Sustained weight loss is a lot harder than a fad diet, where you can lose weight quickly and gain it back shortly after. If you’re in it for the long-term, you need to make serious lifestyle changes that will allow you to stay fit all year long.
There’s no sense in putting in all of your effort for a month or two only to gain the weight back.
You can incorporate meal replacement shakes and other tricks to lose weight, but if you don’t follow the pillars of a great diet, you’re going to ultimately fall short.
1. Nutrient-Dense Foods are Key
If you’re going to eat, eat nutrient-rich foods. These are the foods that will propel your body forward, ensuring that you’re as healthy as possible. Raw is usually best, as is fresh foods. You’ll also want to avoid foods that contain:
This means that you should ditch those pesticide- and growth-agent-filled foods.
Eat local food. Visit farmers’ markets, grow a garden – do whatever you can to eat food that’s local. These foods will be the basis of your diet.
2. Eat Food Strategically and Until Satisfied
If you’re eating food until the moment that you feel like you’re going to pop, this isn’t good. Eating until you’re full often means you’re eating too much. The goal should be to feel satisfied. The point between being full and hungry is the ideal time to stop eating.
A main component of a bodybuilding diet plan is to eat every 2 – 4 hours. A weight loss plan can follow the same concept. Eating strategically is even more important than the 2 – 4 hours rule. The idea is simple:
- Eat for the activity you’re going to perform
If you’re eating before a workout, you’ll have an entirely different need than when eating after a workout when your body is trying to repair.
3. Macronutrients Lead to Success
The concept of macronutrients has enabled a lot of people to lose weight, gain muscle and cut down on body fat. You’ll find that there are three macronutrients:
Everyone’s needs are different, but when you follow macronutrients, you can add pizza into your daily diet or even an ice cream. Yes, this often goes against the first principal, but when people are told they can never eat food they like again, they start their diet with a negative view.
Macronutrients require you to have a breakdown of what your day’s calories will be made out of in terms of food.
IIFYM’s macro calculator is a great starting base. You’ll be able to find what your base macros should be and can adjust them based on these figures. I’ve personally lost a lot of weight using this very calculator and following the principles of a macronutrient diet.
The good thing about macronutrients is that this isn’t a low caloric diet that will destroy your body’s metabolism.
You will need to make adjustments to your calculations, but over the long-term, you’ll be able to maintain a fairly normal diet with good food. It’s a struggle to remain healthy and fit, but if you follow the three points above, you’ll be on your way to a long-term healthy weight.