One of the biggest reasons why people never create better body composition is because their diet is less than optimal.
There’s so much misinformation out there that people will end up not eating a damn thing and try surviving off-air and sunlight…which isn’t smart.
In the 1980s, dietary fat was the killer. In the 1990s, carbohydrates were the killer. In the 2000s, protein was the killer.
We blamed GMO’s (which are completely safe).
We tried blaming sugar…when even that’s not the issue (directly).
We tried blaming sugar substitutes (which provide 0 calories…0 energy…0 anything)
In all fairness…NONE of this is to blame…at all…like not at all.
We try “fixing” things in 21 days meanwhile it took 20…30…40+ years of terrible habits, eating, and lack of training. We try living off crappy shakes. We have horrible exercise ideals. We feel the need to exercise 6-7 times weekly and have to do even more if we had a “bad ” eating day. We think that if we cut whole food groups out, it’ll solve all our world’s ills.
Truth be told, we can point the finger at a lot of things but the only direction that finger should be pointing is right back at you.
Now, this isn’t some condemning statement but a real one that many of you need to hear.
I get it, food is meant to be enjoyed.
I’m in Toronto and there is nothing but culinary genius up here.
That also said, when there is a goal to be had, and for many of the people I work with, it’s fat loss, taking drastic measures in the short term thinking it’ll solve your issues is not only short-sited but unhealthy and potentially dangerous.
When your goal is fat loss, you need to come to terms with the fact that your goal won’t happen in 8 weeks or 12 weeks or some arbitrary time. It’ll happen as it does so long as you are compliant…and to be fair, perfection doesn’t exist so you won’t be perfect.
If you want to do it right, here are some tips.
- Prioritize protein. I cannot stress this enough. When it comes to fat loss, calories matter primarily. Your calorie goal is the summation of calories coming from fat, protein, and carbs. If you have a protein goal, make sure you hit it. After that, however, you decide to break down your carbs/fats is solely up to you.
- If you are going to go out for a work dinner or dinner with your partner/spouse, save your calories for the day. There’s got to be a give and take somewhere. This may mean simply having a protein shake (or 2) and some coffee/tea/water throughout the day so when it comes to dinner, you’ll have a lot of your calories left to eat and can enjoy that filet mignon with buttered potato medallions and asparagus.
- If you decide to have ice cream or a donut or cookies, these are usually high carb/moderate fat foods. If you aren’t tracking but want to start making some progress, this may mean having the ice cream or donut or cookie and skipping out on the rice or pasta you wanted for dinner. It’s all about choices. Pick and choose when you want things. That’s the flexibility in dieting while remaining within your boundaries.
- And of course…TRACK your food. It is a skill I personally feel everyone should learn. It’ll teach you portion sizes and what food is primarily a protein, fat, or carb. It’s simple addition/subtraction and in my experience, takes people up to about 2 weeks of practice to get it. It makes meal prep much easier and you’ll get to have control over your food…not the other way around. I wrote a blog post on how to set it up using MyFitnessPal. You should really read it and do it for yourself.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you are a vegan, vegetarian, paleo, normal human being (LOL)….tracking and knowing how much you eat is going to be critical to your success to change body composition.
Good luck and never give up!