In early 2015, I was at a turning point in my life. I was unhappy and fat. I had no sense of direction; I had no goals or aspirations. I was on the verge of dropping out of school and living at my parent’s house with no job. But, I read a revolutionary article titled “Screw motivation, what you need is discipline.” This triggered me to start and finish the best weight loss transformation I have ever thought possible. It has taught me that anything you want in life requires hard-work and discipline, but it’s totally worth it.
The question that follows is: how bad do you want it? Are you willing to set aside your desire to eat that chocolate bar or that extra serving? Or are you willing to put in the work required to change your life? Do you prefer instant gratification over long-term gratification? If you give in to petty desires, you prefer instant gratification. I'll ask again, how bad do you want it?
During my weight loss journey, I have learned a lot about the importance of proper nutrition, portion sizes, lifting weights and healthy levels of exercise. Eating less is the key to losing weight and proper nutrition is how you feel good doing it. I've learned that weight loss is also about fixing your improper relationship with food and CHANGING the way you live your life to be a healthier and more active one. Hopefully my journey inspires you to start taking a step in that direction.
No matter what you do, fat loss only occurs when you are in a caloric deficit. This is simple concept to understand, but very hard to put into practice. There are two main ways to enter a caloric deficit; you can eat less calories and/or exercise more.
There's a common saying that goes: "you can't outrun a bad diet." Changing your dietary habits should be your primary focus. It's also likely the primary reason you are overweight/obese to begin with. Dietary habits can be a hard thing to change, but it's doable; I'm living proof of that. Instead of making your goal to lose weight, I want you to focus on a better goal, which is to fix your improper relationship with food. Your improper relationship with food is the root of this entire problem.
I used to tell people to count calories to lose weight; but this may not be the best way to go about fat loss. It will lead to results, but it will be hard to continually maintain. I counted calories in my own journey, but it did little to fix my improper relationship with food. This improper relationship with food is something I struggled with far after my intial transformation. If you want to start losing weight to gain momentum, you can count calories, but it is only a temporary solution that doesn't fix the root of the problem.
The easiest thing to do is to start replacing one of your meals with something healthier or remove a bad habit (like drinking soda or mindless snacking). This can actually be quite a fun thing to do because you get to experiment with new recipes and foods. The thought of changing your diet may be scary, but just know that your tastes change over time. What might not sound good to you now might be a staple food that you love later. You don't need to worry about the future though, just worry about now. Start challenging yourself in new ways and you may be surprised by the results.
The best diet for weight loss is a plant-based whole food diet. Plant-based whole food has an incredible amount of nutrients, fiber and promotes ideal health and longevity. Because of the traits of this diet, these are also the most likely foods that will help repair your poor relationship with food. Keep this in mind as you strive to incorporate healthier foods into your life.
As far as when to eat, I recommend having 2 or 3 meals a day. As an added bonus, feel free to try intermittent fasting as I've found that it can help some people avoid eating excess calories. There is nothing magical about intermittent fasting though.
|What to eat||What NOT to eat||Example meal plan|
|Vegetables||Meat||Breakfast: Plain oatmeal with walnuts and sliced banana|
|Fruits||Milk, cheese & yogurt||Lunch: Stir-fried (fried without oil) onion, garlic, brocolli, chickpeas topped on brown rice.|
|Grains||Eggs||Dinner: Dairy-free pizza|
|Beans & legumes||Refined sugar & processed foods||Snack: fruit or handful of nuts|
|Nuts & seeds||Oil & butter|
If this dietary lifestyle worries you, keep in mind that you can make delicious meals with a plant-based whole food diet. The two videos below are an examples of two great recipes that taste great and will help you lose weight.