I had a discussion last week with colleagues of mine about fad diets, which began when one of my mentors suggested that I check out this new Paleo restaurant by our studio. He lost me at the word Paleo, and then another colleague piped up and said he stops listening when someone mentions Keto. I think the reason for this is because we are all in this industry to help people find love for themselves. Along with building muscular strength, we are creating a place inside someone where they learn to love exactly who they are. It is in this place of self-love where we learn to take care of ourselves. Where we schedule time for our workouts and where we put in effort to make healthy choices.
I receive a lot of emails asking me to give advice on the latest fad diets, and lately that has been the Keto diet. I wrote about that the other day and shared my opinion that yes, the Keto diet works. All diets work and it doesn’t really matter if it is Keto or Paleo, South Beach, Atkins, Zone or the Cabbage Soup diet. They all work because they all create a calorie deficit, which really is the only way we can lose weight: expending more energy than we consume. Some of these diets work faster than others because they create a large calorie deficit but is that sustainable? Yes, there are those out there who swear that living in the extremes of a diet, like intermittent fasting, works for them, and it probably does, but it doesn’t work for everyone and it really isn’t sustainable.
Let’s say you are intermittent fasting or living off of cabbage soup, what happens when you go on a family vacation or a girl’s trip? Are you carrying around containers of smelly soup with you or not enjoying an amazing dinner because you are on a 16 hour fast? Probably not. And from what I have witnessed in my 13 years in this industry is 4 weeks of hard work is undone by one weekend go astray. I’m not discouraging people from doing what works for them, but I just want you all to know that these things often don’t last.
So, what does work? Slow and steady life changes. We live in a world where everything is instant. We can start our cars from indoors, order our coffee from our phones and have it waiting for us as soon as we walk into the café or have our favourite restaurant meal delivered just from pressing our thumb onto a button on our phone. We want to lose the weight and we want to lose it fast. I get that, but if you work on your self-love (as well as your patience) for 6 weeks you will see the same results.
What does that mean? First of all, when you join a gym or sign up for a fitness membership or download the latest app, start slow. I see it all too often, people spending every spare moment they have at their new fitness facility for the first week or 2 and then burning out. Your body and your mind cannot handle that. Pick one or two classes a week to start and give yourself a chance to gradually improve your fitness. This will prevent you from burning out but more importantly it will prevent you from hurting yourself.
Second, just cut out the crap out of your diet. That’s actually quite easy. You don’t have to live out of Tupperware containers, you just have to stop eating garbage. Or at least cut back on it. Limit your snacking before and after dinner and have some healthy options nearby to grab in times of need. I always have an apple and a healthy bar in my bag. Make better choices more often and as that gets easier you can continue to refine your diet. You may see a pound, maybe a pound and a half, fall off each week but those pounds will stay off and you won’t hate your life.
Third. Drink more water. This is one of the best, and easiest, things you can do for yourself.
One of my clients has been working hard for the past month to live this way and she has lost over 10 pounds, and I wanted to share one of her strategies with you. She weighs in every single Wednesday and she picks Wednesdays because in her mind, if she made a few bad choices over the weekend, she has Monday and Tuesday to clean up her act before she steps on the scale. It’s working.
So as Spring sets in, which is a reminder that summer is around the corner, start loving your body now. Do what works for you, and if that is a fad diet, do it safely with an exit plan, but know that the ultimate goal is to be healthy and to create the life that YOU want to live.
Attached - The Weeknd out for a jog with his trainer in New York the other day.