3 things you DONT do if you DO want to have a successful diet
Why do we make everything so difficult?
We spend more time debating the minutiae than we do just taking action. If you started right now on making small changes to your diet and lifestyle you would begin to see results. Instead of taking little, maybe imperfect action, we debate what the “best” or “latest and greatest” is and take no action. You don’t have to have all the perfect decisions to get started. It is never going to be the right time.
Read the three steps below. They are all you need in your dietary toolbox to get started. Forget what you think you know. Ignore what you just read in your favorite magazine. Check out the ONLY three things you need to think about to get started:
1 – DON’T over complicate it. You don’t have to pick a diet camp. You don’t have to go Paleo. Or low fat. Or try intermittent fasting. Or pick option D that includes low fat intermittent fasting. Sure, all these things can work. The goal is to find what works best for you, individually. Start by focusing on foods that are high in (1) protein (2) fiber and (3) water. Your protein sources should come from meat, lean and fatty. Then eggs, greek yogurt and cottage cheese and whey powder, if you can tolerate dairy. Your high fiber / water foods are going to be fruits and vegetables. Include these in every meal. Fill half your plate with veggies. A quarter with a protein source. The other quarter with a starchy carb. These will preferably be sweet potatoes, quinoa, rice or oats.
2 – DON’T eat like a child. We know what real food is. We know we should be shopping on the outer perimeter of the grocery store where all the actual food is. We know Oreo’s and Lucky Charms are not good for us. Grow up and leave that stuff on the shelf. It has no nutritional value. You don’t need it.
3 – DON’T stress. While stress may not have calories, it can absolutely cause our dieting efforts to stall. Or worse yet – cause us to gain weight. Managing stress can be as important as our eating and exercising habits. Life happens, this part is not always going to be easy. But there are ways you can help manage this. Walk as often as possible. Daily leisure walking is the best stress-relieving activity you can do. 30-60 minutes most days is excellent. Other alternatives would be going to get a massage or taking a hot bath. Meditation, having a glass of wine (note: this doesn’t work for everyone) are also good. Or simply watching a funny movie with your kids or playing with your dog. Try and do at least one of these things daily and overcome your stress-induced fat loss plateau.
BONUS 4 – DON’T skip out on sleep. Like stress, sleep doesn’t contain calories. But a lack of it can stall fat loss or lead to weight gain. Higher levels of body fat, frequent hunger (see: sugar cravings) and high stress are all associated with a lack of sleep. Try and get 7-8 hours a night. Getting that 1-2 hours extra each night could be the missing piece in your fat loss puzzle. Don’t think it’s possible to get it in at night? Schedule in naps and use this as a stress reducer (see #3).
Don’t make dieting more complicated than it needs to be. Instead of spending all your time debating – trying to figure out which diet camp to join (and never actually doing anything) – just follow these three steps. You can start TODAY. At your next meal even. And, if you need help or have questions, please leave a comment below.
Brian is a Metabolic Effect certified personal trainer and hormonal fat loss nutrition consultant. He offers holistic online training packages at his website Fact & Fitness.com. You can connect with him via social media through Twitter or Facebook.