Get Off the Dieting Road

Are your weight loss efforts motivated by the latest fad diet? Does your daily eating routine include expensive alternatives to food? Are those not-so-tasty diet drinks and shakes really better than eating nutritious good food? Are you staying within your calorie budget? New Year’s resolutions are now 2 months in. Is your goal to shed those pounds being met or has the determination died down?

Weight loss is one of the biggest challenges drivers face. Food options are sometimes limited on the road and healthy choices are not always available. A quick fix fad diet seems great at first, but down the road, do your efforts lose speed?

Fad diets are extremely popular for losing weight. They typically promise rapid weight loss and other health benefits, but are often nutritionally unbalanced and ineffective over the long term. Some popular fad diets have been the Atkins diet, paleo diet, South Beach diet, low glycemic-index diet, and the ketogenic diet.

The key to successful weight loss and keeping it off without “dieting” includes these simple facts:

How much do you eat: Appropriate portion sizes for any food and caloric intake per meal
What time you eat: Enjoy breakfast instead of big dinners
Why you eat: When does your body need fuel? Do you eat when bored, stressed or lonely?
How much you sleep: Sometimes when we’re tired, we eat, but what we really need is sleep (Clark, 2014)

To shed pounds and lose unwanted fat you must have a calorie deficit. 3500 calories equals 1 pound. So, if you save 500 calories per day, that can add up to losing 1-2 pounds per week.

10 Steps for Fat Loss (Clark, 2014)

  1. Write it down: track your daily calories for 3 days or more to see how many calories you’re consuming and what comprises your fuel intake
  2. Front-load your calories: don’t skimp on breakfast
  3. Eat slowly: enjoy your food
  4. Enjoy your favorite foods: give yourself permission to eat desired foods but in smart portions
  5. Avoid temptation: don’t store high calorie foods in your truck
  6. Keep a list of non-food related activities: you can do these when you are bored, lonely, tired, or nervous
  7. Make a realistic eating plan: chose to lose or maintain based on your schedule
  8. Schedule appointments for exercise: you are more apt to meet for appointment
  9. Make sleep a priority: tiredness can make you feel hungry when really all you need is sleep
  10. Think fit and healthy: positive self-talking will get your day started in the right direction

The Bottom Line

Fad diets will always be popular and new plans will continue to be created to address people’s desire to lose weight quickly. However, just because a diet is effective for weight loss doesn’t mean it is sustainable long-term. To achieve and maintain your weight loss goal, it’s important to find a healthy way of eating that you enjoy and can follow for life.

Clark, N. 2014. Sports Nutrition Guidebook

Mueller, K., and Hingst, J. 2013. The Athlete’s Guide to Sports Supplements