As someone whose weight fluctuates up and down about 15 pounds, I have tried many tactics to get it to stay at the low end of that spectrum. I am a big supporter of exercise, and have worked hard to get the best routine for myself over the past five years (another article!). But the thing that loomed over me like a giant (cotton candy) cloud that I could not get a grasp on is what I ate.
I have done many things to try to lose weight and gain control over what I eat including going days only drinking juice, and months not eating dairy. I have only recently started the ketogenic diet, which has had the best results for my body and is very easy for me to maintain (I can eat cheese!!!). I have a LOT of experience in this subject, so I would like to provide the vina community with my advice on finding the right diet.
Okay, first of all, before you even start, don’t think of it as a diet. The second you label the way you are eating as a diet, the stigma and stereotypes of one start. You’ve probably heard this term before, but I much prefer to think of it as a＊lifestyle choice＊. Other people may not see it that way, so if they judge you for eating differently, think to yourself, “It’s not a diet, it’s just a change in the way I am living my life!” (key word here is my). Also, if they do judge you for it, f*** them. (Check out our article on letting your friends know you’re changing your eating habits here).
Second, figure out your goals. And not just any goals, but practical, specific, non-superficial ones. If you start eating differently only to lose weight, then you will punish yourself internally for going off track, and the last thing you want is a contentious relationship with food. Eating carbs is not a sin (its actually necessary!) so do not hate yourself for it! Keep eating things you love, just in smaller amounts (Also, you absolutely do not have to eat anything you despise, just find a tastier substitute). Set goals such as, “I want to feel better after I eat and not bloated” or “I want to stay satisfied after meals for longer.” These are personally tailored to you, easy to track, and will remind you that you’re doing this for good, health-oriented reasons.
Next, do your research. I found the way I eat now by reading Fat for Fuel by Joseph Mercola. His book goes over how exactly food is processed in your body on a cellular level, and how that affects your health and functioning. He taught me that everything you eat has an impact on how your body works, so it’s immensely important to give it what it needs to perform at its best, regardless of weight. Read articles on nutrition and learn about macronutrients and intermittent fasting (for example) and assess if the benefits of the lifestyle outweigh the costs in your life. Biology is so important, and is the best subject to learn about in order to find out what you should eat for your body and goals. Pick your eating choices off of science, not trendiness.
Remember, your body needs food! You have to have nutrients and energy to survive, so think of this as finding the ones that best fit your body and goals. “Healthy” food is often delicious and easy to come by, so do not build it up as some big thing in your head. Most important of all, be nice to yourselves, vinas, because the most important part of living a healthy lifestyle is self-love. Here are some more tips to successful eating!
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(Featured Image via topsy one).