Answers to questions from the Ask Erika event:
How to find the self-discipline to stick to what you are supposed to eat?
Record what you eat! It holds you accountable and it’s a reality check. Use a notebook, scrap paper, laptop, phone apps (Lose It! and My Fitness Pal are favorites). Whatever works for you.
Plan ahead! Plan your meals for the week. Decide on breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and buy your groceries accordingly. Then pack your meals for work.
If you have an event, look at restaurant menus online and plan your other food choices that day around the event. Eat a salad or a piece of fruit one hour before the event to help curb your appetite.
Don’t purchase or keep “trigger foods” in the house. If you know you will eat that entire bag of potato chips if you buy them, then do not buy them! But do enjoy some chips when they are out at a party.
What about fasting diets?
A 1 year study was conducted comparing people who followed a daily diet/meal plan continuously versus people who fasted on certain days and ate whatever they wanted the rest of the time. Overall caloric intake in both groups was reduced by ~27%. Weight loss totals were also similar between the groups (11-13 pounds). There was no difference between the groups in improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol, or triglycerides. The fasting group reported being hungrier at times, but stated that the meal plan was easier to follow. The continuous diet group had to follow restrictions daily and found it harder to comply.
Bottom line: You have to restrict or burn calories to lose weight and both these diets did that. Always check with your doctor before starting a weight loss plan.