Let’s talk about calories.
All we need to know with calories is the amount. If you want to lose weight, or if you want to gain weight, it's all about the caloric balance in the end. There's no magic formula for this. For example, we’ve all heard of these experiments where people would eat a Mcdonald’s or 7-Eleven diet and still lose weight. Mind blowing, am-I-right? Not really.
If you’re only goal is to lose weight, all you need to really worry about is a negative calorie balance. There's a million different ways that you can do this. That’s one of the reasons that things like intermittent fasting, ketogenic diets, and whatever else are so popular, is because it gets you into a negative balance with what are - on the surface - easy to follow rules.
But In the end, they don't work for most people because they're so restrictive. They overly restrict the things that people like to eat that aren’t necessarily considered healthy, but are just fine in moderation. This is why learning how to truly EAT is a better long term plan.
Removing carbohydrates from your diet for the rest of your life is not realistic, it's really just a short term strategy. Different diets whether it’s high fat and low carb or low fat and high carb will make you perform and feel differently, but both can help you lose weight.
The thing that confuses people is that the popular diets they see models or physique competitors use are short term solutions, not long term plans. Most people’s goal is not to step on stage, but to be 10 pounds lighter and feel better about themselves. For this to happen, it’s more about understanding very basic dietary concepts. One is to consume more quality non-processed foods.
Another important one I use with my nutrition coaching is the concept of eating to 80% full. Essentially you can eat whatever you want, as long as you don’t eat until you’re stuffed. That's a strategy that works extremely well.
In the end if you are looking to perform at a high level or to build lean body mass, what you eat is going to matter. But if you're just trying to lose a little bit of weight or feel a little bit better, ignore all of the fads. Just start with eating until you're 80% full and see how that works for you. Once you get comfortable with that, there’s plenty more strategies to start trying, just start simple.
Please remember, ignore the fads and strive to learn how to eat in a sustainable way for a lifetime. You need those sound habits before you use any other advanced methods. Diet is something to be thought of in the long term, not what can make a quick fix. Using sound and simple habits such as the 80% rule will definitely get the best results and allow you to keep them.
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