If you have read much of what I post, you will see I believe the following things:
Having said that, I also think you do not have to “diet”; you do not have to be “on” or “off” a plan or diet to be healthy or to lose body fat. You do need to be conscience, aware, mindful, and deliberate about what you are putting in your body; thus the list above.
I used to be a dieter. I used to use different ways of eating as a diet. When I found Paleo I was super sick, this way of eating rebounded my health to about as good as it has ever been. When I deviated, my health when down. Over the years, I still struggled with the mental concept of being “on” or “off” a certain way of eating, Paleo, Low Carb etc. As I moved through my most recent health struggles, over the past 4 years (with this last year being pretty good), I was forced to rethink my perspective around food and diets. I found a balance I didn’t know existed. Check out my post: Diet the Short Version.
Something that I knew for a long time, but didn’t put into full practice (until now) is that a healthy body will automatically balance out its own body-fat to a healthy ratio. If you pursue optimal health, you’ll receive the wonderful and lovely side effect of a healthy body-fat percentage.
Side Note: I define “pursue health” as: 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night; lots of vegetables, meats, fruit as the first and most foods taken in; movement (walking, resistance training, sprinting occasionally); drinking adequate amounts of clean water; managing and eliminating stress; spending time with friends and family regularly; getting outside in nature and in the sun; and addressing skin care and other toxins coming in. For more information on this topic check out my posts: here and here.
While I had gotten to a point of carrying approximately 25 – 30 lbs of additional body fat, I also had gotten to a point that I was fed-up with “dieting” and I chose at that point that regardless of my body fat percentage, I was not going to torcher myself with diets anymore. I had to find a different driving factor. For me the #1 is to feel good (health) and #2 is to increase and maintain strong bones and muscles. #2 is particularly important as we age.
Finding a Healthy Balance
I started making small and consistent changes with the items listed above; they add up over time, creating a health pursuing lifestyle.
The balance I found with food is this…..the majority of the time I eat lots of vegetables, meats, fruits, and starchy whole food carbohydrates because it makes me feel good and they are tasty. The starchy carbs I like the most are potatoes, sweet potatoes, and rice. Occasionally…..I intake alcohol, pizza, chocolate, Chick-fil-A, chips etc.
You know what???? I don’t feel bad about it!
It is my choice to do, I enjoy them and move on. I don’t exercise more because I ate something (it doesn’t work that way). Mind you, I’m not “ripped”.…but I enjoy my life and food. I’m not stressing out about any of it.
I’ve lost about 12 lbs of body fat since finding an enjoyable balance. I’ve also increased muscle mass. I know these numbers because my chiropractic office has an InBody. I will get an evaluation done once or twice a year. I could probably get one done every 3 months, but I forget to do it; I do not recommend doing them more frequently than that. I have a little ways to go still for losing fat, but I’d much rather go slowly, enjoying the process than crash-diet, be miserable, and gain it all back later. I’m mentally pursuing health, not fat loss. Health also meaning mental and emotional health, not just physical health.
If you are reading this thinking that you can never get to this point, you can. There is help too; you do not have to do it by yourself. It does take work and consistency on your part. You have to want to change, you have to want it more than you want anything else.
I would like to suggest to you to look into Jason Seib. He is working tirelessly to help women change their perspectives about weight loss. He has a “diet” protocol that is effective. His podcast is awesome too. The first book he wrote The Paleo Coach is what turned me on to his work.
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