The desire for weight loss is the number one reason people get involved in a fitness program, yet many people who undertake fitness don’t lose weight.? Why is this?? Because no matter how comprehensive and rigorous your fitness program is, it won’t yield weight loss if you’re taking in too much food or the wrong kinds of food.? Exercise will improve your health (lower cholesterol and blood pressure, increased cardiorespiratory capacity, improved musculoskeletal strength), but will only increase your likelihood of losing weight if you have a solid eating plan in place.? This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to map out every meal, it just means that you have to be attentive to the food you’re putting into your body.? Here are some helpful, healthy tips:

  1. Eat Food. Mostly Plants. Not too much. – Great advice from author Michael Pollan. What does it mean?? It means; eat real, unprocessed food, mostly plant-based, and don’t overeat. Why? Because processed foods and animal products are heavy in empty calories and/or saturated fat.? But remember, overeating even healthy foods will result in weight gain, so don’t eat too much.
  2. If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, DON’T! – Again from Michael Pollan.? Naturally grown food is full of life-sustaining nutrients and naturally low in calories.? Processed foods are filled with refined flour, sugar and calories while being low in nutritional value.? They make you fat!!? This doesn’t mean you can’t eat meat and dairy products, just be judicious and sparing in the way you include them in your diet.? A similar Michael Pollon suggestion is to “Avoid foods that are advertised on TV.”? Why?? Because the overwhelming amount of food ads are in place to support the sale of processed foods, while only 5% of advertising is geared toward natural foods.
  3. Serve a proper portion and don’t go back for seconds. – Try eating meals that you can fit on a salad plate instead of a dinner plate!? This will provide a reasonable and sustaining number of calories and will help you avoid overeating.? For more helpful tips read the book “Food Rules” or “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan.
  4. Keep a food journal – Studies show that people who track their food intake are more conscious of the food they put into their bodies and are more successful at losing weight!
  5. Be Disciplined!! – If you’re taking the time to involve yourself in a rigorous and consistent exercise program, apply the same degree of discipline to your eating.? This is up to you and no one else!? There’s no way around this one.

You don’t have to be perfect in following these concepts.? Just do your best.? If you comply with them 80% of the time you will be in a good position to lose weight (as long as you don’t go wild the other 20% of the time).