When I became a personal trainer, I was a bit intimidated by the aspect of recommending food choices to help other people lose weight. I was interested in learning how to diet for weight loss in order to help my clients. I was one of those people whose weight never seemed to change much. Eating healthy food had never been a problem for me as I never had a large supply of junk food to indulge in as a child. My mother believed strongly in the macrobiotic diet, but it didn’t magically heal my sister of her diabetes and my mother’s weight didn’t fluctuate much either. So, I questioned whether or not it was effective.
I experimented with many diets during my lifetime in order to heal from epilepsy and an autoimmune condition called Alopecia Universalis. It was actually the hair loss, alopecia universalis, which doesn’t have a good medical treatment that kicked my rear into gear regarding testing out different diets. I must admit, I’m somewhat of a serial dieter. I have tested out the blood type diet, the paleo diet, the autoimmune paleo diet, the macrobiotic diet, the Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet, raw vegan diet and last but not least, the ketogenic diet.
It is important to note that if the goal is weight loss, almost any of these diets will work for you as long as you have a calorie deficit. However, I will recommend that it you are struggling with an autoimmune condition or a neurological condition that you start with the GAPS diet or the ketogenic diet first. The goal of the gut and psychology syndrome diet is to heal and seal the gut. The goal of the ketogenic diet is to put the body into ketosis and thereby downregulate the body’s inflammation.
1. Mentally Prepare for Your Diet
This step gets skipped by almost everyone and that is why they tend to go back to their old eating habits. They have a mindset that food is comfort and the foods that have helped them to gain weight are the ones that they turn to when times get tough. Breaking this habit requires you to think differently about eating. I have a friend who commented to me once that “food is fuel.” By that he meant that he wasn’t concerned with enjoyment of eating as its purpose was to keep him sustained. He ate very healthy and exercised a lot. He was very fit as well.
How can you mentally prepare for your diet? Implement positive affirmations into your life. Write down statements that you read each morning regarding the healthy lifestyle that you want to lead. You may also want to look into purchasing a CD or MP3 of positive affirmations that you can listen to throughout the day. I have discovered that this is a wonderful way to change your behavior to be more in line with the goals that you want to achieve. Think Right Now has a great CD for eating healthy and exercising.
2. Change Your Beverage to Water
If you are going to be reducing your calories the first place to do it is with your beverage. Your body is 70% water. When you become deficient in water, you may start to experience negative symptoms and even develop a disease as your body rations out the water. Dr. Batmanghelidj, author of Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, theorizes that being overweight is an indication that you are chronically dehydrated. His recommendation is to drink 1/2 an ounce of water per pound of body weight and take 1/4 of a teaspoon of sea salt per day.
As I have worked with individuals on their nutrition and weight loss, this is one of the most indicative factors of success. If the person is willing to change their beverage to water. I had a friend who had gotten up to 400 pounds. He was obese and living states away from me. I knew I couldn’t monitor his fitness levels and when he asked me for advice. I told him to switch to water. He is now under 200 pounds and is feeling much better.
3. Select a Nutrient Rich Diet
After testing out a lot of different diets, I have found the best success for weight loss on the ketogenic diet. When the body is consuming fats, it tends to feel full and satiated. Many people who are on the ketogenic diet find it challenging to eat enough fat throughout the day to meet their macronutrient content.
The ketogenic diet has lots of wonderful and filling recipes that are easy to make from the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to get creative and buy weird ingredients. You just have to make sure that your carbohydrate count is below 20 grams of carbohydrate. That eliminates most processed foods, so what you end up eating is a much more nutrient dense diet.
4. Join Online Support Groups
I started the ketogenic diet once without a support group, but I have discovered that it is much more enjoyable to surround yourself with encouragement from people who are eating the same way you do. The ketogenic diet can be challenging for me now because I don’t have weight to lose and feel great from it, so every now and then at family gatherings and work lunches, it is tempting to eat the foods that are off limits on the ketogenic diet.
However, it is great to go into my facebook and see the ketogenic success stories. They motivate me to continue eating the healthier foods on the ketogenic diet and even to get creative with my own ketogenic diet recipes!
5. Get Back on Track Quickly!
Diets go awry. Life tends to get off track for many reasons. Whether it is family gatherings, travel, an emotional blow, or whatever, you are likely to get off your diet at some point. The best thing that you can do is quickly forgive yourself and then get back on track. What we tend to do instead is mull over it and continue to overindulge for days. Then we dwell on thoughts of regret and slowly get back on track. It is far better to acknowledge the mistake quickly and accept it as part of the process. Then plan your next healthy meal. You will discover that an off limits food now and then won’t be such a big deal when you are usually doing well on your diet.