positive for a particular product, whilst they aren’t incorrect they may be misleading to an untrained eye.
How can all the diets be the best?
There is a lot of conflicting information in the studies relating to diets but they also all give you the answer, in most of the studies you will notice something in common, all the groups following some sort of plan lost weight, some slightly more than others but regardless of their specific test it remains true, they all followed a nutrition plan and lost weight, the key here is following a plan that is designed for you to make it most effective, so the only reason to limit yourself to a specific diet is if there is a medical condition.
Your best chance of success is to either learn about nutrition or hire someone who knows about nutrition to help you.
How will you know if you have a good nutritionist or are reading good information?
Will you be able to follow what they are telling you and will you be able to sustain long term?
I’m not sure about you but I don’t plan to put the 20+ kg I’ve lost over the years back on.
Does it sound reasonable or is it quite extreme?
Whilst extreme diets might help lose weight short term a majority of people revert back to bad habits after it ends and thus gain their weight back.
Is it full of can’t eat this must eat that?
Suggesting foods to eat or exclude isn’t inherently bad but there are usually more than one way to reach your body’s requirements.
Do they talk about chemicals and toxins and how you need to cleanse them from your body?
This is why we have a liver and kidneys, drink water, eat fibre, eat vegetables, and let your organs do their job, there is very little science backing detox diets and most of that is for specific issues.
What kinds of things make up a good diet and why?
Eat fruit and vegetables (this is where most of your vitamins come from), eat enough protein (be it from plants, animal produce, or meat, protein is what your non water lean mass is made of so it needs it to repair damage and grow properly), get enough fibre (this helps shuffle food through your intestines and feeds your gut flora, which can help your health in many ways we don’t yet fully understand), drink enough fluids (whilst water is best, most other non alcoholic drinks still hydrate you just to a lesser extent).
Your body is fantastic at keeping itself running, from balancing your electrolytes, keeping you blood acidity under control, filtering out toxic substances, it is a survival machine, you just need to give it the fuel it needs and it will do the rest of the work for you.