Updated: Dec 6, 2018
Let's face it, with all of the trending diets out there, figuring out the best way to lose weight is more confusing than ever! But don't worry. I have a TON of experience with this and I can't wait to share the knowledge. What is the best way to lose fat? This is probably the number one question I get. Put simply, the best way to lose fat is to eat healthy and exercise. Simple, yes. Easy, no. I would consider nutrition to be the most important aspect to focus on to lose weight, so let's dive into what I believe to be the BEST diet to achieve fat loss and maintain it!
You need to choose a "diet" that you can stick to for the rest of your life. Because truth be told if you do a fad diet, once you stop you will most likely gain the weight back.
So instead of thinking of a diet as a short term punishment, you need think of it as a lifestyle change. Diet isn't a bad word. It actually just means the way you eat. For example, Lauren follows a plant-based diet. That doesn't mean she restricts calories or macros, it just means that she doesn't eat animal products. So don't be scared by the word diet, just think of it as your way of eating.
Personally, I believe a Paleo diet is best.
Why? Because all you are eating is nutrient dense foods. You aren't cutting carbs, or fats. You are eating a balanced diet. Full of healthy fats, vegetables, potatoes, fruits, meats, fish, nuts, and eggs. All whole foods, no processed. These foods are safe and healthy for your body to consume. Processed foods lead to overeating, heart disease, diabetes, inflammation, chronic disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. Something I learned from the Whole30, which is a 30 day elimination diet similar to Paleo, was that what you put on your plate is either making you more or less healthy.
This is great but let's be realistic. I know for a fact, unless you were forced on a deserted island, you can not forsake your favorite foods for the rest of your life. Drum roll please...
Enter Flexible Dieting.
Flexible dieting is the best of both worlds if done correctly. It allows you to quite literally eat your cake and be healthy too. Flexible dieting means counting macros. Macros are Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins.
For example if you were my client I might tell you to eat 1600 Calories 45% Carbohydrates, 30% Fat, 25% Protein. Which equals out to 180g Carbs, 53g Fat, 100g Protein.
Then you could spent those macros on whatever you choose. The way that I think flexible dieting works best, is if you eat mostly paleo, but if you want to splurge on a donut or a burger, you will balance your macros so you can afford to eat them.
Here is an example of how this might work. This takes more planning, but you get to eat ice cream and lose weight, so I'd say your still winning!
First you want to work backwards. What do you want to fit in? Brownie & Ice cream.
Then, you will log it into a food tracking app like My Fitness Pal or Femfit App if you are my client.
Finally, balance your budget. Log all of your food for the day and take carbs and fats away from your other meals to allow for your splurge.
Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1 cup Spinach, 5.5 oz Sweet Potato
Lunch: 4 oz broccoli, 5.3 oz Red Potato, 5 oz Chicken
Dinner: 1 Cup riced Cauliflower, 4oz Green Beans, 5 oz Shrimp
Dessert: Brownie, 1 cup Ice cream
Total: 1554 Cals, 99g Protein, 55g Fat, 181g Carbs
NOTE: These are made up calorie suggestions, and I would not start here unless recommended by a coach.
Did you see that? All clean food all day except for that dessert. But it still fits in your macros, so you are golden! However, I will say that dairy and sugar can bloat you, so I would eat clean for a couple of days if you have an event to attend.
Putting it all together
So you might be thinking, this all sounds great but where do I even begin?
Month 1: Elimination DietFirst, I recommend starting with a 30 day elimination diet, like the Whole 30. You will eliminate added sugars, dairy, grains, legumes, and alcohol. No counting calories, no restrictions, eat as many Whole 30 approved foods as you need to feel satisfied and energized. This will fast track the process of learning how to eat healthy meals, eliminating cravings, and allowing your body to heal from the years of feeding it junk.
Carefully choose a date to start. Like a period of time that you don't have a vacation planned, so that you won't miss out on trying new foods. Before you start the Whole 30, pay attention to how certain foods make you feel after you eat them. I noticed dairy and sugar make me very tired! Then, wholeheartedly complete the Whole 30. More information is available on the Whole 30 website.
You will likely lose quite a few pounds from simply eliminating all of the junk. You will also likely have the best energy and mental focus of your life after about 3 weeks, this is called TIGER BLOOD!
Month 2-3: Reintroduction + Flexible Dieting
After the Whole 30, you can do a slow or fast reintroduction of foods to decide if you the foods you eliminated are worth eating. The fast track introduction takes about 10 days. You will introduce one food, then go back to Whole 30 diet for two days before reintroducing another food. Notice how the food makes you feel.
Day 1: Reintroduce Legumes.
Day 2&3: Whole 30.
Day 4: Reintroduce Dairy.
Day 5&6: Whole 30
Day 7: Reintroduce Non-Gluten grains.
Day 8&9: Whole 30
Day 10: Reintroduce Gluten Grains.
After these 10 Days, continue eating a Whole 30/ Paleo diet, but now let's begin Flexible dieting and adding in foods that you love.
First you need to find out how many calories your body needs and a macro split to follow. You can try to figure this out on your own with a calculator, or hire a credible coach for guidance. Then use the steps listed earlier to fit in treats when you wish.
It's important to note that you could fit in a lot of unhealthy food into your macros and lose weight, but you won't feel as satisfied or healthy if you aren't eating healthy foods. You need nutrients not just calories.
If your fat loss stalls, you can always lower your calories, have less treats, or add in more exercise. Again, I would recommend hiring a credible coach to do this safely and wisely.
Month 4 and beyond: Flexible & Intuitive Eating
You made it! You have been eating a flexible and healthy diet for 3 months now. You might be tired of logging your food, so now we will introduce Intuitive Eating.
I recommend you continue eating the way you have been, but now just quit logging.
By now, you should be able to eyeball your portions and you should be in a habit of meal prepping and taking your meals with you. Keep doing this. This is a lifestyle.
This is a journey. When you slip up, don't stress about it or go off the deep end, just get back to normal as soon as possible. Be patient and gracious with yourself. You can totally do this! If you need more help, well you know who to call! Me! If it wasn't obvious lol. That's all for today gals.
Check out my free sample meal plan for an example of what a healthy day of eating actually looks like.
All the best,
Your Femfit Coach