Weight loss is a journey that leaves those who travel the road alone feeling isolated, frustrated, and perhaps even defeated.
Attempting to navigate the mountains of information about weight loss fads and nutrition can seem daunting to anyone who needs the training to tell the difference between fact and fiction.
Each day a new influencer or advertiser is right on your heels to present the next new thing.
So, how do you cut through all this information and get to the good stuff?
At OnPoint Nutrition, we have helped over 3,000 clients who have put their health first and ended the confusion surrounding the weight loss and nutrition industry.
By the end of this article, you will have your lingering questions about weight loss and nutrition answered, and you will feel motivated to get started on your journey to better health.
Let's have a look, shall we?
1. Do I have to give up the foods I love to lose weight?
No. At OnPoint Nutrition, our team of Registered Dietitians has a philosophy regarding the foods you love: All Foods Fit.
This means that with the proper nutrition and a dedication to maintaining your healthful lifestyle of complete nutrition–you can still enjoy the foods you love without guilt or shame.
That's right; you can still indulge in a healthy heap of Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream. In fact, we encourage it.
Many programs fail because people give up the things they love and start on a dieting path that makes them sad…probably literally sad. Who wants to go on FOREVER without their favorite slice of heaven?
We sure don't.
Eliminating indulgences (or trying to) actually hinders the path to good nutrition, and a mindful approach to the foods you love leads to less binging and greater control over your consumption.
2. Are Fad Diets Healthy?
Fad diets are almost exclusively unhealthy. Unless the fad is eating a sustainable, well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, of course.
But that is overwhelmingly not the case.
So, what exactly is wrong with all these diet trends?
9/10 times: Restriction or elimination of food groups.
Our OnPoint Nutritionists are well aware that most diets only yield results due to severe restriction or elimination of at least one major food group.
However, this is not sustainable.
- Weight Watchers
- intermittent fasting
Starving yourself of these essential nutrients only deprives your body of the fuel it needs to perform its basic processes.
With this deprivation, our body is functioning no better than our car would if we quit filling up the oil (can you hear the grinding and sputtering?).
Bottom line: these band-aid solutions to "better health" will eventually fail. And sometimes they will have the opposite effect.
They appear to have some promise in the short term but ultimately leave you feeling worse and trapped in a frustrating cycle of weight gain and loss.
3. Is There a Best Diet for Weight Loss?
Yes, the best diet for weight loss is a sustainable, well-balanced diet. By including all of the major food groups (in some form) into your diet and making intuitive decisions about your nutrition, you will not only lose weight, but it will stay off because this becomes your lifestyle.
Yes, we are beating this drum. Fad diets are not the path to take if you want to lose weight (gasp).
You may experience short-term success, but you have to ask yourself, in the end: are you honestly going to live out your days without touching another carb?
For most people, the answer is nope.
And for many reasons, that first bite of the sweet, sweet birthday cake will be the first step to "I miss donuts…toast for breakfast…I did Keto one time; it helped me drop a bunch of weight! I gotta get back on it."
Do you get it now? The key to success in weight loss is not in the short term.
The answer is always sustainability.
4. What is the most important step in losing weight?
Speaking of sustainability... The most important step in losing weight is developing a routine that you CAN stick to.
Some people approach dieting with lofty goals, like:
- Never eating out again (Yikes!)
- Only eating top-shelf organic ($$$)
- Losing 10 pounds a week for that bikini body next month (😱)
The importance of sustainability cannot be more evident than with all of the frustration we see from failed diets.
Developing sustainable goals, making a solid plan for achieving those goals, and managing your progress along the way is, without a doubt, the best way to lose weight and achieve better health.
5. Is Diet or Exercise More Important for Weight Loss?
Both diet and exercise are essential for weight loss. A healthy, well-balanced diet is a significant factor in your weight loss goals, but a great diet goes hand-in-hand with regular exercise.
Wait! Don't leave! 🚫
Exercise does not mean you must spend a couple of hours in the gym daily.
We return to the concept of sustainability. If you begin your weight loss journey by going to the gym every day and hitting the workouts hard–that's great.
But is it going to help you in the long run?
If you do not plan to continue the intense workouts, you are doing yourself a disservice.
Not only are you putting your body through unnecessary stress, but you are also ultimately hurting your cause.
Exercise is vital to sustaining your weight loss and overall health journey because it will regulate metabolism, aid digestion, improve mood, and reduce stress.
The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to incorporate movement that you can maintain.
