The new year has come and gone, but many gym-goers are still trying to stick their resolutions to lose weight and eat healthier. Maybe you started a diet that your friend recommended, or you looked up the most popular ones on the internet; maybe you are trying to self-regulate without sticking to one specific “plan” by using myfitnesspal. The good news is that you’re likely on the right track if you’ve found something you can stick with!
Regardless of what you may have heard. With regards to losing weight, there is only one True diet, and that lies in having a negative energy balance.
What is Energy Balance?
Calories are not exactly what your eat, but they are a form of energy that you use throughout the day. This energy is gained through eating food and expended through exercise. This is why you look at calorie amounts on the “Nutrition facts” of your food as well as on the treadmill when you’re done exercising. The amount of calories you bring in through food every day minus the calories you expend through daily activity and exercise is what’s called Energy Balance. Simply put, if you bring in more calories than you expend, you will gain weight. If you expend more than you bring in, you will lose. So where does this come in with diets?
Any diet, whether atkins, weight watchers, jenny craig, paleo, intermittent fasting, or self-regulation all depends on you having a negative energy balance in order to lose weight. Points, apps, timeframes, and more are used to try to ensure that participants in a diet will create a negative energy balance and lose weight. So in essence, it doesn’t matter what you eat, as long as you have a negative energy balance, correct?
Well in a sense. A negative energy balance will absolutely lead to weight loss. That is fact, but where things start to get iffy is when the question of sustainability comes up. Are you willing to give up all carbs and processed foods forever? Are you willing to count points and calories for every meal? This is where any dieter needs to begin questioning themselves and what they’re willing to do for their weight loss journey.
We recommend that everyone research their diets before beginning. A successful diet is the one you keep and makes you feel good. Whether that relies on counting points at every meal or just avoiding carbs like the plague, YOU have to decide where your resolution lies. If that means trying multiple diets, then by all means, try a new diet every week. The energy balance should still be negative, and the weight should keep coming off. But when you find something you can stick with, hold on for dear life and begin your fitness journey in the best way you can.