I answer reader questions on Quora, and here is the one I just answered this morning:
“What is a good way to lose weight? I’m always tempted to eat right after I promise myself I won’t, and I end up feeling extremely guilty after.”
Here is my answer:
I struggled with my weight during my youth and young adulthood. I controlled my appetite with cigarettes and diet pills until my mid thirties. When I gave those up, I became obese, and I wasn’t able to stop overeating until I made a major shift in my eating and training habits.
The simplest change in my eating was guided by an old saying among bodybuilders,
“Nothing out of a bag or a box.”
Of course there can be exceptions to this suggestion, but it can help you to think about what is left to make up your menu plans. Consider the outside aisles of your grocery store. Here’s a description of my shopping pattern starting on the left and working my way around the store to the right: vegetables and fruits, dairy, eggs, meat, butter, bacon, and cheese. (No, I don’t go overboard with the last six items.) In order to get nourished and satisfied, I set macro-nutrient targets for protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
Note: I gave up my fitness and nutrition certifications in 2018, and I am careful not to make diet recommendations. I simply share the methods that helped me personally overcome obesity more than a dozen years ago.
The most important idea I want to share is that minimally processed foods satisfy my appetite, while foods that have been processed and packaged leave me even hungrier than I was before I started eating.
By writing down my menu in the morning, and following it throughout the day, I avoid cravings and guilt, and I have plenty of energy for working, training, and fun that don’t involve food.
The bottom line is that in order to stop overeating, I had to replace the foods that stimulate my appetite with foods that satisfy it.
My motto is, “Eat for yourself,” and I sincerely hope that this is the year when you will find the nutrition plan that works for you.
My complete nutrition plan including a three day sugar elimination diet, ongoing weight loss, eating out guide, shopping lists, and maintenance plan, is available at Sugarfreedom.com.