Need help with diet

sexymom04 Posts: 263 Member
I'm having a hard time with my diet lately. How do you keep on track? And how to pick the foods to eat?


  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,068 Member
    sexymom04 wrote: »
    I'm having a hard time with my diet lately. How do you keep on track? And how to pick the foods to eat?

    How to keep on track is probably the million dollar question.

    I can make some broad generalizations that will hopefully help a bit but there's so much individual context at play that it's not possible to create a one-size-fits-all approach. I can also tell you that even when you DO have a good understanding about someone's preferences and history, it's STILL very challenging to guide someone down a successful path.

    but having said that ---

    The first thing you need to be SURE to implement, and this is MANDATORY, would be opportunities for positive feedback.

    Here are some examples of positive feedback:
    • Scale weight goes down.
    • Measurements go down.
    • Gain strength on an exercise, like a Squat.
    • Positive verbal feedback from a coworker.
    • Clothes fitting differently.
    • Photographic evidence of progress.
    • Keeping a "habit log" and using it to show you've improved a specific habit.
    • Keeping a "sleep log" and using it to show you've improved sleep habits.
    • Improving your speed on the treadmill (or something similar).

    So you can see that depending on how you SET UP your diet and/or training, you can create opportunities to see positive feedback. Motivation is generally something that comes and goes. Positive feedback will keep motivation levels high and make it easier to make the harder decisions.

    The next thing I would make sure you implement is a social support network. You should have people who will support you and you should ALSO have people you support, with somewhat similar goals even if they aren't necessarily identical. Social support is a form of positive feedback and it's also been demonstrated to be helpful with weight loss endeavors. On a personal note, it's been pivotal for me and my clients as well.

    I would also be very sure to implement some control over your food environment. (Note to moderators: Please remove these links if this is against ToU -- I'm going to link some resources).

    Here's a guest blog I wrote for Andy Morgan's awesome website. It should still be on the main page here:

    I also did a podcast episode on food environment for Shredded by Science, happy to post that if anyone would like to listen to it.

    Food environment is a massively important topic that tends to get largely ignored, unfortunately.

    As far as the dieting piece goes and what foods to eat, here are some basic suggestions:

    1) Track your food in myfitnesspal so you get a good idea of what you're eating.
    2) I'd suggest eating protein with every meal because it's generally a satiating macronutrient. (It will promote fullness).
    3) I'd suggest eating somewhere AROUND 1g/lb goal bodyweight in protein provided you don't have any kidney issues.

    4) I would eat MOSTLY whole and minimally refined foods. Want some doritos? Cool. Want some cake? Also cool. Want to eat 1000 calories in doritos? Probably not a good idea.

    So for example, consider an approach where 80% of your calories come from minimally refined sources. Lots of fruits and vegetables, whatever whole foods proteins you prefer, and then if you WANT to, and if you can use some moderation, up to about 20% of your intake as whatever you want.

    5) I would try to prepare most of your food yourself.

    Finally, I would get regular exercise. Choose a few things you enjoy doing that involve moving your body, and do them often. Ideally, something with resistance but by all means you should start with things you enjoy.

    This is not a complete list, but hopefully you've gained a few valuable items here.

    Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.