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There is no one size fits all when it comes to “dieting”. Markus and I have tried a few different diets, or as I like to call them, lifestyle changes. I call it a lifestyle change because that’s exactly what it is, you can’t “diet” for two weeks, then go right back to the way you were eating, you won’t see any progress that way. You want to find something that will be sustainable for you and your lifestyle. I am not a professional, these are just our experiences, always consult with your doctor before changing your diet.
Some of the lifestyle changes that we have tried:
I’m going to go over what worked well for us, and what we did and didn’t love about each.
Let’s start with Whole30. This was probably the hardest one to stick to, but its only 30 days, so you just have to be committed and disciplined. We saw awesome results, I just don’t think it was sustainable to eat Whole30 forever, which isn’tthe goal anyway.
What is Whole30?
No alcohol (including cooking with it).
No baked goods, junk, treats, even with approved ingredients.
No stepping on the scale.
Ghee and clarified butter is fine.
Fruit juice is okay.
Green beans + most pea’s are okay.
Vinegar + Botanicals are okay.
Coconut Aminos are okay.
Salt is fine.
Kind of a lot to take in, huh? Prepping meals ahead of time helped us a lot. Packing away everything in our pantry that wasn’t approved was a HUGE help, so there was no temptation. We got used to drinking black coffee. I think Whole30 changed us forever in a really good way. We did this pre-kiddos, and we still can’t stand really sweet coffee, we noticed dairy doesn’t make us feel too great, and we still limit gluten.
Although you can absolutely stick to strict Whole30 for the rest of your life (kudos to you if you’re someone that does/can do that) we used it as a tool to gain better awareness of how food treats our bodies. It’s about finding out what doesn’t agree with you, and re-introducing foods in an effective way. You do this by completing the first 30 days and then picking one type of food (dairy, gluten, legumes, etc..) to add back into your diet over the next week. You take note of how it makes you feel mentally and physically. If it has a negative effect on you or your body (headaches, upset stomach, itchiness, fogginess, etc..) then you have the awareness to know to stay away from that type of food, or limit it, if you can’t live without it. You continue to add in foods one at a time until you gain awareness of how the different types of foods effect you and your body! If you want a better relationship with food this option will give you that on the deepest level.
I don’t see myself doing any more rounds of Whole30, at least not anytime soon. I do think it is something people should definitely try though. There are lots of Whole30 resources. Cookbooks, books, online resources, Whole Mamas group, and much more. DO your research, and if you have questions feel free to ask me!
Next on our list is clean eating. Clean eating is eating whole foods in there most natural state. This is basically how we eat on the daily. We aren’t clean eating snobs, by any means. We like bread, we liked to sprinkle some cheese on top of things. Clean eating can go as far as eating some raw meats, but we didn’t do that. Just real food, veggies, meat, fruit, etc. Recently we have cut out dairy out of our diet, almost completely, because it doesn’t make us feel good at all, is hard on my littlest babe’s stomach, and makes us extremely bloated. I will occasionally make the exception for some Salt and Straw Ice Cream.
I do believe clean eating is an attainable life style change. We did a lot of the same things like with Whole30, like getting rid of the temptations in the house.
We will jump into Paleo now, I believe this is very similar to the clean eating. Paleo is eating: meat, fish, eggs, seeds, nuts, fruits, veggies, healthy fats and oils, avoiding processed foods, grains, and sugars.
We switched to paleo right after Whole30, it was a little less restricted, but also a lot of the same “rules”.
Since doing Paleo and Whole30 there are a lot more Paleo and Whole30 friendly products, which I can maybe go into some of our favorites in a later blog post, because we still do use a lot of them.
Next in line, Flexible dieting, Macro Tracking, or IIFYM. Whatever you want to call it.
This has been what worked best for me, and where I saw the most results. This looks different for everyone, that’s why it’s called flexible dieting. Not a single person is eating the exact same thing. Every one’s macros are different. Find out what yours are HERE.
Tracking your macros includes, tracking your calorie intake, fats, protein, and carbs. That’s it.
Tracking macros can be very time consuming, if you aren’t setting yourself up for success early, as in meal prepping, entering your macros into your preferred app ahead of time, etc. If you are just winging it, it’s harder to stick to.
I do plan on writing another blog, with more examples of what I ate, and other details that helped us, because I can go on and on about this one, and this is just supposed to be a summary of a few lifestyle changes lol
Last but not least, Carb Cycling. This is what Markus is doing now, and seeing major success with. What is carb cycling? It is planned alteration of carbohydrate intake in order to prevent a fat loss plateau and maintain metabolism along with workout performance, or increase workout performance (internet definition lol). Which in simpler terms means he is cycling low carb days and high carb days throughout the week. He is currently doing 3 low carb days to 1 high carb day. There are many different ways to approach it (like any other diet) depending on if you are trying to lose fat, maintain, or gain lean muscle. This still requires you to track your macros you just pay extra attention to your carb intake. I have not tried this particular method but if you are interested in trying this you can find good info online or I can have Markus talk to you directly to explain it better.
There are numerous diets or ways of eating that can help you start getting the results you want but everyone is different and your bodies react differently to each type/style, so what works for one person might not work for you. The important thing is making the decision to want to be healthier, once you do that research and figure out what you think will work best for you and your lifestyle give it a shot and hopefully it becomes something you see results with and can sustain! If not, that is okay, regroup and try another one until you find something that makes you feel good, gets you results, and is sustainable.
Again, I am not a professional, please consult your doctor before changing your diet.
Stay Confident <3