Enough has been said about diet to make anyones (even a weight loss blogger’s) head spin. What a certain diet promises rarely (if ever) pans out in the data long term. Why is that? What happens when you can’t tell the difference between appetite vs. hunger? Or worse, when your appetite — your desire for food — doesn’t match your dietary needs or hunger? This is an equation for a messy relationship to both your body, your desire for food experiences, and your authentic appetite. I’m going to show you how to heal your relationship with food and, get this, also lose weight! Read up!
(If you think you may be suffering from an eating disorder, please seek professional help here.)
Types of Diets: Appetite vs. Hunger vs. ‘Healthy’ Diet Choices (How do We Decide?)
You know that mental dialogue that goes on when you are craving any given food? Your appetite vs. hunger equation meets your ‘wisdom’ about what makes a ‘healthy’ diet. Your appetite may want something sensational, your hunger or desire for fuel desires its necessary nutrients, and the referee between the two is the weight loss diet plan and healthy lifestyle tips you’ve picked up from authoritative sources. What we truly need, to guarantee easy weight loss, happiness, and health, is a fair referee.
Fact vs. Fiction: Can you spot which statements are true? Which type of diet is most promising to weight loss?
“Eat clean. Don’t eat processed foods and you’ll lose weight.”
“Calories are king. It doesn’t matter what you eat, you must run a caloric deficit to burn fat.”
“Cutting carbs is the only thing you need to do to lose weight.”
“The high carb diet is what actually works.”
“Put your body into ketosis! It’s the actual answer to weight loss.”
“Your body is designed to eat Paleo. It will cure everything.”
“A vegan diet is by far the healthiest and surest way to lose weight.”
“Always eat loads of animal protein!”
“Absolutely lower fat intake.”
“Low fat is so nineties, what you really need is more fat! Try this fat bomb recipe!”
Diet information is often, if not at all times, conflicting. There are 2 troubles with the “proof” any given diet “works” (read on).
A Weight Loss Blogger Weighs in: Diet Facts & Fiction
Is your head spinning yet?? Mine is! And I’m a weight loss blogger! Does this all sound familiar to you?? I bet it does! How could any or all of these statements be true? They all have data to back them, but they are all contrary to one another! Welcome to the rigours involved in data analysis! Don’t worry, I love this stuff, am trained to teeth, (which is why I became a weight loss blogger) and I have your back on this.
Trouble with Diet Plans, Tip #1: many effective fat loss strategies come from the bodybuilding world, where professionals bodybuilders have designed fat loss strategies they use in the “cutting” phases of preparing for a show/sculpting their physique. They are inherently self-deprecating; they are major sacrificial strategies made to achieve very specific goals! (The same goes for watching the Victoria’s Secret models getting ready for the annual show! This isn’t their lifestyle, nor should it be yours.)
These fat loss diet techniques are meant for success in the short term. They are not meant to replace a healthy diet.
Trouble with Diet Plans, Tip #2: when a new diet is discovered, or taken to researchers to test, the average time period of a study is less than 6 months. Think about it: research requires funding: money, time, resources. They test the diet, they gather the data, and they publish the findings in as short a time as possible. Even if they’d like to take longer, their resources are necessarily provided to them by outside sources. Researchers rarely have the choice to take the amount of time they’d like to.
Hardly any study collects data on the weight loss effects of any given diet in a year, two years, a decade. The time frame for “success” data to be gathered is incredibly short term.
When researchers have looked long term data, the outcome of dieting is evidently dismal — the truth is: diets aren’t just ineffective, they’re harmful to weight loss! I’ll talk about why dieting harms weight loss pursuits (and makes people gain more back) further on when I discuss the 3 aspects of diet that decide how much extra weight you lose or gain.
If Diets Don’t Work, What Does? (Can I win the Appetite vs. Hunger Battle?)
I’m going to cover specific diets in another post, so subscribe to my mailing list and on YouTube to get REAL data-backed insights (from me, an academic & weight loss blogger) plus what I’ve found works wonders (how I healed my relationship with food and lost weight). However, it has been noted that diet plans (especially very restrictive ones) result in a lowered resting metabolism. Oftentimes this damage is permanent. That means dieting can not only make losing weight harder, it can directly cause you to gain weight (Obesity Research Journal).
The real issue, according the biggest weight loss registry we have currently, is that people need a personalized approach — and they need help doing it (55% of sustainable weight loss is achieved via a plan) (National Weight Control Registry NWCR). A program like mine, that is highly personalized and data-driven, is ideal to tackle the journey to sustainable weight loss.
Rena Wing, a professor at Brown University, started the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) 24 years ago as a way to track people who successfully lose weight and keep it off. Although 80% of people who lose weight gain the weight (or more) back, 20% do manage to lose weight and keep it off. Guess what they found? This is mesmerizing.
Scientists found very simple correlations between the people who achieved long term fat loss: they all had found a reason larger than just themselves (like their health and ability to actively engage in their lives, professions, with their loved ones) to make a healthy lifestyle change and had incorporated physical activity into their routines (the most common exercise was walking). All you need is a daily gentle push in the right direction, I’m proof, and I became a weight loss blogger to provide solutions.
Long term fat loss is not, according to the data, contingent on restrictive dieting or extreme exercise regimes (National Library of Medicine)
How Can A Weight Loss Blogger Say Diet is Not Important to Lose Weight??
