This is a story we all know. A guy, let’s call him George, decides he needs to lose some weight for a vacation he has coming up in a couple of months. So what does he do? He heads online or finds a nutritionist and gets a ‘diet plan’. The diet plan is almost always either low fat or low carb. If it’s a really terrible diet plan, its low fat AND low carb. Or maybe it’s just a couple of random shakes that you drink to replace food altogether.
George loses a few kilos fast. His pants fit great. But he feels like crap. He’s hungry all the time and dreams about Nutella and potato chips. His skin starts to look a little grey, and he’s tired and slow.
But George lost the weight! He can go on vacation and wear his swim trunks from high school!
On vacation, George goes nuts. After being on this super strict diet for the last 6 weeks or so, all he wants is ice cream, pizza and french fries.
George gets back from vacation, and guess what? After his 6 weeks of suffering through this terrible diet, he is pretty much right back where he started.
Many of us have been George. We want results, and we want them now. We are willing to do whatever it takes to get those results… but only until we reach a specific goal. And then all the suffering is for nothing. George hasn’t learned anything.
Nutrition coaching is NOTHING like this. Check it out. Let’s call my client Alberto. Alberto came to me with the goal to lose weight. Did I also mention that Alberto had terrible digestion and often felt bloated and uncomfortable, and he often overate ‘junk food’ on weekends? Alberto spent all week undereating- restricting carbohydrates and fat and eating lots of ‘light’ foods. My plan for Alberto was to start balancing every meal- every main meal consisted of a protein, carb and healthy fat, along with a fruit or a vegetable.
At one point, Alberto said to me- “I feel like I’m eating too much food… there’s no way this will work!”. But what Alberto wasn’t thinking about (and I was) was that in eating enough food during the week, he had stopped gorging on potato chips and nutella on the weekends. He enjoyed a piece of chocolate almost every day after lunch, and occasionally enjoyed drinks with his family or co workers. We also identified, after looking at the data we gathered about Alberto’s food intake and his digestive patterns, that Alberto was most likely gluten intolerant. Alberto removed gluten from his diet, and started having daily bowel movements. His bloating was reduced significantly.
He still kept asking me… “but when does the diet start?” It took a little bit longer than the 6 weeks they sell you on Instagram (Alberto and I worked together for 5 months), but Alberto can now fit into shorts that he hadn’t worn for years. He knows what foods work for his digestion, and how to eat when he is travelling for work or pleasure. He can enjoy a burger or an ice cream on the weekends without feeling out of control. And best of all? He likes the way he eats. And he can be CONSISTENT with his diet- even when traveling for work!
So you still think the answer is to crash diet?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.