Know the keys for your weight loss to be successful and forget about diets once and for all!
As is often said, losing weight is easy if you know how . My professional career has led me to come across many cases that we call difficult, but which in reality are not, we just have to find the error and work on it.
This has led me to know how to modify the diet in each case so that the loss is successful. By those cases I mean those people who believe that their loss is impossible for reasons such as:
- Mine is genetic.
- Mine is hormonal, I have hypothyroidism.
- I’ve tried everything, and nothing has worked for me.
- With nothing I eat, I immediately get fat.
- I am a case, I have no will power.
- What I have is retention and I don’t know how to end it.
- I go to the gym every day and there is no way.
Table of Contents
- 1 How our body works
- 1.1 Carbohydrates
- 1.2 Proteins
- 1.3 Fats
- 2 The most common mistakes when trying to lose weight
- 3 How to detect the problem
How our body works
To know what to do to lose weight, we must first know how our body works. The body needs energy to function. That energy is provided by the nutrients in different foods and within these nutrients we can differentiate three large groups: carbohydrates, proteins and fats , which are known as macronutrients. Let’s see how in reality what is really important is quality and not quantity.
They are demonized, it seems that they are our enemy and the cause of all our problems, but nothing could be further from the truth. Their main function is to provide us with energy, therefore and given their function, they are necessary in our daily diet.
However, we can differentiate them into two types: complex and simple (we could also mention fiber, but that is another issue). Complex hydrates are those that we would find in legumes, cereals (always preferably whole), tubers … and the simple ones, those of vegetables and fruits. These would be the healthy sources of carbohydrates and those that should make up our diet.
Then we have the carbohydrates of refined cereals (white bread, pasta, rice …), sweets, ultra-processed products, cookies, table sugar or honey. The latter should be exempt from our diet.
And that is the first mistake of many diets: confusing them or eliminating them all completely. So, if we want to lose weight, the carbohydrates in our diet must come from whole grains (whole wheat pasta and bread, whole couscous, oatmeal …), legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans …), tubers (potato, sweet potato, cassava …) , vegetables, greens and fruits . Any diet that excludes them, the only thing it will do is, surely, create anxiety.
Proteins, on the other hand, are like the top of the nutrients, the magic of diets that make us lose so many kilos in such a short time. The main function of proteins is structural or plastic, that is, they help us to manufacture, regenerate and maintain our tissues such as skin, nails, tendons, etc., and again they are necessary in our daily diet.
However, we also find healthy and unhealthy sources of protein. We should try to prioritize vegetable protein over animal protein and that legumes, nuts, seeds and derivatives of legumes such as tofu or textured soy should be abundant in our diet. Lean meats, fish, and eggs are also healthy. And we could also include whole natural dairy in this group.
On the contrary, they are not healthy and consequently we should avoid red meats, processed meats such as sausages and / or hamburgers and cold cuts. Of course, we shouldn’t eat ultra-processed fish like surimi either. You should also know that unlike the rest of nutrients, the body does not have a protein store and all excess protein will be eliminated by the body, overloading your liver and kidney.
I’m sure you’re thinking, I don’t even want them in paint. Well, you should know that they are as important as the rest of the nutrients and that you only need to choose well, choose quality. Fats are, again, necessary in our daily diet since they are responsible for, in addition to giving us energy, keeping our skin and hair healthy.
They also help you absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K, called fat-soluble vitamins. And it also fills adipocytes (cells where fat is stored) and insulates the body to help keep it warm. So as you can see there are multiple functions that they perform. Of course, again, its quality intervenes.
Quality fats are those that we find naturally in food: nuts (raw or toasted), oily fish, seeds, avocado, dairy products, virgin oils: coconut, olive … That leaves fats from sausages excluded, of pastries, sweets, refined oils and other products with added fats.
So you see, what you need in your diet to lose weight is a good combination of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, but never the exclusion of any of them. What is that ratio? It will always depend on each person, but a simple way to know in what proportion to eat them is to follow the plate method .
According to this method, half of your plate has to be vegetables and vegetables, a fourth protein, another fourth whole grains or root vegetables. All this, dressed with a quality fat or complemented with healthy fats.
The most common mistakes when trying to lose weight
Even so, it is very likely that by following this type of diet, you will not be able to lose weight. That is because many times we do not realize our mistakes. Therefore, we are going to see the 6 most common mistakes in weight loss that usually hinder our goal:
- Too severe restrictions: Minimizing the calories in the diet to lose weight is a mistake. When we reduce calories below our basal needs, the body enters a state of “energy saving”, it is like it believes that it will not have enough food (and therefore enough energy) and saves the one that has, that is, it reserves our fat better. So what you get is the opposite, increase those reserves and consequently the fat and therefore, the weight. Since Palaeolithic times, our body has a thrifty system, so that, given the then scarcity of food, there would never be a lack of a substrate to feed on. It is that primitive brain that, when it sees that you do not give it enough energy, activates that saving mechanism, lest we have returned to a food shortage. In addition, these high calorie restrictions increase emotional hunger, which can give you anxiety and lead to bingeing and thus excess weight.