- A walk at lunchtime or after dinner
- A simple yoga routine
Finding something that fits seamlessly into your lifestyle is necessary to keep on track with your goals.
Even if you have to start small (like a 5-minute walk), working movement into your routine will benefit your weight loss goals.
6. How Often Should I Eat to Lose Weight?
To lose weight, you should eat at regular mealtime intervals and include several snacks between meals.
By eating regularly, you are keeping your metabolism active and your body well-fueled to function correctly.
Many believe that to lose weight, they must cut down on how much they eat and how often they eat.
Creating well-balanced eating habits and regular mealtimes is essential to achieve weight loss.
7. What Are the Staples of a Healthy Diet?
A whole and completely balanced diet will include all food groups in some form. It is so important that anyone looking to lose weight meets this need.
For your body to function correctly, it needs many different vitamins and minerals, all of which are best received in a well-balanced diet.
Each food group has its unique role in complete nutrition for your body.
Excellent Sources of Protein:
- Eggs – free range if possible. Liquid egg whites
- Chicken breast
- 95-98% ground turkey
- Fish – wild caught (salmon, tuna, tilapia, halibut)
- Pork tenderloin
- Tofu – extra firm
- Veggie burgers
- Protein Bars- NuGo, RX, Luna Protein, Clif Builder Bar
Excellent Sources of Fruits and Vegetables:
- Picking in-season produce will ensure the freshest selection
- Fresh and/or frozen - both are great!
Excellent Sources of Starch:
- Whole wheat bread– Dave's Killer, Alvarado Street Bakery, Ezekiel, any 100% whole wheat brand
- Whole wheat flatbread or tortillas
- Brown rice, quinoa, farro, teff
- Starchy vegetables: potatoes, corn & peas
- Black beans, chickpeas, lentils
- Steel cut oats – Bob's Red Mill, Quaker Steel Cut Oats
- Air Popped Popcorn (Skinny Pop, Boom Chicka Pop)
- 100% whole wheat or sourdough pretzels, rice cakes
Excellent Sources of Dairy:
- Non-fat yogurt - Siggi's, Fage, plain Greek yogurt
- Low-fat cheese - Laughing Cow, Babybel, Mozzarella, cottage, ricotta
- Reduced fat milk – 1 or 2%
- Nut Milk – Silk Protein & Nut Milk, MALK, Ripple Pea Protein Milk, Dream Boosted Almond Milk
Excellent Sources of Fat and Condiments:
- Unsalted nuts – almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans
- Nut butter – Justin's, Crazy Richard's
- Canola oil, olive oil
- Flax seeds, chia seeds
- Hummus, salsa, soy sauce, fat-free salad dressing, spices
8. What is Nutrition Coaching?
A professional who is trained and well-educated in the field of nutrition is called a nutrition coach. They know how to assist you in improving your health and well-being by modifying your diet and routine.
Nutrition coaches who have received adequate training will consider your health history and present conditions before making recommendations.
A great Nutrition Coach will tailor a program to your lifestyle.
You can also benefit from a better relationship with food with the guidance of a skilled nutrition coach. You may have heard this term tossed around but have yet to learn what it is or how one might help you reach your weight loss goals.
Ultimately, a Nutrition Coach is a missing link between you and your new lifestyle.
Taking the Next Steps
Many mistakes are made thanks to the misinformation available to those on a weight loss journey.
The frustration of sorting through the contradicting facts alone would make anyone want to throw in the towel.
By now, you know that it doesn't have to be complicated, and you do not need to travel the road to weight loss alone.
The best option is to hire a Nutrition Coach to help you navigate all of this information and develop a solid plan to meet and sustain your goals.
Our expert advice and services at OnPoint Nutrition have helped more than 3,000 people reach their weight loss goals. As new research becomes available, we adapt our procedures to reflect the best evidence.
Proactive observation and knowledgeable planning can help you avoid setbacks and boost your quality of life in the long run.
Talking to a professional can help you improve your health and happiness, and services like OnPoint Nutrition's online team of licensed dietitians are a great place to start.
The first step toward the better life you deserve is taking action; we can help you do that.
Abby Aikens is a Content Manager who works with OnPoint Nutrition to spread the word about better health. With an arsenal of Dietitians and Nutritionists at her finger tips, Abby aids the mission of improving access to valuable information about how nutrition can change lives. Abby knows well the power of good nutrition and believes in the mission of OnPoint to educate and bring better health to their clients.