Do you ever get frustrated with the whole weight loss game? Well, that is exactly what it is. It is a game. For many of us it is a game that we are constantly losing. The game seems simple. It has been said more than once before, “It comes down to calories in vs. calories out.” Finding the balance is easy. If you have a caloric deficit you should lose weight right? Not so simple!
Why do we struggle?
In order for our weight to decrease there are so many factors that must be put into the complicated equation. Not only do you have to have a caloric deficit, but there are other items that must be considered and are highly individualized. Some of the factors, but not limited to, that must taken into account for each individual are:
It is easy to see why we struggle to lose weight, even if we feel we are making our best effort. Any number of things could be restricting you from being successful.
May I suggest something?
Take the long term approach. Weight loss should be linear. It should be gradual over a period of time. To be frank, you should stop stressing over the daily numbers we see on the scale and accept and embrace where we are currently. We should enjoy the journey to where we are going to be in 6-12 months of consistently good habits. If you can appreciate that kind of thinking then you are going to have success. If it takes that long to get there then the chances of you staying there are exponentially greater. If we drop weight too quickly or see-saw with our weight then we are setting ourselves up for quick failure.
Don’t get frustrated with the process. It is not easy, but ask for help if you are struggling to lose weight. It may not be something that you can simply control through just monitoring your food intake or the amount of exercise that you are doing.
Find the balance. Find the balance between expected and accepted. Find the balance between attainable and unrealistic. Find the balance of life.
I get asked all the time “what diet is the best?” To that question I typically reply the same each time, “The diet that works the best for you!”
If you have been to a bookstore lately, and yes they still exist, the amount of manusha that is spread over several isles on the topic is staggering. Where do you even begin? It is overwhelming even for me who is someone that has been in the profession for over 20 years.
Should we even list what is out there on the shelves, and even worse, the internet and social media?
If one of these happens to be your diet, please do not be offended. It may work for you. However, I am willing to bet that many of you have tried these in some capacity and have had mixed or little results. Yes, there may have been a temporary weight change. Clothes may have fit a little differently. In the end did you go right back to your familiar ways and comfort foods?
So what is the answer?
I do believe, and have for a long time, that each one of us have different dietary needs. You have to eat according to the demands placed on your body and your goals. There are so many factors that go into proper nutrition for each one of us. Factors such as, but not limited to, age, gender, height, weight, hormones, medication, sleep, activity level, and allergies just to name a simple few.
Now how do you take all these factors and fit them into a cookie-cutter diet? I suggest that you don’t. How about instead of stressing over macros, timing, and buying expensive fancy foods you just simply listen to your body. Start there. How do you feel, physically, when you eat foods that are in your diet? When are you hungry and why? Have you had success eating the foods that are in your diet currently. Can you eliminate or exchange foods in your diet and create positive changes? How long have you been eating the way you currently are? How long have you tried other methods?
If you can not answer some of these questions then maybe it is time to start with the small stuff and then worry about the complex components later. At this point I challenge you to listen to your body and take some mental notes of how food affects you and make changes accordingly.