The question as old as time: What should I be eating?!
As trainers and experts in the field of weight loss, we get this question A LOT. The first thing we remind people though, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to nutrition.
However, we're going to break it down for you just a little right now.
Quick Nutrition Recap
When it comes to nutrition, there are three essential elements: your macronutrients. Your macronutrients, or carbohydrates, fats and protein are what make up the food you are eating. When we change up our eating to be compliant with different diets, we are manipulating at least one of the macronutrient aspects.
Popular Diets + Their Macronutrient Manipulation:
Atkins--Low Carb/Moderate Fat
Keto--High Fat/Very Low Carb
Weight Watchers--Moderate Fat/Moderate Protein
The question here though is always "which one of these is right for me?" or really, "are any of these right for me?"
That's a hard question to answer: you can't exclusively tell what will be right for someone without some trial and error. We believe in balance: striving for a good breakdown of carbs, fats and protein that work well for your goals that is also MAINTAINABLE. Balance and maintenance are inherently more important than a fast fix.
"BUT--HELP! I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT!"
When it comes to losing weight, there isn't one diet or ratio that's going to be a magical cure. Despite what you've heard (think: Lose 10 pounds in 1 week!), the only magical element to a diet that will help you lose weight is eating less calories than you burn. That's it. When it comes to weight loss, eating less is the key. Quantity overrules all things in that domain.
SO, WHAT'S THE BEST STRATEGY?
The best way to lose weight is to do these things first:
1. Get an estimate of how much you eat to maintain your weight (use a food journal)
2. Get an estimate of how much you burn through your daily movement and exercise.
3. From there, you or you + a professional can help to develop a plan that reduces calories in a healthy, sustainable way. Losing a lot of weight fast isn't healthy, nor realistic when it comes to an effective fat/weight loss diet. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to losing weight, maintaining and building the body you want.
4. Patience. 1 pound of fat = roughly 3,500 calories. If you think about how much you eat just to stay alive and how much you burn, you'll quickly see that it's impossible to lose more than about 2 pounds of fat per week. Water, yes, fat, no. When diets claim to lose 10 pounds in 5 days, the majority of that is pure water (generally from carb restriction). Losing 2 pounds per week for 12 weeks? That's 24lbs gone. Losing 10 pounds in one week, 0.5-1 pound the next 11 weeks? That's only a maximum of 21.
1. Quantity is first and foremost when it comes to losing weight.
2. There is no magical diet or pill that will help you lose weight faster in a healthy way and maintain it long term.