No-No Diets

I often snack between classes. When I used to wear a Fitbit I found that I burned about the same number of calories teaching a class as I did taking a class so I definitely need to refuel when I have a long class block. One day, as I scarfed down a sweet potato between classes, a client approached me and asked me what I was eating. I told her. “Isn’t that too many carbs?” She asked. I was a little thrown off by her response.

No-no diet gimmicks

“Your body’s main source of energy is carbohydrates,” I said “and what better way to get carbs than from a minimally processed, nutrient dense food source.” Ok, admittedly maybe my answer made me sound like a female version of a D-bag– but hey, its the truth!
Reading one of my favorite blogs today I was kind of disappointed that the blogger was going on what I call a “no-no” diet. No gluten, no fruit, no sugar– I’m sure you know what kind of diet I’m talking about– It has some mystical rules to follow and those rules involve cutting certain foods out of your diet.
While there is some merit to these types of diet– they inspire mindfulness, they break the habit of eating junk food, they provide structure– ultimately I think these diets fail. Why? Because instead of empowering you to make decisions based on your lifestyle and circumstances they give you arbitrary rules that make you feel like a failure when you have a piece of potato.
Want to lose weight? Unless you have a metabolic disorder (which is rare) it’s not hard. For the most part it is calories in vs. calories out. Figure out how many calories you need to be at your ideal weight and eat that. Heck, I even have a free calculator that will help you figure out what that is. If you want to maximize satiety and health focus on eating whole, minimally processed food.
Yes, you can get into the minutiae of how different type of foods affect your body and, yes, I do recommend maximizing protein intake (a post for another day), but once you have the basics of calories in vs calories out you can allow indulgences within your caloric “budget” and still stay on track with your weight loss goals.
Have you ever tried a “no-no” diet? What was your experience?
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