Ditch Dieting & Lose Weight For Good: A 4-Step Approach

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Hello, Health Investor!

Welcome back to another episode of The Health Investment Podcast!

You may have noticed that this episode is quite short…cause it’s another bite-sized one!

In addition to interviewing doctors, dietitians, founders of health-promoting companies, etc., I also do solo “bite-sized” and Q&A episodes where I share helpful tips and insights relating to nutrition, sleep, stress management, movement, and mindset.

Today, I’m gonna share a 4-step approach for ditching diets and losing weight for good!

If you’re like most people out there, you’ve tried to stick with programs like keto and Whole30. You’ve signed up for “sugar detox” challenges. You’ve counted points and calories. You’ve purchased shakes and meal replacements. You’ve attempted to JUST SAY NO to carbs ’n cookies.

But despite your best efforts and intentions…

You still haven’t dropped a pant size. You still snack too much. You still struggle with impulse control. You still don’t have the high energy you crave.

If you read the title of this episode—A 4-Step Approach For Ditching Diets & Losing Weight For Good—and your first thought was:

“Pssh! Yeah right!! That’s never gonna happen…”

Maybe it’s because you’ve fallen into the *chronic yo-yo dieter* category. Maybe it’s because you’ve gotten used to the weight loss rollercoaster. Maybe it’s because you’ve given up hope.

Have. Been. In. Your. Shoes.

Just a few short years ago, I hopped from diet to exercise program to supplement to detox wanting more than ANYTHING to lose weight, keep it off, and show up as the healthiest, most energized version of myself…

but struggling to make it happen.

I spent my days elliptical-ing, resisting “bad” foods, tracking calories, and rationing meals/snacks, but all I had to show for it was stubborn abdominal fat, 4pm energy crashes, and hanger.

So I reeeeeeally get what you’re going through. And I have some good news for ya: There’s something you can do!

Instead of wasting more precious time, money, and energy on “solutions” we both know won’t work, you can follow these 4 steps to lose weight for good while living—and enjoying—your life!

Let’s dive right in…

STEP 1: MASTER YOUR MINDSET

I’m starting with mindset because it’s soooo important. It’s way more important than you might think!

If your mindset isn’t right, it’s going to be pretty much impossible to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way—and actually keep it off.

What do I mean by mindset?

Well, “diet culture” has taught us that things are very black and white. You’re either eating healthy, or you’re not. You’re avoiding carbs and sugar, or you’re not. You’re being “good,” or you’re not.

Ever found yourself saying or thinking things like “diet starts Monday” or “next week I’ll be better” or “I just ruined my diet” or “I fell off the wagon”? 

If so, you’re not alone. I used to think those things, too! In fact, MOST people currently think phrases like that—or they have at some point in their life.

STEP 1 is to ditch the all-or-nothing mindset.

There will never, ever come a time when you’re attempting to attain or maintain your goal weight in a perfect world, free from holidays, happy hours, and birthday parties.

Delicious foods and treats aren’t going anywhere! That’s why it’s important to learn how to lose weight without cutting them out completely, without thinking it has to be “all or nothing.”

Don’t get me wrong—this is easier said than done.

My advice to you is to choose a couple mantras, write ‘em on Post-It notes, and place them somewhere visible (on your bathroom mirror or fridge?)

Here are a couple mantras to get you started—but feel free to come up with your own!

  • What I do MOST of the time matters way more than what I do some of the time.
  • One indulgent bite or meal doesn’t have the power to throw me off track.
  • Progress, not perfection. 
  • Health is never something I can own; I’ll need to pay the rent every day through my choices. (I borrowed this one from Dr. Ted Naiman, who was on episode #55. Check it out!)
  • Change requires change.
  • As long as I take consistent, imperfect action, my success will be inevitable and sustainable.

…I have so many more, but I’ll leave you with those for now!

Please, DO NOT skip STEP 1. It may not seem like it, but I promise you that the first key to mastering long-term weight loss—without any diet, detox, or fad—is to get your head in the right place!

STEP 2: SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

Named diets—like “keto,” “carnivore,” “vegan,” and “Whole30”…

Trendy exercise equipment and programs—like Pelotons and Beachbody…

Supplements and powders—like “fat-burning” teas, Juice Plus+, and Herbalife…

All of these things tend to come with “promises.” Sometimes it’s the company itself making the promise; sometimes it’s a zealot on Facebook who “lost 20 pounds in a month.”

It doesn’t matter where the “promise” originates—the point is that it’s easy to get caught up in fads and trends and success stories and end up developing really unrealistic, unhealthy expectations for ourselves when it comes to weight loss.

Could you drop 20 pounds in a few weeks on a juice cleanse? Possibly.

Would you be able to keep the weight off after going back to your normal habits? Probably not.

STEP 2 for ditching diets and losing weight for good is to set realistic expectations for yourself.

