True Life: I Love Fad Diets
Updated: Nov 17, 2019
Anyone who knows me knows I am a fad diet fiend.
I've done it all. Shred. Whole30. Selvera (which I don't even think exists anymore). Arden's Garden. The nothing-but-chicken-and-spinach-for-a-week-before-a-vacation diet. You name it, I've done it.
I generally consider myself to be a very logical and rational person who understands that nothing really gets results like hard work, discipline and dedication. Yet, every time I look in the mirror and go whoa I'm getting too big, my first thought isn't "let's make a lifestyle change" it's "how can I get this weight down ASAP?"
Each of the things I named above worked. I lost almost 10 pounds in two weeks on Selvera when I did it a few years ago. When I did Whole30 this past January I also lost somewhere around 10 pounds and had tons of people asking me if I had been working out because I looked thinner. So this stuff isn't bullshit. But it's IMPOSSIBLE (for me) to stick to.
Take Whole30 for example. That is the hardest diet on the planet in my opinion. You cannot EVER eat without planning because it's so restrictive. Every meal must be planned and prepped otherwise you'll definitely eat a banned food even if you're at a "healthy" spot like SweetGreen or Cava. And because of how restrictive it is, it's very hard to eat out, again even if the spot is healthy. So what was my January like? Meal planning and eating at home for 30 days straight. Now that was no problem at all because it was cold as THE fuck in D.C. and I received exactly 0 invites to go out so my FOMO was not all impacted. But if I had tried Whole30 in May or June, with perfect D.C. weather and rooftop brunches? NOPE! Would've been a massive fail.
I find with each of these diets that my two biggest obstacles aren't necessarily eating the right foods. My friends actually point out that I don't really eat that badly. But, I am lazy and I like to go out. Too lazy to cook a good meal everyday (although I am cooking now more than I ever have), and too tempted to get wings and fries and sugary cocktails at happy hour every other day.
So with that in mind, I am trying to identify solutions that not only address the foods I eat, but also the social and lifestyle aspects of my bad habits. After much deliberation, I think I've identified three very good solutions.
Meal Delivery. Now this is my no means a genius, rocket-scientist-like move, but I decided to just get some healthy meals delivered to me that are already cooked and ready to go. I took a deep dive into my budget to find that I've been spending a shameful amount of money on takeout via the likes of UberEats, GrubHub, and other similar services. That said, even a more expensive delivery service actually saves me money. Thankfully though I've found a service called Territory Foods that is not only reasonably priced, but is delicious and highly customizable. Y'all know I ain't got no job so right now I'm only ordering a few meals from them here and there, but once I am gainfully employed I plan to sign up for 5 dinners a week, which amounts to about $300 a month. Sounds high but the ingredients are high quality, and the meals are chef-prepared. If I tried to make the exact same meals and bought all those ingredients I'd probably be paying the same or more. And I'll have no excuse to order out!
Intermittent Fasting. All the while I've been trying to attack what I'm eating. But I am very intrigued by the idea of targeting when I'm eating. I find that I naturally don't eat much in the morning and eat bigger meals as the day goes on, usually ending with way too much eating and snacking before bed. IF embraces the fact that I don't really eat early in the day, and gives me discipline to stop eating so late. The great thing about it is that, if done right (right = an 8-hour eating window followed by 16 hours of fasting every day), you can lose weight just by fasting alone (assuming your window is not filled with pizza and beer). But, if you actually eat well within your window, the weight loss stories are unreal. Women are dropping hundreds of pounds with IF! It also provides a plethora of other non-weight-related health benefits. IF is so good for you that it almost makes me think this is how we should be eating as a society and maybe we were never meant to be eating from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep. Right now my window is 12 pm - 8 pm everyday and it's been a struggle to stop at 8, but I do find that even if I slip up, I still eat less late at night, or at the very least eat lighter before bed. Pray that I can commit to this because I think it can be really good for me!
Accountability Group. Recently I joined a book club made up of young ladies I went to college with and it's been an awesome experience. We are all growing closer and forming a real bond. With that our book club meetings are usually 25% book talk and 75% everything else. We find that we're all dealing with weight loss issues in one way or another, and are all trying to figure out how to finally take off the pounds in a lasting way. So a few of us got together and started an accountability group in which we are all friends on the MyFitnessPal app and we can actually track each other's eating and exercise. Honestly it's scary for me to give people a window into my eating habits because my eating habits can be a bit weird lol, but just knowing that someone is looking is already helping.
As I approach 30, I know it's vital that I get this weight thing together because there's no where to go but down (and by down I mean up). Here's hoping these solutions can become a real lifestyle change!