- Elimination of certain foods: Eliminating from the diet a food or a group of foods or perhaps an entire macronutrient, as I explained above, is another mistake. In general, the foods that are forbidden and eliminated most frequently are carbohydrates: pasta, rice, bread … but there are diets of all kinds that even eliminate fruit! That is such a serious mistake that not only will it prevent you from losing weight, but you can even regain twice what you lost. That is where the importance of quantity / quality comes in.
- Starving: Many people associate starving with losing weight. It must be written in the most secret of nutrition manuals that if you go hungry you lose weight. The simple fact of being hungry is already an indication that something is wrong. You should never go hungry, whether or not you are under dietary treatment. If you are hungry, eat. Without fear. Without fear. Just eat healthy foods. You will see that it is wonderful to feel satiated, not to promote the appearance of anxiety and to avoid a binge.
- Compensating meals : It is also useless to compensate meals. There are several compensation methods and none of them are valid. There is the magic pill option with which it seems that eating a whole suckling pig or 4 packages of chocolate cookies is insignificant (because the pill will make you not absorb fat), or the option of becoming an ultratrainer and burning 5000kcal in 1 hour. None of them are worth it and none of them are healthy.
- Base your diet on “ diet products ”. It is a fairly common mistake too, to start buying any light, bio, eco product, with the image of slender bodies or flat bellies. All of this continues to be equally unhealthy ultra-processed products, which again make anxiety appear and you fall back into unhealthy products.
- For a day nothing happens . To think that nothing happens for a day is a mistake, since it is neither a day nor a piece, nor is it a drink nor is it what we think it is. Whenever we say this we do not realize the rest of the extras we have done in the same week. And if you think about it, you realize that it was not 1 time or 2, but 4 or 5 and that in the end it translates into not eating healthy. So if you want to control it, I advise you to have a list where to write down all the unhealthy things you eat for days, so that at the end of the week or month, you are aware of everything you have eaten and see that for a day it does happen .
How to detect the problem
If you think that you do not make any of these mistakes and despite this you do not lose weight either, you can lean towards nutritional coaching , and use some of its tools like the ones I use in my specialized practice in weight loss to detect where the error is .
The one that works the most and best for me is the food wheel . This activity consists of evaluating from 1 to 10 (0 meaning that you do not have anything under control or that you are not at all satisfied with how you carry that aspect, and 10 meaning that you have it totally under control or that you are totally satisfied with your behavior in that area. ) the ten parts of the eating wheel that represent the ten aspects that influence your chances of success when it comes to losing weight:
- Planning: you plan what you are going to eat, you organize yourself to have all the food, you go shopping with the list of necessary foods, you plan the preparation of meals, you take into account extraordinary celebrations … or quite the opposite
- Environment: You have support from the people around you, you have prepared your material environment, home and workplace, in a way that helps you follow the nutritional plan, or rather you are surrounding yourself with a sabotaging environment.
- Confidence in yourself: You totally believe in your ability to achieve it or on the contrary you doubt it.
- Personal image: You are comfortable with the image of yourself, you take care of your physical appearance … or you can’t even look in the mirror.
- Eating between meals : you take non-scheduled foods outside of the main meals or, on the contrary, you are a person who only eats the five recommended intakes for breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, snack and dinner.
- Motivation by the goal: you are motivated to carry out the actions that lead you to your goal, you need to reinforce your motivation because you do not feel enthusiastic enough.
- Emotional food: you have other resources to combat negative emotions or, on the contrary, you resort to food as a balm when you feel bad, stressed, depressed, nervous, etc.
- Servings: it is difficult for you to say enough when you are eating, you serve yourself too much food and eat large quantities, or on the contrary you adjust to the correct size of the servings.
- Physical exercise: you practice physical exercise on a regular basis (3-4 days a week, or more than 150 minutes a week) or you lead a rather sedentary life.
- Nutritional guideline: you feel satisfied with your nutritional guideline, it is balanced and varied, or you feel unhappy with it, it seems to you that it is boring, or scarce, and it does not facilitate its monitoring.
Everything you have scored below 7 are aspects to work on to get closer to your goal. It does not matter if there are many areas that score below 7, the important thing is to detect and work on them.