Figuring out what diet to follow can be confusing, there are so many different diet and lifestyle plans out there, who knows what to believe or put our trust in. Often most are conflicting e.g. low carb, high carb, high fat, point counting, calorie counting, sins, paleo, vegan etc. Experts have found methods that have worked for them, they promote this diet in a hope it will work well for others. However often they don’t work for us and we feel we have failed. So we jump from one diet to the other looking for that perfect fit. But why does it not work for us? Probably because most of us are looking for a quick fix, which does not exist. I have learned from experience it takes consistency and this consistency needs to become a lifestyle. It is not for 2 weeks, 6 weeks or even 12 weeks. If you want to maintain your weight or you want to feel and look awesome all year long, then you must find what works for you and be consistent. (Side note – if it is only weight loss you are after, well then ultimately all you need is to be in calorie deficit. It does not matter if you are vegan or paleo or clean eating. If you are not in a calorie deficit you will never lose weight.)
Preparation is key…
Whatever the latest diet craze is, and however much they conflict each other. They will all have an underlying theme that they do agree on. They all agree that eating clean is key. So what does this mean? Eat foods as close as possible to their natural state, real and whole foods. You need to be eating this way at least 80% of the time. So now that we know what the best lifestyle to follow is, you must ask yourself are you on this path. If you are not, then this must be your first transition. You must get onto this path before you can move forward and consistently look and feel well. Then you can to consider what works best for you, is it, high carb, low carb, vegan, calorie counting etc.
To figure this one out you must listen to your own body. You are the expert, no dietician can tell you how you will feel after eating certain foods. You need to learn to listen to your body and this takes time and practice. Personally, I don’t feel great after eating lots of carbs, I feel bloated and lethargic. So I have learned to limit my carbs to a maximum of two servings a day or even better only around my training. I have also learned that these carbs must be good quality such as sweet potato, brown rice etc. But I have learned this myself, no expert has told me. Remember you are the expert. So your next meal, eat mindfully, for example, you have chicken stir-fry with lots of rice for dinner. How do you feel immediately after the meal, then think how you feel 1 hour after the meal. If you feel fantastic all day, then carbs are your friend and go forth eating good quality clean carbs as you see fit. If however you feel good 10 minutes later but 1 hour later you are bloated, lethargic and hungry, carbs may not be your friend and you may need to consider reducing them, having smaller portions or only eating them around your training. The same example will work for meat, dairy, etc.
Eat well…(my carrot and parsnip chips)
Think about this. You are feeling happy in yourself because you are eating clean. However you are eating dairy; milk, cheese, yogurt etc. daily. You have throbbing headaches and start to question this clean eating method. If you can’t make the link between the dairy and the headaches, then you will jump off the clean eating path and be back on that weight watchers bandwagon before the week is out. Will the headaches be gone? Of course not. Therefore you must decide how you FEEL after eating food. For me I feel healthy and well 90% of the time. I feel great because I have figured out what works for me within my clean eating lifestyle.
My message: You want to feel amazing and healthy every day. Stop dieting. Stop counting calories. Stop eating margarine spreads. Stop eating low-fat. Stop over paying for superfoods. All natural foods are super. Eat clean at least 80% of the time. Figure out what food groups work well for you. Listen to your body. Nourish your body and feel bloody awesome!!!
(PS I am away on my holidays for the next few weeks so plan on taking some time out from technology. Often technology can take over the more important things in life. So I am looking forward to the break and finding some balance, but I’ll will be back soon.)
The Wholesome Nut X