I recently started a video series where I focus daily on different fitness and health related tips. You can find these videos on my Facebook page, LaVack Fitness.
Tuesday’s video, Dealing with Food Guilt can be seen below:
I heard from many of you regarding food guilt after watching my video. A common response is: “I’ve been doing ‘x’ diet for ‘x’ amount of time. I’ve had great results and have lost ‘x’ pounds since starting this diet but I’m nervous about eating bad foods again.” These clients have worked incredibly hard to lose weight and they don’t want their positive results to go down the drain. I applaud their efforts and the right intentions are there. It’s a huge first step towards successful, long-term weight loss. Unfortunately, diets in today’s society set you up to fail.
Why your diet has set you up for failure…
The U.S. weight loss industry totaled a profit of about $64 Billion in 2014. Most diets are designed to create quick and short-term results. Why you ask? The answer is PROFIT! Most creators of these diet plans don’t care about your success. They only care about making money. They are a business after all, which is based on results. Their program provides you with evidence of short-term success and if any weight is gained or you “fail” later on, you will be blamed for your “bad eating.” While many programs use fancy words, the truth is that not many do more than just monitor your calorie intake. Some will even offer supplements which make some very steep, yet often unsupported claims. Bottom line. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
So what does a diet need to be effective? Below are the key components for a successful, long term weight loss plan:
Lifestyle and Behavioral Modifications
Just about any diet that requires you to actually monitor what you are putting into your body will be successful…assuming you follow directions. You need to be taught how to handle NOT dieting. Losing weight is great! Gaining it all back stinks. Diets are designed to help you lose weight in the short-term, but where is the value aside from the diet?
- Do you know what you can or can’t eat?
- Do you know what is suitable macro-nutrient breakdown based off your goal(s)?
- Do you know roughly how many calories you should be consuming daily?
- Do you know how much a serving is of the food you are eating?
- Does your diet plan teach you these concepts?
- Does the program teach you how to handle stressful situations?
- Does the program give you strategies to make adjustments when eating out?
Did you answer yes to all of these questions? You should if you want to be successful without having to rely on the crutch of a “diet”. Falling short on these and other lifestyle and behavioral modifications limits how successful this type of plan can be in the long-term. If it’s not easy to follow, it’s not going to last. As soon as the stress of life becomes too much, you’ll let something falter, and unfortunately it is usually the nutritional side of things.
I can quickly see why you would be fearful of stopping a diet plan that seems to be a successful path for you at the moment. That’s a lot to think about and figure out on your own. Keep reading…
The diet doesn’t cut out an entire food group!
This makes me crazy and does not make for successful weight loss! Most programs cut out carbs as much as possible, especially sugars, because this will yield short-term weight loss “success”. With limited carbohydrates in the system, the individual is able to “lose” weight. Unfortunately a vast majority of this is simply just water weight due to depletion of glycogen stored in the body. As soon as they are replenished (once the program is finished), the levels will return back to normal and the weight will be gained back.
A program should allow for every food group because there is nothing wrong with any of them. The only time to remove a food group from your diet is if a medical professional has deemed it necessary because of an intolerance or allergy. For example, you are lactose intolerant, which means dairy is off the menu or you have Celiac Disease which would eliminate gluten from your diet. Otherwise…
Carbohydrates – Good for you.
Protein – Good for you.
Fats – Good for you.
The diet doesn’t make certain foods the villain!
Pizza is bad for you.
Ice cream is bad for you.
Candy is bad for you.
Nothing upsets me more than trying to label certain foods as “bad”. These foods are not going to kill you. There are very few foods that are going to be unhealthy to an overall diet. Even water can kill you if you drink too much of it! Moderation is the key…
Some foods will allow you to easily stick to your goal and can be eaten in larger volumes, while other foods will make it harder to stick to your goal so aim to reduce the quantity of these types of food. This doesn’t mean you have to eliminate completely just be aware of your portions and realize it may not be the ideal food choice for the goal at hand.
The diet teaches you how to be successful without spending excessive amounts of money.
Diet programs that make outrageous claims and often involve a supplement are a scam to get your money. These programs will measure food into proper portions to help towards your goal. That is it. There is no magic sauce or ingredients. Nothing else special to miraculously make you successful. You follow the plan, you lose weight. Period. So save your money and just do it on your own!
Food is not scary.
It’s one of the greatest parts of life. It gives you the fuel to build a strong body and therefore, a healthy life. Take advantage of that! Treat food as a source to help you be more amazing and successful in whatever you choose to accomplish: muscle gain, weight loss, sports performance, etc…
If you better understand how to set yourself up for success you’ll quickly realize that there is nothing to fear when it comes to food. Fear of food is due to a lack of understanding. There is no “bad” food. Stop trying to over-complicate things. Work on making educated decisions with a goal in mind and you’ll be way on your way to well-balanced and healthier weight loss.
Want more tips on successfully losing weight? Grab my free eBook.
Along with this FREE eBook, you’ll gain access to information only LaVack Fitness Insiders receive including some awesome free workouts, which help you lose fat and build lean muscle mass.