It seems there is always some new fad diet that everyone is talking about and trying. Fad diets come and go quickly because they usually do not work. The best way to lose, gain, or maintain weight—depending on your overall health needs—is to find a healthy way to eat for the rest of your life. A sustainable and lifelong way of eating is one that includes the proper ratio of macronutrients.
Why Are Fad Diets Dangerous?
Most diets don’t work because they are not sustainable for a prolonged time. A person might be able to handle a diet for a short time, and you might even see significant positive changes. However, likely sooner rather than later, diets become too unmanageable, so people give up.
Many fad diets are unhealthy because they are just too low in calories. When a person doesn’t eat enough calories, they are going to feel tired and lethargic. This will likely only make it more difficult to find the motivation to reach your health goals.
For others, after reaching their desired weight, they stop the diet and go back to eating the way they were eating before. Unfortunately, this usually means that they begin backsliding, gaining the weight they were excited to have lost or losing the weight they were proud of having put on. Then they start another diet. This is called yo-yo dieting, which is not healthy. It can increase your risk for many different medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Does Calorie Counting Work?
Many people count calories in order to stay healthy. To maintain a healthy weight, they assume that calories in should equal calories used. If they’re trying to lose weight, they eat fewer calories than they use, and if they’re trying to gain weight, they eat more calories than they use. Unfortunately, this is a fairly simplistic and flawed approach.
For one, everyone metabolizes differently, so unless you’ve worked with a doctor to figure out your exact metabolic rate, you’re likely using the wrong numbers to figure out how many calories you burn each day. This can lead to frustration if you’re not seeing the numbers you expect.
Another issue is that calorie counting doesn’t account for different types of nutrients. You can eat several personal-size bags of chips each day, and if you eat nothing else, you’ll likely be under whatever calorie limit you set, but you won’t be getting any of the nutrients you need to stay healthy.
What Are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients are broken down into carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Everyone needs all three macronutrients for good health. The key to balance how much of each macronutrient you need.
Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates are not unhealthy and will not cause weight gain. Instead, carbohydrates are considered fuel for the body. While both fats and protein also provide energy, carbohydrates provide it faster. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should load up your diet with just any carbs.
Whole grains, vegetables, potatoes, and beans are complex carbs that break down slowly to give you energy over a longer period of time, keeping your blood sugar stable. Meanwhile, cakes, donuts, and cookies are not healthy carbs are simple carbs that break down quickly, giving you a quick spike of energy than leaving you lethargic.
Similarly, fat can also be unhealthy or healthy. They are necessary for your overall health, despite what some fad diets proclaim. Fat protects your organs and helps you absorb important nutrients, among other things. However, it’s important to pay attention to what fats are most often in your diet.
Nuts, seeds, and avocados have healthy oils, which can actually help lower your bad cholesterol. But processed and junk foods have too much unhealthy fat. If someone eats a high portion of their diet in unhealthy carbs and fats, they can gain weight.
Personal Macro Coach
While there are some basic recommended ratios for macronutrients, everyone is different and requires different ratios of these macronutrients for optimal health. We all have different metabolisms, activity levels, and health goals. However, it can be difficult to calculate your macronutrient needs on your own.
A personal macro coach can determine your metabolic rate and devise a personal healthy eating plan for you. They can give you specific meal plans and recipes that fit your new dietary needs. If and when you struggle, they can help you find strategies for sticking to your plan, or they may offer adjustments to your plan. A coach is also a great resource for motivation.
Healthy eating is not about weight loss. It is also about building lean muscle mass, finding a healthy metabolism, and maintaining a healthy weight for the rest of your life. A personal macro coach can help you attain all of these goals. Losing weight and staying healthy does not have to be difficult. Once you know the proper foods to eat, you can regain your health and feel great every day.