All diets are based on the same premise: Eat fewer calories, and you’ll lose weight.
Diets come in all quantities and tastes, and all tend to rely on the formula of fewer calories, despite their assertions to the contrary. The Peanut butter diet is popularly a low-calorie diet, and peanut butter is included in every meal. The Cabbage Soup diet is endless amounts of cabbage soup, but how much cabbage soup can you have before you’re sick of it, meaning you’ll eat fewer calories?
My present diet includes a quarter pint of Haagen Daz and a small chocolate cake piece almost every night.
You can compose a diet around any food you want. Do you love french fries?
Here’s the popular French Fry Diet: Eat three very low-calorie meals a day, with a small order of fries to go, and you’ve got yourself The French Fries Diet. Like cheesecake? How about the Cheesecake Diet? Three meagre calorie meals a day plus a tiny sliver of cheesecake equals the Cheesecake Diet. The main focus of food is whatever the diet developer wanted in a scaled-back portion to provide the commonly recommended amounts of 1200 to 1600 calories a day. The fewer calories you have, the quicker the initial weight loss; at least that is the anticipated outcome. Remember the liquid protein fasts (Oprah used this the first time she reached size 10)? Liquid Protein Fasts were once very widespread until a few people died, and that put a damper on them in a hurry.
The terrible reality is we want to believe the lies of the diet purveyors so severely we’ll try anything, which is why the diet industry is a multi-million dollar industry. If these diets worked, such as the Perricone Prescription, Life Choice (opposite of Atkins), the Negative Calorie Diet, The Zone, etc. wouldn’t we gradually see the obesity rates fall, rather than watching them continue to rise?
Design Your Own Diet Plan
A more reasonable approach to picking foods you love, estimating how many calories would be suitable for your body size and designated body weight and then getting started is usually greeted with smirks. I’ve heard, “2,000 calories a day? I’ll swell up like a balloon!” No, you won’t.
Although more gradual than the other more drastic diets, you’ll lose weight, wouldn’t you prefer to lose it permanently this time?
How can you lose weight consuming 2,000 calories a day? Think about it. The average adult female eats about 3,500 calories a day, whether you believe it or not. Our lady, Catherine, grabs a Starbucks Latte every morning on the way to work, eats at McDonald’s every day for lunch, drinks three cups of coffee with cream during the day, pops two donuts during office breaks, and stops for take-out chicken for pre-sleep cravings. She “treats” herself to half a package of Oreo’s ice cream for dessert. Let’s explore how many calories that might be:
Standard Adult American Meal Plan:
- Breakfast: Skipped; we don’t wake up early.
- Snack: Starbucks on the way to work; Caffe Mocha with whipped cream and whole milk, venti (20 Oz) = 530 calories
Total Morning: 530
- Lunch: McDonald’s Big-n-Tasty with Extra Cheese; 540 calories
- Large Fries 610 calories
- Large Coke (20 Oz) 250 calories
- Delicious Apple Pie – 265 calories
Total Lunch: 1665
- Snack: Sugar-free gum – 0
- Daytime: 3 Cups Coffee with half-n-half – 160 calories (from the half-n-half)
- Break: Donuts – smooth, two Krispy Kreme – 424
Snacks & Breaks: 512
- Dinner: Kentucky Fried Chicken Dinner
- 3-piece meal: two Extra Crispy Thighs, Extra Crispy Drumstick, Potato Wedges, and Biscuit: 1,420 calories
- Large Coke (20 Oz): 250 calories
- Small Dish Ice Cream (1 Cup): 260 calories
Total Dinner: 1930
Evening Oreos – 10 cookies (about 1/3 a package): 530 calories
Evening Snacks: 530
Grand Total: 5,167
You may think that’s stupid, but I think it’s hidebound. You maybe wouldn’t have had precisely these meals on the plate, but the point is we’re eating far more calories than we realize.
If you cut back to 1950-2,000 calories per day, you’d be eating far fewer calories, and you’d likely lose a pound every fortnight. If you don’t think that’s quick enough, you’re going to remain overweight. Your body cannot subtract or add muscle and fat any faster. More rapid weight loss is water loss and comes back as soon as you continue eating regular foods. Remember, losing it slowly means losing it forever.
Would You Be Happy if This Time in 2021 You Were at Your Goal Weight?
If in 365 days, you’d taken off 80-100 pounds (or however much you needed to lose if less than 80-100 pounds), wouldn’t you be overjoyed? The more weight you need to lose, the faster it comes off at the start. It’s not what the range says that matters, though. What matters is, do you feel better about it or not? Are you able to lean lower and even reach your toes, maybe? Can you get up from a prolonged sitting position easier? Is walking more comfortable, are your clothes feeling looser? These are the things that matter. Is your blood pressure back to normal?
Track what you consume for one week, meaning what you really eat. Don’t attempt to eat better or less. That isn’t necessary for this exercise. You want to discover yourself being yourself. Please get it down on paper what you really eat regularly. If you eat out, you’re likely consuming far more calories than you realize. We all question how we can’t lose weight, then drink a 600 calorie coffee drink! Think about it.
Once you have your weekly eating cycle on paper, you can take a look to see what modifications you could make. For example, by moving from a Caffe Mocha to a Caffe Latte for two days weekly, you’d save 540 calories right there. Once you’re used to that shift, take it a step further and turn to a Caffe Latte every day, and now you’re more or less saving 1960 calories weely. One step further and turn to a Skinny Latte (non-fat milk instead of whole milk), and you conserve another 100 calories every day, meaning you’ve gone from an extra 3780 calories weekly from your morning Starbucks to just 1120 calories weekly, or a calorie reduction of 2660. This is how you can hold on to your Starbucks obsession, but make a small change, and suddenly, you’re not adding to the puzzle, but you’re well on your way to dropping that pound a week. The less fancy drink is cheaper, so you can put that cash toward the new dresses you’ll be needing soon.
Properly track your eating, and you’ll get a better idea of reality.
Next week, please write down everything you put in your mouth and start to get your eating patterns into notice. I used my iPhone notes application to record what was I was consuming daily. Making a regular effort to pen down my eating helps keep me on track, plus what I’ve eaten and how much I worked out six months ago is still at my fingertips. That’s particularly handy when you adapt to a routine that works well for you because you can always go back and see what you did otherwise you catch yourself regaining weight a year later.
One of the most satisfying things I ever did was track my regular weight workouts and everyday eating habits when I got in shape a couple of years ago. To reproduce the results, I can see what I did before and do the same thing again. Learn from your successes, keep a journal. Then, please don’t make the mistake of cutting back too severely because it’s just not necessary.
Just cut back around 45–500 calories a day, and you’re on your way with much less trauma in the process.
Design a diet that matches your lifestyle, and you’ve got a winning plan for the rest of your life.