The truth is, diet, or more accurately nutrition is an important aspect of weight loss. Remember our long term fat loss study participants; they weren’t “dieting” — they weren’t “on a diet” or doing anything unpleasurable to their bodies — they made healthy, happy, lifestyle changes (that were a pleasure to incorporate into their lives)!
If you question whether or not you can make the necessary lifestyle changes that result in long term weight loss, I ask you how you can afford not to?! My methods are a real joy — a welcome addition to your life, not a restriction.
A REAL Diet Will Make Your Life Better, Healthier, Happier — AND Heal Your Relationship with Food
Food is your friend. Any diet that makes food groups enemies is not. If you’ve subscribed to this food-enemy war, and how could you not (really? that mentality is everywhere), you’ll need to recalibrate your understanding of nutrition to heal your relationship with food. From there we can establish a healthy lifestyle and a diet that will not only help you lose weight but make, and keep, you happy.
Being happy is a necessary facet to losing weight. I have a lot of resources to holistically address happiness and weight loss, but healing your relationship with food is a big step in the right direction.
3 Aspects, and Challenges, to Diet & Weight Loss for REAL
I said that diet (or nutrition) is important to weight loss. I also said that many of the diet info that’s distributed widely has merit (it has stats to back much of it up). However, most people will go wrong by forgetting that your body is a complex organism, and dieting for weight loss is reliant on the interplay between the 3 aspects of diet/nutrition and weight gain/loss. Let me explain (and provide solutions, yay).
Your metabolism regulates how many calories you burn and how much fat you store. If you have ever wondered how some people eat loads of calories, don’t work out, and still stay slim — look no further than metabolic rate.
What happens when you start restricting calories or food groups (like carbs), your metabolism slows to burn less calories. At first, it will burn fat for fuel. Your body is a miraculous and brilliant machine (far, far beyond our current understanding), you cannot outsmart it, your body will catch on to the caloric deficit it is under and retaliate.
Enter: cravings, an appetite that far exceeds your needs, and a lowered metabolic rate (calories being burned at a slower rate than when you began dieting).
Your metabolism will simultaneously create ravenous hunger while rationing out your calories, burning less energy, because it thinks you are starving!
The worst part is: you can damage your metabolism permanently this way. Many dieters would have been statistically “better off” never having gone on a diet to begin with!
Dieting can work in the short term, as many studies show, but your body is smarter than that and longer term data proves your metabolism will likely slow down long term — and even become permanently damaged.
Solution: to dramatically alter metabolic rate, you need a comprehensive course of action administering therapies which heal your mental, emotional, energetic and physical bodies. Metabolic rate is, like almost all bodily functions, ruled over by the unconscious which was essentially fully programmed by the time you were 7 years old. Deep therapies are required and they must be administered one very level to be fully effective.
We talked a bit about appetite in #1: when calories or necessary food groups (like carbs — dairy is not a food group) are restricted, your appetite often responds with acute hunger or cravings beyond your bodily needs.
Again, mental, emotional and spiritual diversions (blocks, challenges, wounds, hurdles, unfinished lessons) can dramatically interrupt your connection to your bodily appetite. My course, of course, comprehensively covers these affects and more, but you can also administer some therapies to heal your relationship with food all by yourself.
Solutions: Healing your appetite is intricately intertwined with the steps to heal your relationship with food. Practicing intuitive or mindful eating is incredibly effective to minor issues disconnecting your appetite vs. hunger.
Intuitive Eating addresses reconnecting to your natural, bodily hunger. This is an integral step to honing in and developing a healthy relationship to your body via nutrition (the next aspect). Resource.
Mindfulness Eating can be powerfully therapeutic for emotional eating, stress eating or anxiety fuelled bingeing.
Eating can be wonderfully emotional, experiential and satisfaction-based, but when we eat from negative, distracting, self loathing places it is bad-bad-bad. We literally eat our stress and dissatisfaction, we therefore end up becoming it.
Guess what? Calories matter. Yes, they do. The amount of calories you eat vs. burn is central to how much fat you lose or gain. As I mentioned, you can’t trick your metabolism or appetite out by deciding you are going to restrict calories. They’re much smarter than that. They’re much smarter than you!
What kind of a weight loss blogger would I be if I didn’t have a solution though!? There is a solution. The comprehensive solution is to get on my 12 week program. If you don’t need an intensive course (or a dramatic overhaul) you can use this advice to up your diet game right now!
Solution: eat your nutrients first! You’ve heard of “empty calories” right? Guess what happens when you eat a bunch of calories that aren’t nutrient dense? That’s right — you’ll stay hungry! It will be hungry for nutrients, and not just calories. Eat nutrient dense food first. If you are still hungry, eat more. Give your body good fuel so it can feel full, and satisfied, because it will be!
Your body is smarter than you. You can’t overpower it, nor do you need to! Your body is naturally lean and lithe — your ideal body is your nature. All you need to do is make the right choices to get on your truly natural track!
Weight Loss Blogger Diet Tips to Lose Weight via Nutrition
How do you eat healthy with all of this conflicting information about diet?? It’s actually surprisingly easy and awesome. Again, I’ll go into specifics in another post, but you can start here:
a Eat protein in the morning
b Cut whites out — go whole food
c Cut sugar out
d Raw fats only
e Fruit for sweets
f Veg first (raw is best)
g the most important part of a healthy diet for weight loss (and this weight loss blogger’s secrets to winning the appetite vs. hunger equation) in next post! Subscribe for notifications!