Why is it that the majority of the people who come to me, say almost the exact same thing?…..
Ok. I have been giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. Most people do not get the recommended amount of physical activity. We should be getting a minimum of 150 minutes a week and more like 300 to 500 minutes if weight loss is the goal! For some reason, we realize this. We admit this openly! We are even willing to make extreme efforts at increasing our activity.
On the flip side we are not even aware when our diets are off or maybe just not willing to make changes.
I totally understand! There is so much terrible advice out there. But if we want to see changes than we have to make changes!
I have seen a few people make significant changes to their diets and these are the effective common habits:
- Measure everything
- Record everything (Myfitnesspal.com)
- Just Eat Real Food (nothing form a package)
- Eat Slowly without distractions
- Listen to hunger cues so not eating when depressed but when actually hungry
- Eat more non-starchy, high nutrient dense vegetables and fruit and more protein. Eat less (or none for some) bread, crackers, pasta, rice, potatoes.
- Drink copious amounts of water, green and herbal tea
Are you honestly currently doing all or most of the above?
What happens if you are and it’s still isn’t working for you?
Have you taken a look at what you have been eating? Do you know if you really have a “pretty healthy diet”? Have you recorded everything.. I mean everything?
So if you are not sure that you are practicing all of the above common effective habits of successful dieters. Then it’s time to take an honest look at these common non-effective habits that we may not even realize we are doing:
- Portion Distortion
- Eating to fill an emotional void
- Dehydration disguised as hunger
- Eating packaged foods
- Only paying attention to calories in vs. calories out
- No idea of how many calories should be coming from Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fats (these are recommended based on goals and body type)
- Nutrient deficiencies
According to Precision Nutrition, these are the most common deficiencies among new clients:
- water (low-level dehydration)
- vitamins and minerals
- protein (particularly in women and in men with low appetites)
- essential fatty acids (95% of the population is deficient here)
If we are not paying attention to our portions than these deficiences can creep into the most well intentioned diet.
Has not worked for you than,
You might be interested in alternative way to monitor your diet. Precision Nutrition offers some amazing graphics that I highly recommend printing and pinning to your fridge.
This is a great way to start evaluating your meals. Just remember that everyone responds differently to Macronutrient (Carbs, Fat, Protein) distribution. It is so important to change this if you are not responding to your current routine!
Here are some good ideas for troubleshooting your diet:
- Decrease Carbohydrates in half. Do this only if you have not already done this.
- Increase Carbohydrates slowly if you have already tried decreasing for more than a month without changes.
- Increase Protein especially if you are working out more than you were before.
- Increase consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids – Wild fish, flax, walnuts, chia, ….
- Get blood-work done to determine if you have any of the deficiencies listed in the chart above.
Portions, choices, and variety are just a part of it. Listening to your hunger and your emotions is often the most difficult and ignored factor in our diets.
I highly recommend reading Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink but if you don’t have time here are two short articles to get you thinking about little things you can do to counter the effect of eating in a busy busy world:
So what is the take away?