Diets are stupid and destined to fail. All of them. Yes, yours too.
I don’t want to get too science-y and should tell you upfront I’m not an expert and am not giving advice (if that is illegal without a license in your jurisdiction). I was a sports medicine major a million years ago before I dropped out of college and I did learn a few things about nutrition but I forgot all of those things. This is all from decades of experience. So here’s why your diet is stupid:
- You keep denying math. Math is real, people. It rules the world and it ruins your diet. I read an article somewhere the other day about how keeping track of calories consumed vs calories burned is irrelevant. Bullshit. Your mom is irrelevant. Use a calorie counting app religiously and you will see results. I like MyFitnessPal the best and have been using it for years. In addition to calories, it helps you track your nutrition so you can avoid empty calories that make you want to gnaw off your own arm.
- You keep depriving yourself. Stop doing that. You’re making yourself miserable and that makes all the people around you miserable. I refuse to give up the things I love. I drink beer nearly every day (not that light garbage either) and I eat ice cream regularly. I pay close attention to portion sizes, though, and spent about $10 on a digital kitchen scale that is worth its weight in gold. Get one with a tare weight button that zeroes out so you can keep adding ingredients to your container.
- You keep skipping meals/snacks. I eat a Pure Protein bar nearly every morning that contains 19 grams of protein. It’s the only way I can make it until lunch without turning into Aretha Franklin. Then I have a snack (usually a Luna Bar) at that mid-afternoon hangry time. That will keep my blood sugar level until dinner so I don’t overeat. Then, depending on whether I chose to have one beer or two, I may have a snack after dinner. It could be ice cream or chips or a cookie. I don’t go over my daily calorie budget, though, (see #1) unless it’s a designated cheat day.
- You keep thinking this is only temporary. We’ve all done that thing where we hit our goal weight and then go crazy. That’s why we have jeans in five different sizes. It’s expensive; knock it off. Once you hit your goal weight, you have to maintain it. If you eat Taco Bell for a week when your parents visit (don’t ask), get right back into your routine when they leave. Don’t think if you blow your calorie budget for a holiday weekend that everything is ruined so you should just eat all of the things. That would be like splurging on a Louis Vuitton purse and then deciding to buy a car because you ruined your finances.
- You keep being unrealistic. Don’t set some unhealthy and unattainable goal. You don’t want your breath to stink or your hair to fall out. You certainly don’t want to pass out at the dog park because you aren’t giving your body enough fuel. Focus on slow, steady, and healthy progress. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has an incredible calculator that I have used many times to set my daily calorie budgets based on whether I need to reach a goal weight or maintain my current weight.
Stop snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory by being a dumbass. Stop paying attention to whether eggs are great for you or will kill you tomorrow because some study said something. Channel your inner grandmother and eat a balanced diet. And always remember that beer has food value but food has no beer value. Unless it’s that bitter IPA crap that I’m convinced is a prank on hipsters who think they’re drinking something really amazing that no one else has discovered but the reason no one else has discovered it is because it tastes like a bag of ass.