There are so many different and often conflicting opinions on what diet you should be following for optimal fat loss.
• Low carb
• Low fat
• Intermittent fasting
• IIFYM (If it fits your macros)
And that is just to name some of the more well know ones.
Every friend, celebrity or even “fitness professional” you ask will give you a different answer and they are often very passionate about what worked for them and why YOU should do what they did.
The problem with this is that we are all very different, and like most things in life it is not black or white. Just because something worked for one of your friends, or a celebrity got “ripped” by following a certain plan, itdoes not mean it is going to be the best choice for you.
There is one overriding factor that dictates how successful your chosen plan is going to be, and that is CONSISTENCY. Pretty much every type of diet/eating plan out there will work if you follow it properly and for a long enough time. Without being consistent you don’t stand a chance of getting close to the results you want.
Let that sentence sink in because it is a very important one.
You must also bear this in mind when choosing what sort of diet to follow, because if you choose something which you are going to struggle to follow, you are doomed before you start.
I personally am a bit of an all or nothing kind of guy (which is not necessarily a good thing!) so I like to set myself very restrictive plans, which involve giving up alcohol completely, following strict macro ratios (protein, carbohydrates and fat) and I set meal frequencies and meal times. I get great results following low carb plans with fairly high protein. Does this mean I would recommend this to all my clients? Hell no! I have a varied client base and for some of them, the rigidity of the type of plan that works for me would put them off and they would not want to follow it. This is another key point, you have to enjoy either the process and the results they will give you, or enjoy the foods you are eating so you can actually follow it!
If you are an actor and have 12 weeks to get really lean for a role where the whole world can see what you look like, you have a considerable sum of money and your career on the line if you fail to achieve the results, then it is much easier to follow a really strict plan as there is a large amount of accountability, the motivators are very strong!
On the other hand, if you are an average person carrying too much body fat and you’ve decided to lose some BUT you have no deadline or accountability i.e. no one knows you are doing it or cares, then trying to eat chicken breasts and broccoli 6 times a day for 12 weeks is most likely not going to work unless you have a massive amount of self discipline and laser focus.
A good starting point (before you commit to a new plan) is to create a food diary of an average week, you can do this on paper, on a spread sheet, or use one of the many app’s such as Fatsecret or MyfitnessPal. Have a look at what you’re eating and see if the plan you are considering is close to this or the polar opposite. Be honest with yourself, have you tried restrictive diets and failed in the past? Can you really see yourself following through with it? I am not telling you not to try, just to be realistic. If you think you can follow a strict plan with no margin for error it will most likely deliver the best results…. IF you can follow it.
Too many people attempt to diet, fail because it was too hard and then give up and feel bad about themselves for having no will power. Studies have shown that if people think they have overeaten or eaten the wrong things they will generally give up rather than rally themselves and try and make up for it. Self sabotage is one of the main reasons people fail, they pick something they were never going to stick with, and then when they can’t do it, it proves to them what they thought from the start and re-enforces a negative image of themselves.
How many people have you heard say they’ve been dieting for years and got nowhere? Quite a few I bet! Remember what I said earlier about every diet working if followed…. these people have been picking the wrong diet for them because they haven’t been able to follow it.
We give all our clients the benefit of the doubt and talk to them about what has worked for them in the past, what hasn’t, what type of foods they like eating and what they are prepared to change (or not) to achieve their desired result. If someone says to me they will do “whatever it takes” and they have limited time to do it, guess what, their plan is going to be pretty tough! If however, after a few weeks they are struggling to follow the plan, we will change it! I am not a believer in taking the easiest option first and an IIFYM (if it fits your macro’s) type diet just because you don’t want to give up a few things you know you shouldn’t be eating anyway, but I am a realist and will work with my clients to ensure that they get the result they want and find an approach which works for them.
If you would like to know how to choose a diet which works well for you and is sustainable then get in touch and book a FREE consultation below.
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