3 (and a half) Degrees of Food Awareness
In the quest to lose weight, I hope we can all agree that simply adding exercise will not get you the results you’re looking for. There are several methods out there, but I wanted to focus on three(and a half) as I feel these create a natural progression.
If there are no metabolic issues and you eat less than you burn, you will lose weight, period. And this actually means, it doesn’t really matter what you eat, as long as what you eat doesn’t exceed what you burn(I am not advocating living off of snickers bars!). This usually works, for a lot of people, to a point at which they plateau, which is a sign the body has adjusted to the deficit. That’s the beginning of another post.
I am gonna go ahead and put things like Paleo, Atkins, Whole30, even Vegan or Vegetarian Diets in this group. Clean eating is minimizing or eliminating the amount of processed food in your diet. Many people end up losing weight because whole foods are more satiating than processed foods so they just end up eating less. Sometimes this also means blacklisting certain foods, often for no good reason. Paleo, I am looking at you.
Counting your macros means that you are paying attention to the amount of each macronutrient going into your body on the daily. Protein, Carbs, and Fat. The ratio of these three nutrients can vary tremendously depending upon the goals you have. But really, this approach acknowledges that each nutrient has massively different functions within the body and different ratios yield different results. For instance, it doesn’t matter how clean your diet is, if you’re not getting enough protein, you’re gonna have a hard time building or keeping muscle.
Many people, especially if they are veteran dieters, have a damaged metabolism. What I mean by that is the metabolism uses more glucose and less fat at rest than we would like. That means, when we eat carbs, our body spends it right away. We get the high and then we crash. Ideally, we are fully aerobic at rest, meaning our bodies are only using fat while we’re not at the gym. To do that we can time our carb intake around workouts to essentially teach to the body to use carbs properly.
Each approach has it’s merits and it’s downfalls. Each individual has different needs and different diet history, and there is no one size fits all approach to eating. Understand that the closer you get to your goals, the more specific you might need to be. And something that worked for you in the past, might not work for you now.