A healthy, realistic pace of weight loss is 0.5-2 pounds per week—depending on factors like your current state of health, commitment to making change, genetics…a whole slew of things come into play!

Also, weight loss isn’t linear. Let me say that again: WEIGHT LOSS ISN’T LINEAR.

Often, people start a new weight loss strategy and expect their weight loss to look like a straight line. But it probably won’t! 

Some weeks, you’ll lose ½ pound. Some weeks, you’ll gain a pound. Other weeks, you’ll plateau. This is normal!

So, it’s not just important to master your mindset—it’s also important to set realistic expectations and expect ups and downs along the way.

STEP 3: PRIORITIZE PROTEIN AT EACH MEAL/SNACK.

To lose weight without “counting” anything—like calories or points—it’s important to nourish your body with nutrient-dense, whole foods as much as possible. 

And the most important macronutrient to get “right” is protein!

Why does eating enough protein matter?

For starters, protein requires your body to use more energy for digestion. 

This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF). TEF = # of calories needed by your body to digest, absorb, and process the nutrients in your meals.

 Protein-rich foods increase TEF the most. For comparison:

  • Protein increases your metabolic rate by 15-30%
  • Carbs increase your metabolic rate 5-10%
  • Fats increase your metabolic rate 0-3%

Protein also helps your body hold on to muscle mass.

And it also stimulates the release of satiety hormones in your gut (aka the hormones that scream “I’M FULL!”)—which means protein helps prevent overeating.  

The bottom line: When you consume more protein, you keep your hunger and cravings in check, therefore reducing your overall calorie intake. 

Now, you may be wondering—just how much protein should I be eating each day?

Well, it depends. 

A good rule of thumb is to multiply your goal weight by 0.6-1.0 and eat that range of grams per day.

Soooo…

If your goal weight is 150 pounds, you’d multiply 150 x 0.6 and 150 x 1, making your range 90-150 grams of protein per day. 

To eat enough protein, make it the *star* of every meal and snack.

Some of the most common protein sources are meat, seafood, eggs, dairy, legumes, tofu, and some grains (like quinoa).

It could also be a good idea to invest in a protein powder, which you can add to things like smoothies, oatmeal, and even pancakes!

If you want to learn even more about protein, check out episode #55—my interview with Dr. Ted Naiman, whom I previously mentioned.

STEP 4: THINK ABOUT THE QUALITY OF THE FOODS YOU’RE EATING, NOT JUST THE QUANTITY.

For weight loss, calorie intake certainly matters.

BUT…

The idea of “calories in, calories out” sometimes perpetuates the notion that all calories are created equal.

If you want to lose weight without counting calories, it’s important to understand this is NOT the case!

Your body is going to react differently after 200 calories of broccoli than it does after 200 calories of ice cream.

You’re gonna feel less full after a handful of pretzels than you would after a bowl of Greek yogurt—cause yogurt has more protein!

I already mentioned that it’s important to prioritize whole foods and protein, but another revolutionary change you can make is to swap ultra-processed foods for minimally processed ones.

As food processing increases, nutrient density decreases. So, the greater degree of processing, the higher the likelihood that a food:

  • Has lost nutritional value (such as fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, etc.)
  • Has gained additives, preservatives, fillers, sugar, etc.

Whole + minimally processed foods also have more fiber and/or protein—like protein, fiber also helps you feel full!

One randomized controlled trial even found that people ate ~500 more calories/day when they consumed a diet rich in ultra-processed foods compared to a diet rich in whole + minimally processed foods

My favorite resource for minimally processed foods is thrivemarket.com.

Thrive Market sells all of the top brands of minimally processed items, many of which you can find at specialty stores (like Whole Foods)—but brick ’n mortar stores usually jack up the prices.

Thrive Market sells the same premium products at wholesale prices by cutting out all the middle people. They work directly with the brands and then pass all the savings onto their members!

I could go on and on about Thrive Market right now—but I won’t! Instead, I’ll direct you to my full review, where I also list 150+ of the minimally processed items I buy on the site! Visit thehealthinvestment.com/thrivemarket.

Alright! That wraps up the 4 steps!!

One final thing I want to mention is this:

The most successful weight loss transformations involve a powerful trio: information + action + accountability.

In today’s episode, you gained some valuable information—which means you can start taking actions that’ll help you lose weight while living (and enjoying!) your life!

But even though I’ve broken some information down into simple terms, I don’t want to make the process of losing weight seem super easy. Cause it’s not!

Behavior change is tough—which is where accountability comes in!

If you’re in the market for support and accountability as you work towards your nutrition and weight loss goals, please know that I’m always here for you. I work with clients one-on-one, and I also run a 10-week group program.

I only launch the group program about 3x per year. If you’re interested, visit thehealthinvestment.com/weightlossprogram to learn more. One current member described the program as a “breath of fresh air”—I’d love to have you on board!

I hope this episode was helpful. All my best to you as you ditch diets and lose weight for good in 2021!


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