We talk about the basics all of the time, but here are some basics when it comes losing weight in a sustainable manner and being overall healthier.
If we have to choose: sleep is more important than nutrition, and DEFINITELY more important than structured exercise. We want EIGHT hours (not 6.5), in a cool dark quiet room, with roughly the same sleep/wake times each day (yes, even on weekends).
ALL FOODS FIT. Food is not “good” or “bad,” and no food is ever off-limits. This doesn’t mean eating a majority diet of candy is a great idea. What it does mean is that there are ways to fit the foods you (we) all enjoy that may have less nutritional value into your diet.
The human body is believed to operate via a constrained model of energy expenditure, which means we do not lose weight via exercise alone. However, we also don’t MAINTAIN weight loss (or optimal health) WITHOUT exercise.
Maintenance caloric intake is a range, not a fixed number. It goes down over time with restriction; it goes up with reversing or maintaining. GRADUAL, CONTROLLED intake adjustments are key in both directions.
We EARN the right to cut for a few weeks by consistently eating LOTS of food for a few MONTHS. Notice that time frame: cutting calories for a few weeks is something you earn the right to do because you’ve been eating in maintenance for a few months.
Related: careful reverse-dieting AFTER a cut is MORE important — and more difficult — than the cut itself. Reverse-dieting means adding in more calories to your daily diet over time.
Acquiring muscle mass is one of the best things you can do for your health.
There are no PHYSICAL health benefits to alcohol, not even red wine. (The social/emotional health benefits may vary.)
There is a list of vitamins and minerals that can ONLY be obtained from plants, and another list that can ONLY be obtained from meat. Humans have a wide range of motivations behind their dietary choices, but there are no health or performance reasons to exclude a food group.
With the caveat that food tracking is a TOOL and not a life sentence — among those who DO track, a recent study showed that DILIGENT trackers were much more likely to meet their goals than those who tracked haphazardly.
Bodies are meant to change over time. We aren’t trying to “get BACK” to some past version of you; we’re trying to craft a plan that makes sense for who you are NOW.
If you’re seeking help with nutrition, we highly recommend working with Show Your Work Nutrition!