Diets Suck

by Ali Piazza

There seems to be two very common ways of dieting that don’t work – severe calorie restriction and restriction of a macronutrient.

1) Severe Calorie Restrictions

Why this doesn’t work

  • It’s not sustainable
  • You feel hungry and cranky regularly
  • It lowers your metabolism

But in order to lose weight you do need to burn more calories then you ingest. This is why you need to reduce your calorie intake slowly – so you are getting the reduction needed without totally messing up your metabolism. The general school of thought is 500 calories a day.

2) Macronutrient Restriction

There are three macronutrients – fat, carbohydrates and protein. If you restrict the intake of one of the macronutrients you will see results – hence the success of the low fat diet and Atkins. But your body needs all three in order to run properly. Plus, deprivation only leads to indulgence.

A low carb diet definitely works but carbohydrates release calming chemicals in our brain which is why we crave carbs when we’re stressed. So in essence, carbs make us happy.

Why this doesn’t work

  • It’s not sustainable
  • You feel cranky and irritable.

The best way to eat is to have a balanced amount of these macronutrients.

For myself, I noticed a huge difference in my weight when I ate 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat. This is from the zone diet.

But since we’re all different, we each metabolize or break down each nutrient differently. Different people should eat different ratios. Do this questionnaire to see which ratios you should eat.

Some Diets Are Good

The word diet has so many negative connotations. It’s associated with deprivation, starvation and frustration. When in reality, the word diet simply refers to the way your eat and there are so many healthy ways of eating. You just have to experiment and find the one that’s right for you.

My friend Melissa calls herself a flexatarian because she aims to eat a mostly vegan diet, but she is flexible and knows that when chicken wings are at a party…she’s gonna have some.

When changing your diet, you have to ask yourself these questions:

  • Can you maintain this way of eating 80% of the time for the rest of your life? Healthy eating is not something you do for 8 weeks and then return to indulgent ways. In order to lose and maintain you have to be in it for the long haul!
  • Does eating this way satisfy you?
  • Do you see and feel results with this way of eating?
  • Does this way of eating make you feel satiated and energetic?
  • Do you notice the difference when  eating healthy vs not eating healthy?

The reality is there is no such thing as a one size fits all diet – how you eat is a very personal decision.

I call it…The Common Sense Diet

This is how I choose to eat…

  •  I’m a fan of clean eating. We come from nature and so does all our food, so it only makes sense that we eat food in its most natural state possible. The more humans have tampered with it, the less healthy it is.
  • I avoid sugar. It tastes good, and temporarily makes you feel good, but it has no nutritional value at all and it’s addictive.  To see how addictive it is, just notice how a child reacts when he is about to get sugar. Children (and some adults) will do almost anything for sugar.
  • I’m aware of portions – you can have too much of a good thing.
  • I’m aware of what I’m eating. Most of the time I make my own food so I know exactly what’s going in my mouth.
  • I really try to eat  healthy 80% of the time. I try to limit myself to a cheat meal once a week.
  • I’m a foodie so I enjoy expanding my palette and I’m always on the lookout to try a new healthy recipe. It keeps things interesting and tasty!

photo credit: http://bit.ly/SdOqxZ

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Naija November 11, 2013 at 7:53 am

As we age pounds loss gets more and more of an concern Muscle atrophy plays a big part in why it’s so hard to lose weight as we age simply because as we lose a lot more and more muscle our metabolism slows.

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