This blog is going to revolve around how to make dieting easier. For the record, I hate the word diet. I prefer ‘nutritional lifestyle change’ just because it sets our mindset up for success right off the bat. However, diet is a term that everyone can identify with. Just know that when I use the term diet, I really mean nutrition that you can adhere to for the rest of your life.
Okay lets start it off! There are countless amounts diets out in the fitness industry right now. It can be tough to navigate through this information for multiple reasons. Instead of getting into an influential debate about the state of the fitness industry, I want to provide education and research based principles.
These principles apply to every diet. It doesn’t matter if you do low carb, high carb, Keto, Paleo, or Atkins. Granted all of these diets have different health effects on the body and effect hormones in different ways. However, no matter what diet you follow here is what needs to happen…
Now that we have a baseline for diet principles, let’s jump into some diet hacks that can make any diet easier to follow.
1.) Meal Frequency: This is my favorite because it focuses on the individual rather than the external diet structure. If calories matter then the question becomes, how can I eat X amount of calories in the most enjoyable way possible. Meal frequency is part of the answer. If you are a person that enjoys multiple meals throughout the day then split calories evenly in multiple meals. However, if you are a person that enjoys big satisfying meals then intermittent fasting is your answer. At its core, intermittent fasting involves fasting through a 12-18 hour window and eating during the remaining hours. This allows you to consume your calories in a smaller time window which makes eating more enjoyable and satisfying. Also, fasting has been shown to increase fat mobilization and mental clarity.
2.) Protein: Regardless of what structure you follow make sure you get plenty of protein in your diet. Not only does protein help keep you full due to the high fiber content but it also helps maintain/build lean muscle mass which is important for a number of reasons (life expectancy, body composition, nutritional consistency).
3.) Veggies: Regardless of what plan you follow make sure you get lots of vegetables in your diet. Vegetables contain loads of vitamins and minerals and will help keep you full throughout the day. Most sources have relatively low amounts of calories and help keep hormone function running smoothly.
4.) Liquids: Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water helps flush toxins out of your body and increases satiety (helps keep you full). Furthermore, natural low/no calorie drinks such as sparkling water, teas, and other forms of fluids can help make caloric deficits way more enjoyable (especially coffee!!!).
5.) Treats: Pick some of your favorite foods such as chocolate, ice cream, pizza, or chips. Create a couple different menus where you can enjoy some of these treats in moderation. For example, if you are a person that enjoys chocolate then find a chocolate bar with 300-400 calories. When you crave chocolate have a pre-packaged amount of chocolate that you can access. Have this treat at night and enjoy it! Fit these treat calories into your daily intake and don’t feel guilty about it. Guilt only further drives cravings and binges. There is nothing wrong with enjoying treats in moderation as long as it fits into your caloric goal. I am not saying that these things are good for you. What I am saying is that if having 400 calories of ice cream saves you from bingeing on 1,500 calories of Rocky Road then the 400 calories of ice is good for you!
There you have it! Five of my favorite diet hacks that will help you see success no matter what structure you are on. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or comments. I would love to find more ways to better help and serve you! If you are interested in my nutritional approach then consider SparkThrive. SparkThrive is an affordable fitness membership that includes daily workouts (through smartphone app technology), an individualization nutrition system, and a private group page with content, encouragement, and connection. I know this is a super challenging time for all of us. I hope this brings you hope through the dark season that we are all facing.