But have any of those diets actually worked in the long-term?
For most of you, the answer is a resounding “no”. Maybe you lost a little weight at first … but you always seem to end up back where you started.
That’s because going on a diet is like putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound. It may stop the bleeding a bit in the short-term, but you’re still going to be left with a bigger problem to deal with eventually.
Here’s another way of putting it: diets are temporary. And according to research, they’re all pretty much the same when it comes to weight loss effectiveness. A 2009 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that it doesn’t matter what type of diet you try. What matters most if you want to lose weight is taking in fewer calories than you burn.
So why not try a diet plan that you can actually stick with?
The Real Food Diet Plan: The Only “Diet” You’ll Ever Need
First off, let’s talk about what “real food” means. Real food is just as simple as it sounds: food that comes from nature and not a lab. I’m talking organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, meat and dairy products from grass-fed animals, etc.
The abundance of processed, packaged foods available in the grocery store makes it harder and harder to understand what’s healthy. Especially with those pesky, confusing marketing claims food companies are now allowed to make. You’ve probably seen some of them:
“Good source of whole grains!”
“No added growth hormones!”
The problem is, here in the U.S. the FDA and USDA have very lax guidelines for what each of these claims means and they definitely do not have the resources to enforce those guidelines stringently.
The best way to avoid the confusion: limit the amount of packaged, processed foods you buy. Buy fresh, real food instead.
Benefits of the Real Food Diet
Eating a real food diet eliminates the guesswork with healthy eating. Sure, you still need to understand how to read a nutrition label so you understand which foods are the healthiest if you’re eating a lot of meat and dairy.
But in general, what you see is what you get with real food. You know what you’re getting. And, you don’t have to worry about potentially harmful chemicals additives and preservatives. There are thousands upon thousands of additives in the processed foods you eat, many of which have been linked to harmful diseases.
Another benefit of a real food diet: you’ll eat less sugar, less carbs, and more healthy fats and more lean proteins. The closer to nature you eat, the more likely you’ll be to eat the “healthy types” of each of the main macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat).
How to Get Started
Start small. Pick one meal and commit to eating real food with every ingredient in the meal. Have some organic yogurt with fresh fruit for breakfast. Or maybe a spinach salad with avocado, chicken, olive oil, and lemon juice for lunch. Or perhaps some grilled wild salmon with grilled veggies for dinner. Once you’re comfortable doing this a couple days a week, try doing two meals a day … then three … then all your snacks too.
The more you do it, the easier it is.
And not only will you be eating cleaner, healthier, and better-tasting food, you’ll notice a dramatic difference in how you feel when you don’t have all those chemical preservatives and processed ingredients floating around in your bloodstream.
And that, my friends, is why the real food “diet” is the only diet you’ll ever need. I’d love to hear what your favorite real foods are, so post a comment below!
This article is the third in my “Lose Weight and Keep It Off” series.
Next up is article #4 about the secret to achieving your health goals.
Or go back and read article #2 about healthy goal setting.