Following a strict diet plan generally doesn’t work for the long term and side effects of being super restricted are feelings of deprivation and failure because it’s impossible to be “perfect.” That’s why I’m not a big fan of counting calories and recommend in my blogs and on-line program to “dial in” diet & lifestyle habits that will support health and usually everything else follows, such as fat loss.
A pattern that I often see with Brides is they jump into a “diet” feeling really motivated and determined but quickly lose steam and fall back into old routines that don’t support their goals to get the Bride Fit body they desire. This often leads to yo-yo dieting and negative inner talk, which results in either punishment or reward. You know the conversation, “I was so bad this weekend,” “I’m so weak,” “I have no willpower,” “I’m eating nothing but vegetables from Monday through Friday and spending hours torturing myself on boring cardio equipment!” Well you know how that turns out, not so good! You will get hungry and stressed and without a plan to have food that satiates you prepared you will make some unplanned food choices and the cycle continues!
Stop beating yourself up when unplanned eating or drinking occur, life happens!
Lets talk about why you may not be releasing fat or getting leaner and stronger? There are a few reasons why diets don’t work, aside from being too restrictive, such as eating too much or not getting enough quality sleep. Having a target calorie intake and ideal macronutrient (carbohydrates, protein and fat) percentages of where the calories come from based on your goals and activity level will accelerate you towards your Bride Fit body! The article last week has all the information you need to personalize your numbers, calories and macronutrient percentages, based on your goals and activity level.
Let’s say you are eating a diet containing mostly whole foods; lots of vegetables, some fruit, high quality protein and fat and minimal processed food. You participate in workouts that support fat release and muscle gain, such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and weight bearing workouts and you’re still not getting the results you desire. Is your weight loss is at a standstill? Not feeling great despite your nutrient dense diet? Low energy? What’s happening?!
Short answer: Nutritional Deficiency’s
Most think if the are eating a “healthy diet” they don’t need to supplement with vitamins and essential nutrients. Unfortunately, it’s pretty close to impossible to get all the nutrients it needs to thrive from food alone even on whole food diets. This study from The Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine looked at four popular lifestyle diets including Atkins and South Beach and found that an individual following the diet with food alone has a high likelihood of becoming micronutrient deficient which is shown to be scientifically linked to an increased risk for many dangerous and debilitating health conditions and diseases. Also, several scientific studies have established a strong connection between nutrient deficiencies and being overweight. The research is pretty clear that it’s hard to get all the essential vitamins and minerals from food alone.
We’ve established that not getting enough essential vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) is connected to being overweight and being deficient leads to an increased risk in health conditions and disease in addition to fertility and having a healthy pregnancy. That’s enough information to convince me of the importance of getting the essential micronutrients but there’s even more! Did you know that deficiencies in certain nutrients could affect your mood? Yup! The reason why you may be feeling the blues, experiencing anxiety or the bridezilla in you is rearing its ugly head too often, can be a direct result not getting enough of certain vitamins and minerals. Being deficient in the micromineral iron will leave you feeling extremely tired and overall crappy for an example. Iron deficiency, also called anemia, is common if you are a menstruating woman and not replacing the iron you are losing through your monthly periods with iron rich foods such as red meat. I think we can all agree that when we feel tired or sluggish we tend to make unplanned comfort food choices like chips and cookies, and skip workouts. Fixing any nutritional deficiency’s can be the key to a successful Bride Fit diet and to feeling your best! You may be wondering where to start and how to determine what vitamins and minerals you need.
The most common nutrients brides (and grooms) are deficient in are:
- Vitamin D
- B7 (biotin)
Water and protein are other common deficiency’s that need to be considered when your diet isn’t working! My recommendation to start addressing these shortages in your diet is simple:
- Drink more water. At least ½ your body weight in ounces.
- Eat more vegetables. Include a variety of colors and add greens to every meal.
- Eat more protein rich foods. Eggs, chicken, beans with rice, and quinoa are examples of complete protein foods.
- Eat more fish. Especially fish high in essential fatty acids such as salmon a few times per week.
- Take some vitamins. Getting blood tests for vitamin D and ferritin (iron) is best. There are tests available to narrow down exactly where you are deficient but as a basic starting point it’s safe to take a high quality multi-vitamin, 1000-3000 IU’s of Vitamin D3, and 1-2 grams of pure fish oil (a mix of EPA and DHA). Probiotics (good bacteria) are crucial for gut health, supplement with a high quality and add in fermented foods and drinks to your diet.
Weight loss, energy levels, and mood all depend on getting enough essential nutrients. In addition to looking fit & fabulous on your big day, I want you to thrive in your health, not just get by. That means raising the bar in your nutrition; eating the highest quality food available and taking optimal levels of micronutrients. For the roadmap to getting ‘wedding dress ready’ and all the secrets to living ‘happily & healthily ever after’ join my on-line program for Exceptional Brides today! If you want a more personalized program contact me. Have a healthy week!