I am so grateful for the experiences I've had with my clients in this first year of being a trainer. The most important thing I've discovered from their experiences is that, even though they have trained similarly, their diets have all been completely different.
One was vegan.
One did Atkins.
Another counted calories.
Another eliminated sugar and wheat most days.
Another stopped all eating between meals.
What did they all have in common? Not one followed the eating plan that I follow, and they all ate more whole unprocessed foods. Across the board they ate more vegetables.
Oh yes, and they all became more mindful of what they ate, and the truth is when it came to calories they ate less.
In all of these cases I believe that by eating real food they avoided constant exposure to foods that are so hyper palatable that they drive overeating.
A while back I read "The End of Overeating" by Dr. David Kessler, and I found a great deal to agree with in that book.
My personal fat release journey has been greatly affected by Gary Taubes' "Why We Get Fat, and What to Do About It", Dr. William Davis', "Wheat Belly", and by personal stories written by members of Overeaters Anonymous. I have had to come to grips with the many reasons why I overeat, and I will read anything I can get my hands on if I think it will help free me or one of my clients from the foods and behaviors that stand between me and my dreams.
That being said, I am convinced that one diet does not fit all, and that means Dear Reader that when it comes to food, you have to make your own choices.
Luckily, there are some free websites and tools that can help you to structure and keep track of your eating. I personally have used fitday.com. Simply Google "free food diary online" and several good options will come up.
My advice on food: Get real with yourself, be true to yourself, and follow your best instincts. What constitutes junk food for you? What leaves you feeling guilty and hung over the morning after you eat it? Is it a matter of content, quantity, or both?
Now for some practical advice. Make a plan, and write it down so that you have the tools to be honest with yourself. For those of you who are doing the 12 week transformation contest this is a time of honesty, focus, and faithfulness to your goal of developing the figure that frees you to live authentically.
Again, what do your best instincts tell you? Are convenience foods crowding vegetables and fruits out of your eating plan? Is that extra cup of morning coffee dulling your appetite for a wholesome breakfast- leaving you ravenous at 12 or 1PM? Are you willing to get a book of slow cooker recipes so you can feed yourself and your loved ones well at dinnertime in spite of your busy schedule?
Getting real with food means bringing your behavior in line with your best personal wisdom about eating.
If you honestly are at a loss when it comes to knowing what to eat, then ask your doctor for a referral to a dietitian or nutritionist who will listen to you.
Once you have a plan commit to it, and be honest about how closely you follow it. What you learn from this time of honesty and commitment will be priceless- no matter how much weight you lose.