Updated: Nov 16
This really is the question isn't it? You see it all over the internet, on morning news and talk shows, and in magazines and newspapers. It seems to be a different answer everywhere you look.
"Paleo!" "Keto!" "Vegan!" "Put Butter In Your Coffee!"
The list goes on... and the debates are fierce. And stupid. Nutrition has become polarized by "beliefs". Nutrition isn't a religion. It's a science. And while it's relatively young in comparison to other major sciences, we do know quite a bit about nutrition and about how different foods create different outcomes.
That all said, the human body can adapt to a number of different ways of eating and be healthy. Meaning... there is no one best diet. All of the diets tend to work for two reasons... they create a caloric deficit and the individuals who they worked for were able to stick to that diet.
Which leads me to our title questions... The best answer for the best way to lose weight is... to maintain a caloric deficit. Right?
WRONG! But not for the reasons you might be thinking right now.
We know that you must be in a caloric deficit to lose weight. So, you could say, a caloric deficit is the only way to lose weight. Which means replying to this question with "a caloric deficit" isn't just a waste of your time and the time of the person asking the question, it's condescending and unhelpful.
My fitness and nutrition professional colleagues could use some intelligence. If there is only one way to lose weight, they're not really asking what it looks like they're asking. Their question is better phrased:
What is the best way to maintain a caloric deficit? but people don't talk like that. They talk like this... "What's the best way to lose weight?" or "Is it possible to lose 20lbs in three weeks?"
It's the professionals job to recognize what the client is really asking and make the change in their heads and then give the best answer they can. Something helpful! Anyway, rant over.
So here is my answers to the question... What's The Best Way To Lose Weight?
1) Stop Worrying About It:
It will take a paradigm shift to accept this, but losing weight isn't a great goal. It's potentially damaging physically and psychologically.
Has your doctor told you that you need to lose weight? I'm not one to argue with the doctor or try to explain her or his reasoning, but in many cases the doctor looks at the number on the scale similar to how they look at blood pressure. If it's too high, they make recommendations to bring it down. Even if there is no other signs of medical issues.
Imagine with me for a moment: If you could wake up tomorrow morning, loving the way you look and feel, with your health improved, and with the energy and confidence to go out, take on all opportunities, and not worry about your body image... would the number on the scale still matter to you?
Consider this: Focusing on improving your health and mindset could bring about those changes permanently. Not overnight, but the habits required to live a healthy, happy life are good for everybody and could lead to weight loss. In some cases, however, men and women don't lose weight despite developing these. Letting one's value be determined based of the number on the scale could derail the healthy habits and lead to disordered eating.
Focus on healthy eating habits first. Try to eat a lean protein and a vegetable at every meal or snack.
Another great habit is to east slowly and mindfully and learning to stop when you're no longer hungry, but before you're stuffed.
For most people, these habits will lead to eating less without depriving themselves of the things they like. (In other words, it could lead to a caloric deficit without restrictive dieting.)
3) Strength Training:
You should be lifting weights.
Yes, YOU! Doesn't matter if you are a man or woman, lift heavy stuff, 30 to 60 minutes a day, 3 to 4 days a week.
For most people, this is enough to build new muscle overtime. Strength training and building new muscle will change you physically and mentally.
At least 30 minutes 6-7 days a week.
You can do other cardio, but walking has a ton of amazing benefits. It's low impact, So it's good on your hips, knees, and spine.
And for a world that sits more than ever before in human history, walking helps correct what sitting has done to us.
Quick Note: Some of you might read this and think, "Whoa, slow down! How am I going to find 6-8 hours a week to workout?"
Now, this is a great question. And the answer is, as I tell most (if not all my clients), you don't.
At least not in the beginning.
We break this down into smaller, more manageable steps and, over the course of their program, we build up to this. I've had clients start seeing great results by just adding vegetables and 5-10 minutes of exercise a day.
Pick something small, that you know you can do daily and start there!
Tell me what your something is in the comments below or in our Facebook Group!
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