Now here’s something that I hear a lot. And it’s one of the biggest problems with diets.
Why Most Diets Fail
“I lost 20 pounds on keto. I need to get back and start doing it again!”
Keto worked right? You lost weight.
But did it?
After a while you put that weight back on. And why was that?
Because keto wasn’t something that you enjoyed long term.
If you love carbs and don’t want to give them up if you want to eat potatoes on a regular basis.
I’ve personally always been a big fan of potatoes and sweet potatoes. Keto just has no appeal for me. You might like the idea of Keto but does it really work around your social life and your particular preferences? Or are you going to constantly struggle to get back on keto again.
The Only Thing That Matters With Diets
No matter what trendy diet you hear about whether it’s keto the carnivore diet intermittent fasting vegan they try to get you to burn off more energy than you take in we call this a negative energy balance or a calorie deficit.
It’s how you actually lose body fat.
I’m going to tell you what the research says about diet and I’m going to help you pick one that’s right for you.
Because there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to diets. There really is no ideal diet for everybody.
I’m also going to tell you about the diet that I follow and what I recommend to my clients.
What The Research Says About Weight Loss Diets
“In the long term current evidence indicates that different diets promoted similar weight loss and adherence to diets will predict their success adherence.”
That’s the act of following the rules that the diet is giving you.
They only work as long as you follow them. And a lot of these diets are very difficult for people to follow.
Only a diet that you can do long term for the rest of your life is a diet worth doing.
I’m not saying that it’s never okay to diet for a vacation or for a wedding but overall what I want to talk to you about is long-term sustainable weight loss.
Sustainability In Your Weight Loss Diet
If you want to lose weight and you want to keep it off so that weight becomes your new normal weight you want to choose a plan that’s sustainable for you.
So first you have to know yourself.
If you wake up starving in the morning and you can’t wait to have a huge breakfast then intermittent fasting isn’t a good choice for you.
How Intermittent Fasting Can Be Helpful
On the other hand, if you’ve always heard, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” and you only eat in the morning because you feel guilty that you’re doing something wrong…then intermittent fasting might be something to explore. It could be an easy way of naturally reducing your calorie intake. Because if you go from three or four meals to only two or three meals without changing anything else you’re automatically going to reduce your calorie intake. And that means you’re going to be losing weight.
Why You Failed Before
You probably stop following whatever diet it was because it wasn’t sustainable for you.
When I begin with an online coaching client that’s actually exactly where I start.
What is your lifestyle like?
And what are your food preferences?
I even have a survey that I give to some of my new clients where they choose their favourite healthy foods their favourite treat foods, so that they can learn to identify which foods they’re just eating out of habit.
So I don’t really eat chips or fries because I don’t really like them. And those are higher calorie ultra processed foods that are not that healthy and I just choose not to eat them. But I do for instance eat ice cream and chocolate. So I don’t waste my calories having fries or a muffin. I save those calories for my portion of ice cream that I really really enjoy.
Why “Clean Eating” Isn’t The Answer
Here’s another comment that I often hear:
“I’m starting to put on weigh.t I have to cut out all junk food!”
Part of the problem is this whole all-or-nothing viewpoint where you’re either this healthy person who eats chicken and broccoli and goes to the gym every day or you’re the person who eats junk food regularly.
Which of those people do you think I am?
I’ve been a fitness and weight loss coach for over 22 years now. And I eat “junk food” nearly every day in small quantities. Ultra processed foods like ice cream or chocolate.
I enjoy them without guilt. And I don’t work out every day and I don’t eat nothing but chicken and broccoli.
What Does A Weight Loss Diet Have To Do?
A lot of people have this preconceived notion about what a diet has to be. But there’s only one thing that a diet actually needs to do: be a way of getting you into an energy deficit.
Usually that means eating primarily whole foods and then having smaller portions of ultra processed foods that you really enjoy. You can get the weight loss results you want without completely changing yourself.
Studies that have looked at the popular commercial diets of the last couple of decades, things like: South Beach, Atkins, WW formerly known as Weight Watchers, The Ornish diet.
They find that they do work as long as people adhere to them and they work pretty much equally well. As long as the person is able to get into a calorie deficit through those diets.
And any diet can allow you to do that. In the short term, we do find that lower carb diets help reduce cravings and then make it easier to manage your appetite.
But in the long term not everybody wants to be doing a low carb diet that means that you’ll just experience a rebound back to your normal weight. Hopefully just the weight that you were at and not additional weight, which is also possible when people follow a restrictive diet for a certain period of time. They tend to overeat when they stop that restrictive diet.
Diets DO Work, But…
Diets do work as long as you’re able to stay on them. So the most important thing is whether or not you’re able to maintain that diet for the long term. You need to find out what works for you.
What Diet Do I Recommend?
I often get people asking me what type of diet I’m on. And it’s very much just an Ivana Chapman diet. It’s just what I eat based on my preferences.
What I recommend to my online coaching clients varies as well, depending on their preferences and their lifestyles. So unlike a lot of nutrition coaches I don’t just put everyone on intermittent fasting or put everyone on Paleo.
Going long periods without food doesn’t work for some people. Other people can deal with that intermittent fasting process. So it’s really about finding the ideal way of naturally reducing calories without turning your life upside down. There’s no one diet that I give to each of my clients.
I don’t really even think about it that way I work from where people are and then build a diet that allows them to reduce their calorie intake. Because that’s really what it comes down to. Without changing their lifestyle too much and working within their preferences in terms of how often they want to eat what foods they actually enjoy.
They choose the lean proteins, the vegetables, and the treat foods that they enjoy. Because I strongly believe that you need to incorporate those as well.
I sometimes try and start people off with a variation of flexible dieting where they do have a calorie or a macro target. But for most people I just have them monitor their calories for a short period of time in order to gain that education.
The Importance Of Protein Within A Weight Loss Diet
Research has shown that diets that are higher in protein help you maintain your muscle mass when you are dieting. And it helps keep your appetite under control and can reduce your cravings, particularly when combined with fats. So it does benefit you for many reasons to keep an adequate amount of protein in your diet.
There are a lot of strategies that can help you get into a calorie deficit and lose body fat don’t feel that you’re restricted.
If you’re not sure how to put this all together for yourself please check out my online coaching program HERE.