There are so many different eating plans and diets to choose from, sometimes it can be mind boggling. The important thing to do is to pick ONE plan, and stick to it. You can’t mash a bunch of plans together and hope for the best. This is what I used to do when I knew very little about nutrition. I would avoid carbs, avoid fat, and avoid high calorie foods. This left me with almost nothing to eat, which of course was unsustainable. Or else I would add together the best parts of all the diets, which was even worse! I’d eat whole grain bread, because low calorie diets still allow carbs, but also food high in fat, because low carb diets allow lots of fats. Needless to say, I never saw any results without a proper plan, so pick your plan, and stick to it!
Do some research, some diets work great for some people, and terrible for others. I know people who thrive on the low carb high fat diet, and others that faint if they exercise on that diet. Or maybe you don’t want to pick a diet to follow, maybe you want to make it a lifestyle. This of course is the most sustainable course of action, making healthy changes to your diet that you plan to stick to for the long run while still allowing the occasional treat, instead of just announcing “NO SUGAR EVER” and then feeling deprived.
So, the first thing to decide is what you are going to do. Are you going to restrict calories, or carbs, or fat, or what? Then you need to decide how much you’ll be restricting them by.
I personally will be eating 1900 calories per day with lots of exercise, but low calorie diets can go as low as 1200 calories per day. Please note that for women, it is unhealthy to consume less than 1200 calories per day, and men need even more. Eating less calories may seem like a quick way to lose weight, but if you’re not getting enough, your body will go into starvation mode, destroying your metabolism, and storing as much food as possible as fat for the next time your starve yourself. This actually has the opposite effect as desired.
Low carb diets that put you into ketosis (which causes you to drop weight quickly) generally only allow 20 grams of carbs per day, all of which come from your veggies. These diets tend to allow lots of fats though, which means cheese, sour cream, and oil are all okay.
It’s important to choose a plan that is going to be sustainable for you. Be realistic, and choose something that you’ll actually be able to do. Saying, “I’m only going to eat cucumber and kale” is of course crazy. So do your research, make your decision, and stick to it!