Most people cringe at the thought of going on a diet. To them, losing weight is a torturous process involving ridiculously low calorie intakes, the elimination of entire food groups and further unsustainable practices.
If that’s your idea of losing weight, yeah, it’s going to suck. And yeah, you’re not going to last.
But what if I told you that you can get and stay in phenomenal shape for the rest of your days without suffering or feeling deprived? How, you ask?
Make your diet work for you.
In the following, I will introduce you to the 2 pillars of diet success. Two pillars that will help you take charge of your nutrition and dominate your physique goals.
My intention here is not only to show you how simple staying in shape year-round is, but to lay to rest the vegan vs. paleo, low carb vs. low fat, IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) vs. clean eating debates. There is no one-size-fits-all type of diet. There is no “best” diet despite what the gurus are telling you.
Whether you want to lose or gain weight, master the 2 pillars of diet success and enjoy absolute control over the way you look and perform in and out of the gym.
Calories and Macronutrients
Dogmatic thinking has infested our minds and instilled in us a fear of foods and non-diet practices (i.e. eating a big dinner). Instead of looking at facts, we’re driven by ideologies. Instead of using common sense, we’re chasing the next quick-fix solution. You wouldn’t be here if that weren’t the case.
The “dieter’s mindset” won’t get you anywhere. Forget everything you think you know about weight-loss or healthy eating and start monitoring and controlling your I.) total calorie intake and the II.) macronutrient composition (ratio of fats, carbohydrates and proteins) of your diet.
- Calculate your individual calorie needs
- Eat 2.2.-2.9 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight
- Get a minimum of 30% of calories from fat
- Get the rest of your calories from carbohydrates
Adjust your total energy intake to fit your individual goals (weight-loss, maintenance/ recomposition, weight-gain). Once you’ve established your caloric intake, dial in your macro ratios. Do you respond better to a higher fat or a higher carb diet? Figure it out. Protein is non-negotiable, though.
Once you’ve put in the time you’ll be able to eyeball portion sizes and estimate caloric values. At this point, you’ve reached the master level and staying lean becomes a breeze.
Every Diet Works
Reduce your caloric intake and you will lose weight, regardless of foods you choose to eat. Provide less energy than your body expends and your weight will go down. There are no exceptions to this rule!
“If every diet works, why am I not losing weight?”
You’re eating too many calories. Start monitoring your intake and eat at a moderate deficit.
“But I eat a healthy vegan/paleo/ketogenic/macrobiotic diet.”
I don’t care what you eat. You have to consume less energy (calories) than your body expends in order to lose weight.
“My coach says I have a sluggish metabolism and that’s why I can’t lose weight.”
You’re coach is mistaken. As long as you maintain negative energy balance you will lose weight. A faster metabolism would only allow you to eat (slightly) more while maintaining a calorie deficit.
Diets initially work because they greatly limit food choices and thus make it very hard to overeat. Calories and macronutrients, remember? Any and every diet can get the job done.
Now the question remains, why do you want to eat according to a certain template? If it’s due to ethic reasons (i.e. animal rights), I applaud your integrity. Do what you must do. But if you’re in it because you read a book or an article proclaiming a specific diet to be the cure to obesity and degenerative disease, let me assure you, you’re being mislead.
Control your calories and eat the right macronutrient split for your body (this is key and highly individual!). Everything else (calorie sources, meal timing and frequency, supplementation etc.) is negligible in the grand scheme of things.
The Only Diet That Works As Advertised
I have a deep aversion to restrictive diets. Partly because I’ve had my share of unpleasant experiences with them and partly because they are backed by assumptions and emotions instead of science and real world results.
And I’m not one to nod in agreement with unfounded nonsense. You shouldn’t be either.
You want to lose weight? Eat less.
You want to lower your blood pressure, decrease your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes? Eat less and increase your activity levels. Create a negative energy balance, ramp-up your protein intake and watch your body composition and health markers improve.
There are no bad or good foods. There’s a “too much” and a “too little”. The only reason to eliminate individual foods is if you cannot tolerate them!
Feel bloated or nauseous after drinking milk? – Don’t drink milk.
Tired and lethargic after eating a grain-based meal? – Reduce the amount you eat at any one time and optimize your macronutrient ratios (i.e. increase dietary protein and lower carbohydrate content).
Inflamed gums after eating steak? Limit consumption and alternate between different protein sources.
And while you’re at it, stop taking garbage information as gospel, will you? Make educated decisions and quit being a mindless drone. We have enough of those walking the streets already. You are not a slave to your genetics or your environment (“I don’t have time to prepare my meals”). You forge your own body and determine how you look and feel with your everyday decisions.
Thank you for reading