I’m going to say it right up front – the secret to weight loss is that there isn’t a secret.
Over the past years, we’ve complicated the whole system. Eat acai, not bananas. Eat half an apple 15 minutes before your workout then have a protein shake exactly 35 minutes after your workout to optimize your body’s uptake. Don’t eat after 6. Do this, don’t do that. No wonder people are confused. We’ve overcomplicated the whole thing.
So I’m going to say it right now – you can throw it all out the window. Okay, maybe not all of it, but most of it. When it comes down to it there are only a few hard and fast rules and here they are:
But first, a disclaimer:
Every person is different. This is one reason why weight loss is difficult. The same system that worked for Person A most likely will not work for Person B. Or it will work, but only for the first three weeks and during the 4th month of the year and when the sun is shining at exactly the right angle. Does that make sense? You have to figure out what works for you. Sometimes that takes trying a few things. And sometimes it’s not even that difficult.
That being said, here’s why it’s not that difficult. There are some basic rules that typically work for everyone:
1. Eat whole, unprocessed food. This means checking your food labels. If that list of ingredients goes on for a whole paragraph, I can guarantee you are not eating a whole, unprocessed food.
2. Eat balanced meals. “Balanced” means there is a protein, a carb, a healthy fat, and vegetables on your plate. Sometimes those proteins will have fat in them, sometimes those carbs mean vegetables. What I’m saying is that most foods aren’t 100% protein or 100% carbs. But don’t complicate it. If you have a palm-sized amount of chicken on your plate, a fist full of sweet potatoes and kale, and a thumb’s worth of olive oil, you’re sitting pretty.
3. Eat till you’re full.
4. Stop eating when you’re full.
5. Know what fullness feels like.
6. That probably means slow down.
7. Do the above every day – at least three times a day.
8. Drink water.
9. Limit alcohol. I know.
10. Limit sugar. Fruit sugar = okay. Cookie sugar = not so okay. Don’t complicate this.
Hey, so what about the protein shake? What about meal timing? Is alcohol really that bad for me? etc…?
Here’s what I’d say: If you’re planning meals like the ones listed above, you might not need that protein shake. If your meals lack protein, then you probably need that shake. Are you passing out during your workout? Then eat before. Are you starving after your workout? Then eat after. Is that vodka soda habit doing you well when you can’t sleep well or you wake up hung-over? As for the “etc…” well we could be here all day.
Truthfully, it’s simple. I get it, its actually very very hard to put these things into practice… or is it? As I say, don’t complicate it.