I was never good at following the rules…… I was always looking for the best way to lose fat. It’s no wonder why my weight was always going either up or down. Depending on what rule I was struggling to follow at that moment. I admit for years I subscribed to the “diet industries Gold Standard Rules for weight loss” but I found those rules to be unsustainable… I mean what if dinner was after 6, or I didn’t feel like eating right out of bed in the morning, or what if I didn’t eat 6 times today!?
Allow me to debunk these ‘rule’ for you so you can decide if you want to try living a more flexible and free lifestyle.
- You must eat breakfast. We’ve been told breakfast is a must if you want to lose weight and rev up your metabolism for the day. Don’t get me wrong, the first meal of the day, the one that breaks your overnight fast is important, but it’s no more important than any other meal of the day. We now know that breakfast does not jumpstart your metabolism, make you inherently more healthy or lean than the breakfast skipper. We can all sigh with relief that this one meal will not make or break your goals. If you just are not a morning eater, thats fine! Eating to meet your macronutrient needs for the day, in what ever window of time you choose, is way more beneficial to your overall success than forcing your self to eat breakfast is.
- Stop eating after 6. Do you think your body know’s what time it is, really? Does your body know what timezone you’re in or if it’s daylight savings? Nope it doesn’t. What this rule did was try to get people to stop mindlessly eating foods while sitting in front of the TV, snacking on popcorn, peanuts or chips out of bag! The same thing applies here as it does above. Eat to meet all your macro nutrient needs for the day will leave you satisfied and not looking for junk to munch in the evening. So let’s not demonize the time of day we eat. Mindless eating is more about trying to fill a void that you may be experiencing because of poor food choices throughout the day. It sounds so simple, but when you are fueled properly things like boredom, frustration, anger, stress and tv munching become easier to handle.
- 6 mini meals a day. On the surface this one seems logical. Eat often to avoid being hungry all day, and keep your metabolism stoked, burning like a fire. This rule is perpetuated by mainstream low calorie diets. But thats not necessarily the way it works, and there are several flaws in this process. The biggest one for me: I was never satisfied. All I did was obsess about my next meal. Counting down the clock for the two hours to pass so I could scarf up my next 200 or so calories. That is no way to live. Having to prep and pack all that food to go, is a job in itself…. and leads to more food obsession. Not to mention containers, baggies, coolers, ice…. This points me right back to the point made in 1 & 2 above… Eating to meet all your macro nutrient needs for the day will leave you satisfied and without hunger and food obsessions.
In the end it comes down to personal preference. Eating breakfast, followed by 6 mini meals, and stopping at 6 pm is fine as long as you are happy, satisfied and achieving great results. As is eating 1 or 2 large meals at what ever time of the day that works best in your lifestyle. The important thing is to eat all of the macronutrients your body needs to live a healthy, fit, energized and happy life. Not sure what that is because of years of crazy calorie restrictions and trying to follow more rules? Wanna lean to create rules for yourself that will help you win the fat loss game, and that you can live with? Let me coach you out of the diet traps and into a winnable game of life!