It’s downright contradictory.
For every expert that can back his claim with a study, there’s another expert who will say the exact opposite with another study to back his claim.
Case in point?
This 2018 randomized clinical trial (gold standard science) found that a low fat diet and a low carb diet produced the same weight loss and the same improvement in metabolic health markers, and that insulin has no impact in predicting weight loss success or failure.
Heresy! How could you, Abby!
Well, not when there’s hard evidence.
But I’m not about to throw away my low carb, high fat, intermittent fasting lifestyle just because a study or an expert says there isn’t anything special about it.
- 6 years ago I was 65 pounds heavier in my 4’11 ¾ “ frame, I was clinically obese, and I had prediabetes. Low carb and fasting got rid of all that, and it’s kept the weight off since.
- I’ve tried eating low fat plenty of times. It didn’t work because I was always hungry, and I couldn’t sustain it. I gained back the weight plus more.
- Now the “fun” part: Give me 5 minutes and I’ll find you another study that says low carb is more effective at weight loss, and another one that says it’s better at improving health markers.
What’s my point?
Ignoring the experts
In the end, what matters is what your body says.
Now don’t get me wrong.
I’m not talking about ignoring your doctor’s medical advice.
And I also listen to the experts.
I read all their books like it’s the Harry Potter series. I read study after clinical study like I’m binge watching on Netflix. I geek out over the physiology of fructose metabolism in the liver – I think the stuff is fascinating!
But I choose to stick to what gives me results and what I can sustain long term.
There’s no listening or reading your way through it. You have to do it. You try. And then you find out what works, for you.
Too much information
Ever feel like you’re drinking out of a fire hose?
One thing I learned from being a registered nurse for 22 years in a health coaching capacity, is this:
You don’t need more information to get results. You already know enough.
The problem is…
The information can’t live in your real-world. So you can’t act on it.
- You already know eating a cookie won’t help you lose weight. But how do you not eat it when it’s taunting you at work, at the grocery store, and at home while you’re having a willpower outage at the end of a long stressful day?
- You already know fasting will help you lose weight. But how do you fast when you’re hungry? When you’re surrounded by the sights and smell of food all the time because you’re the family cook?
The short answer is you do it … Your Way.
The long answer is in how you find out … what Your Way is.
Follow the compass, not someone else’s roadmap
Instead of telling you what the experts say you “should” do to break through a stall, I’ll tell you what I did differently.
Not because my way works better, not because I think you should do what I did.
But because I want to encourage you to carve out your own path toward achieving your weight loss goals.
And because different works.
No tracking macros, no counting, no food apps. I’m Filipino. We’re an Asian culture of tightly knit families that congregate around food every chance we get. So I grew up loving food and the memories of my friends and loved ones associated with it. And I refused to tarnish these moments with annoying data food entries and counting.
No food lists, no meal plans, no recipes. I don’t like being “prescribed” what I can and cannot eat. I want to make my own choices based on the foods I want, what I grew up eating, and what I wanted to serve my family. (Also, I can’t find the time to channel my inner Martha Stewart.)
No ketone sticks, no ketone breathalyzers, no glucose meters. I had gestational diabetes with my 2nd pregnancy. The blood glucose pricking and peeing on sticks was what I hated the most. In fact, what motivated me to turn my life around was the idea that I’d be doing that for the rest of my life if I didn’t get my act together. *Important: If you need to do any of this for medical necessity, that’s a different story. Please talk to your doctor.
No 2-week (or 30-day) food challenges. This reminds me of being “on a diet”. I think it sends the wrong message. What happens after the challenge is over? I wanted to change for good because I wanted my results to be permanent.
No gurus. I have a lot of respect for the experts. But it upsets me when they defend their approach to be the “right” way and then they get into ugly debates with each other. It confuses us. So my “Guru Free Policy” means I don’t turn into a myopic fangirl. I listen to all of them because they all have something useful to say that helps me in my journey, and for that I am grateful.
No willpower. My friends tell me the reason I can resist cheesecake when we go out to eat is because I have “super-willpower”. But the truth is? Whenever I relied on willpower, I failed. So I don’t rely on willpower. I’ve learned to rely on tweaking my environment and building routines so my actions can automatically default to promoting fat loss.
No heroics. I don’t like to use the word “cheating” because it implies you’re on a diet. I like “getting off track”, “slipping up”, or “indulging”. But if anyone says they don’t “cheat” or suffer from these setbacks? They’re either not telling the truth, or they haven’t been in it long enough. It happens to all of us because we’re human. I continue to make mistakes, so I focus on self compassion and getting back on track as quickly as possible.
Coming up next
Weight stalls and plateaus are a normal part of the journey.
It’s a topic marred with confusion so I’m breaking it up into a series of posts over the next few weeks so we can dive deep and clear it up.
- You’ll discover the power of the fundamentals, and how this alone can take you all the way to your goal weight.
- You’ll discover how small changes lead to big results. Often we think massive efforts are required to produce significant results, but they often backfire.
For today, I simply encourage you think about what you want your own journey to look like.
What are your values? What’s your lifestyle?
That’s the “Start here” of your own Road Map.
Next, we’ll talk about the The Compass so stay tuned and be on the lookout for [Part 1]!
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