Below are some diet strategies that many of us have tried during our journey to lose weight:
South Beach Diet
Biggest Loser Diet
With so many options and tons more (I can’t begin to list them all) how could you know what will work best for you?
I would like to propose that the specific protocol that you follow is less important than your ability to follow it long-term.
There are many ways to modify your consumption and lose weight, the real struggle is to keep this weight off once you lose it. Perhaps you lose 20 pounds, keep it off, and decide to go for 20 more. This is only possible when the diet choices that you are making are a strategy that you can replicate day in and day out. What happens when you need to take a week off? What about a 3-week vacation?
Can your dietary choices survive long-term?
Obviously, I support fasting as a lifestyle. You can adopt any of the dieting strategies above into fasting. I recommend this, however, if you are able to maintain it long term. I believe that most people are capable of finding success with fasting. Occasionally, I will get this question, “How long do I have to do it? When can I go back to normal eating?”
This next statement is true for any of the above diets or any other strategy that you adopt.
If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten.
So, if you embark on any diet strategy and your first thought is, “When can I stop?” Then it is safe to say that you are not in a place mentally to lose weight.
There comes a point when you have to declare to yourself, “I can’t live like this anymore!” When you arrive at that point, then you are ready to make a change. If any of those diets above allow you to make that permanent change then I fully support you in implementing them. We have all had the experience of watching someone lose weight, transform their life, then you ask, “What are you doing to lose weight?” So, you implement this strategy, perhaps lose a little weight, but it just won’t stick. Why would it work for Susan at the office but not for you?
My contention is that Susan made a life change, while you are trying out a diet.
How do you implement a change?
Here is what I recommend:
First you choose a strategy, my personal recommendation is Intermittent Fasting.
Second, you commit to sticking to this strategy for 8-12 weeks. The first 3-5 weeks you are allowing your body to adjust to a new routine. The next several weeks are you experiencing the effects of the new diet choices.
Third, acknowledge and give into cravings. This battle is just as much mental as it is physical. If you are craving something then you have to experience it, in moderation. Have that slice of cake with your dinner. Just don’t have 5 of them.
Finally, adopt a fitness routine. This doesn’t mean running a marathon or powerlifting every day. What it does mean is that you need to move more. Get outside! Find new ways to accomplish this while building exercise habits.
One point here… many will implement an exercise routine with the goal of losing weight. Exercise has very little short-term result on weight loss. You are exercising for long-term success and longevity.