For starters, I need to mention that I despise the word “diet.” It’s almost as nasty as some other four-letter words that come to mind. When I think of the word diet, I think of another four-letter word that starts with the letter “F” and it’s FAIL. Diets tend to have the same thing in common with one another and that’s why the majority of people fail and get frustrated when they are following a diet. Why is it? Because they don’t fit the lifestyle of the individual. There are a couple of things, however, that all diets have in common that you should understand so you can apply it to your own lifestyle to ensure you reach your health and weight loss goals.
1. They aren’t realistic
Look at the various diets out there today that everyone is talking about. Without calling them out specifically (there’s too many to list), they go something like this… Eliminate an entire macronutrient category. Do you realize how stupid that sounds? Let me get this straight, for the rest of your life you can go without fat of any kind? Or for the rest of your life, you’ll never have a carbohydrate? Give me a break. The one thing all of these diets have in common is that they are completely ridiculous and unrealistic.
Diets out there today aren’t lifestyle diets. People enjoy foods like burgers, pizza, donuts, desserts, cake, [fill in the blank with your favorite food]. These diets want to you be extremely restrictive which causes most individuals to get frustrated and fail. These types of diets leave you with a bad taste in your mouth (pun intended).
A lifestyle diet of everything in moderation is a much better and more sustainable plan. When you restrict yourself, it only makes you crave things more. So, stop telling yourself that you can’t eat something. Which leads us right into the next thing that all diets have in common.
2. They put you in a caloric deficit
Think about it… when you follow a diet, what do they all have you achieve? Restricting your calories, right? So, regardless of what diet you try, they all want you to consume fewer calories than your maintenance to cause you to lose weight. It makes perfect sense, yet they all fail miserably in their delivery.
If you like low carbohydrate diets, more power to you. If you like moderate protein, carbohydrates, and fat, go for it. In the end, you need to put yourself in a caloric deficit. What I mean by this is if your maintenance calories where you neither gain or lose weight is 2,000 calories, you simply need to focus on consuming less than that number in order to lose weight (theoretically, based on the types of food you consume – don’t fill your calories with junk).
A safe way to go about putting yourself in a caloric deficit would be to eliminate 250-500 calories from your maintenance number each day. At the end of the week, it would cause you to lose anywhere from 0.5-1 pound of weight. That’s a great place to be so you can maintain your lean muscle mass while slowly stripping away your body fat.