There’s a saying I heard one day that has stuck with me for a long time.
You might not count calories, but your body does.
This is the basic theory behind weigh loss and weight gain, calories in versus calories out. You can make a whole lot more of it, but this is pretty much it.
If you consume more calories than your body requires to maintain its weight, then chances are you will gain weight.
If you consume less calories that your body requires to maintain its weight, then chances are you will lose weight.
See, I did say it was basic theory, but this is what every successful diet, eating plan, call it what you will is based on. Get someone to successfully eat less calories than is required to maintain their weight over a period of time and the ‘magical’ process of weight loss will occur.
The problem with the above strategy is finding the solution to your problem, the piece missing from your puzzle so to speak.
Which diet is better? The South Beach Diet or the Atkins Diet? Eat six meals a day or two?
The answer? Whichever you can consistently follow for that elusive period of time to lose weight. You see underlying all of these ‘diets’ is calorie restriction, consuming less calories. All ‘diets’ work if you follow them, and follow them for long enough.
- Lose weight with McDonalds, sure just keep your calories in check (read it here)
- Lose weight eating Twinkies every few hours? Sure, why not (read it here)
Are these the healthiest way to lose weight? I don’t think so but don’t always confuse weight loss and health.
At the end of the day you need to find out what works best for you. Eating for weight loss shouldn’t be adding more stress to your life, it should make things easier. How often do you hear that someone (perhaps yourself) were losing weight following ‘ABC’ program until ‘XYZ’ happened and they couldn’t keep doing it?
This is because the ‘diet’ was adding stress and making life in general harder. Add in some more stress and something has to go (empty your cup).
Remember this, all diets will work if you follow them. If you can’t follow it, for an extended period of time (think 12 weeks to years) then find something else that you can stick with that’s easy and doesn’t add stress.
Brad Pilon says it best in his book Eat Stop Eat,
Eat less, while enjoying the foods you eat. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and lots of herbs and spices. And maybe most importantly, spend less time stressing over the types of food you are eating.
Let me know what you think with a comment below (and give some love with Facebook Likes and Tweets!)