How many times have you said to yourself, “I’ll start my diet tomorrow?” I think for must of us, it’s far more times than we’d like to admit. Losing weight and changing your lifestyle is hard! Which is why diets suck so much.
I think that most of you probably know by now, My SoCaled Life (formerly known as “Living Los Angeles Blog”) started with a focus on fitness, hiking and things to do in the Greater Los Angeles Area. When I first started I was so Gung-ho on getting this whole blog thing started that I also decided to become a Certified Personal Trainer.
I was really into the whole, IIFYM or “flexible dieting” lifestyle and everything that came with it. My husband and I did intense military style strength training regimens. We spent an obscene amount of money on supplements per month. I counted every macro and every step I took and to boot basically had no social life. It was fun while it lasted but I eventually burnt myself out and just couldn’t live and breathe “fitness” anymore.
Having gone through it myself, I feel compelled to share with you why diets suck and what you should do instead.
Meal prepping can be a great tool in helping make sure that you always have nutritious food on hand. However, it can also be a pain in the ass. I don’t know about you guys, but spending a few hours cooking food that I’m not going to eat for several days (and then cleaning the dishes and finding places to store the tupperware) is an absolute nightmare.
We all have methods of meal preparation that work for us. I can assure you that eating pre-cooked and reheated meals out fo tupperware doesn’t work for me. This is what really makes diets suck in my opinion.
Instead, my husband and I spend one night a week planning what to make and buy for the week. We have shared several recipes here on the blog. Seeing that I work from home, I make a fresh lunch and dinner every day but I do not stray from my plan.
Don’t Obsess Over Macros
We all know that macro counting and diets suck. However, meal planning and macro counting are essential when you’re trying to lose weight. However, you don’t want to be that girl who shows up to your friend’s engagement party with your cooler of meal prepped food so that you can “stay on track”. Macro/calorie counting can become a slippery slope into food obsession. If you feel yourself avoiding social outings because you’re worried about what to eat/order please take a step back.
It’s a good idea to track for a few weeks to get an idea of what is in the foods you’re eating. After a while you should have an idea of what you’re taking in and be able to move to a more intuitive approach. Focus on eating more whole, natural foods and less processed foods. And most importantly learn to eat proper portion sizes.
Have Realistic Expectations
The number one reason that diets suck and people fail at them is having unrealistic expectations. We’ve all heard this before but slow and steady does win the race. Instead of trying another ridiculous diet that expects you to cut out all food groups except vegetables (cough cough, Whole 30) focus on slowly improving your daily habits one step at a time.
Instead of doing an elimination diet, slowly reduce how much dairy/alcohol/red meat – whatever your case may be week by week. This way you will actually still feel satisfied versus deprived and you will be teaching yourself new habits for a sustainable lifestyle.
An example would be like this:
First Week – cut back 2 alcoholic beverages per week, start exercising 3 times a week
Second Week – same as week 1 but also start tracking macros
Third Week – same as weeks 1 and 2 but cut out 2 more alcoholic beverages per week, eat one less meal out per week
Don’t Overdo It
In the world of fitness, more does not always equal better. Just as you didn’t gain weight in a day, you can’t expect to lose it overnight either. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve gone down the over training road many times before. It is great at first when you go from being sedentary to slightly active to a beast mode fitness queen. However, this comes with consequences. Our bodies are like machines and quickly adapt to the challenges we present it with. The more you do early on, the more you will continue to need to do to further your results. Make sense?
Once your body adapts to your new fitness routine, it will continue to burn less calories doing the same thing as it becomes more efficient at the tasks expected of it. That’s why it’s great to constantly mix things up. I have tons of workouts already posted here too. Find something you can stick to and build from there.
Before & After
Religiously counting macros, training 1.5 hours 5-6 days a week, $250 in protein shakes and supplements per month, meal prepping 5 days a week, no social life
Occasionally counting macros, exercising 4-5 days per week, meal planning weekly, $0 in supplements, abundant social life
The bottom line, find ways to move your body that you enjoy. Make better choices one meal and one day at a time. Find ways to be happy with the body you were given.