If you're like most people, you've probably tried a bunch of different diets and exercise programs in your quest to lose weight.
But have any of them actually worked?
Well, in many cases the answer is “no” and even more so if a diet is successful and leads to weight loss, it often leads to the so-called “yo-yo effect”.
This implies that the individuals who lose weight, often gain it all back, and then some more.
The low rate of success among dieters is perhaps a product of the mass misinformation we get exposed to, daily.
Supplement companies marketing fat-loss products coach marketing one-size-fits-all weight loss programs - We all know the drill.
But what if you had to lose weight on your own, without any external help?
What would you ACTUALLY need to do, in order to lose weight and keep it off? Keep reading to find out!
The Fundamental Principle
Now, the first thing to remember is that fitness isn’t about following trends, but rather, understanding the underlying principles, and applying them.
In the context of weight loss, the fundamental principle you can’t get around is the principle of calories in vs calories out.
To put it simply - Your body needs a certain amount of energy (calories), every day, to maintain its weight and sustain healthy functioning.
If you consume more energy than the body needs, you will gain weight.
And vice versa - If you consume less than the body needs, you will lose weight.
If you really want to lose weight, doing the latter is MANDATORY because, again, there is NO way around it.
Do you lose weight following the keto diet? Cool, that means you were in a deficit.
Did you lose weight with intermittent fasting? … You were in a deficit.
You get the point - Creating a caloric deficit is essential in a diet because this is how you let the body burn more fat than it stores and thus, reduce the total amount of fat mass.
What Else Matters, Really?
To many people, the term “deficit” may sound borderline scary, and while it is the primary and most essential principle for weight loss, there are other important considerations.
Because frankly, there are many ways you can go wrong with a diet and feel flat-out burnt-out
So let’s have a look at the 3 most important factors when following a diet.
The only good diet is the one you can stick to in the long term, meaning that your diet must NOT feel tortuous.
Sustainability & adherence to a diet is two of the primary components that make up for a successful weight loss journey.
To do this, you have to create a moderate caloric deficit of about 400-500 calories per day.
But you don’t have to weigh every single bite that goes into your mouth.
Simply, aim for a weight loss rate of about 1-2 lbs per week.
Number two and three on this list are tightly connected to the first point we just mentioned above, which is sustainability.
One of the things that lead people to ditch their diets quickly, is that they are simply NOT satiated.
It’s that constant feeling of being able to eat the world.
But frankly, that’s because most people think that a diet is about eating fruits, salads, drinking coffee, and water.
And to be very honest with you, these are all foods that are not satiating at all.
Even more so, they can make you hungry!
The foods that are highly satiating are usually the foods that would make your diet sustainable and very bearable.
Think of it this way - Any food that is abundant in protein, fats, or both, will be satiating.
Think meat, eggs, organs, nuts, and avocados. Put these foods at the core of your diet plan!
#3 Crave Management
More often than not, seemingly ‘small’ snacks and cravings can ruin your diet completely.
It is normal, though - Being in a caloric deficit will inevitably make you crave certain foods.
To battle this, there are a couple of things you can do:
- Establish a moderate deficit (#1 of this list)
- Eat satiating foods (#2 on this list)
- Eat your favorite ‘dirty’ foods more frequently
“Wait, what? Eat my favorite dirty food MORE frequently?” Well, yeah, that’s right! As we mentioned, a caloric deficit is the only mandatory thing about weight loss.
You can eat ice cream, be in a caloric deficit and still lose weight because it is not about the TYPE of food you eat, but the AMOUNT.
And so, if you eat your favorite dirty foods more frequently, they become less special, and thus, cravings subside!
If that’s not the case though, you have to practice conscious constraint, where you take conscious decisions NOT to follow a craving.
So there you have it, the low down on what works when it comes to shedding fat.
Of course, everyone is different, and some things may work better for you than they do for someone else, but if you want to see results, then these are the principles you need to follow.
And remember, always consult with a doctor before starting any weight loss program.
Now go forth and crush your routine!