It seems like every time you open a magazine or get an email from your favorite blog, there is another diet-to-end-all-diets.  Guaranteed to make you lose pounds and inches just by eating potato chips and drinking martini’s all day (wishful thinking!).

The reality is this, fad diets don’t work and there is no such thing as one-diet-fits-all. 

No one person is the same. We have different hair color, eye color, some of us are tall, some are short. Some of us can eat mac-n-cheese several times a month and not put on a pound, some of us look at a brownie and gain a pound.  We also have different genes and family history. With all these differences, why do we think we can follow the same diet and get the same results?  If that were the case, I refer you back to the potato chip and martini diet and wish you the best of luck.

What is important in finding your diet sweet spot is first throwing out the term ‘diet’ and learning what works best for your body and your lifestyle.

Stop dieting

First and foremost, if you want to sculpt your body, lose body fat—and maintain—you have to ditch the word “diet” and understand you’re making a life-long change. If you work hard to get the body you want by following a healthy whole food plan, you can’t abandon your meal plan and expect to keep the weight off or continue to feel as good. When you’ve taken the time and patience to find the right food for your body, it is important to continue to incorporate that into your lifestyle.  

Lets take Keto as an example.  As you probably know, Keto means substantially limiting your intake of carbs, instead packing your daily menu with protein. If you’ve lost a significant amount of weight on Keto—after trying a more balanced approach of cleaning eating—that probably indicates your body doesn’t process or burn carbs and it would be best to stay on a low carb way of eating.

We’ve all heard the stories and probably know people who have lost weight but end up gaining it all back and then some. The reason is usually because you’ve approached it as a diet and now that you’ve hit your goal weight, you go back to eating the way you used to. The trick is to learn how to make what worked a permanent part of your life so it doesn’t feel like a permanent diet.

Listen to your body

There are some things you can’t know without blood work. Things like a Vitamin D deficiency or low testosterone (yes, this is a thing for women too).  However, even without having your blood work done, your body does give you signs and if you listen to them and keep track of them, these signs can be extremely helpful in finding your best way of eating.

You could be very sensitive to gluten and therefore your bloated frequently. Or maybe you live with recurring heartburn. Or you hit a wall everyday at 2:00 pm. These are all signs you can learn from and adjust your diet to subside symptoms.

This is where a food journal can be extremely helpful.  If you don’t already do it, it’s very simple to get started. Grab a notebook or download and app (there are tons for iOS and Android) and start tracking what and how much you eat.  When I say track, I mean track everything. Include notes about how you felt—your energy levels, any physical symptoms, your mental focus, etc.  While you’re working on understanding what is right for you, its important to include as much detail as possible so you can evaluate what might be giving you heartburn or causing your energy to tank in the afternoon. 

Once you’ve gotten into the habit of keeping a food journal, it becomes second nature and will help you stay on track.

Stick with it

If you’ve ever worked with me, you know I like to work with new clients for a minimum of six months.  If you’re just starting out on a new workout program, it takes time to see results.  And just as it takes time to see results from exercise, it takes time to dial in the right nutrition plan. I ask my clients to weigh in every week, but we also do pictures, measurements and body fat percentage every three weeks. I also create a new meal plan every three weeks.

The reason I do this is because everyone is different and it takes a consistent effort to understand what works for each person. 

Its important to realize it may take time, especially if you’ve never evaluated your diet, what works for you. Be patient.

Everyone cheats

Everyone enjoys a treat now and then. And sometimes, temptations get the best of us.  Its important to accept that just because you had something that wasn’t on your new healthy nutrition plan doesn’t mean you failed and you should give up. It means your human and you need to accept the hiccup, get back on track and focus on the next day.

Case study

I’ve worked with thousands of women and no two are the same. For instance, I have one client where we tried several different strategies. We started with the basics of eliminating gluten and dairy to see if those were causing the problem of eliminate body fat. Then we tried different versions of carb cycling, we tried higher protein and fats and lower complex carbs, nothing worked until we tried Keto, which is no carbs, and to our surprise the weight and body fat started dropping.

Another client would be able to have high carbs, and continued to lean up and change body composition just by staying on her whole food meal plan. But she couldn’t have any cheats or her body wouldn’t shed body fat. But then another client would be able to stay high carb and have 1 to 2 free meals every weekend and continued to lean up. 

No two bodies are the same and that’s why I encourage my clients to stick to the meal plans I give them so we can figure out what is working and what is not. The only way to figure these things out is to be precise, consistent and patient. 

You know the term “if you do the same things, you get the same results”, therefore, “if you want different results, you need to do something different”. 

Figuring the nutrition out for my clients is what I am great at. It takes the pressure off of them so they can live life and not worry about the details. After it is figured out I teach them how to track and design their own nutrition so they can continued to be successful. That’s the goal, so when my clients have completed their programs they know how to maintain for life.