1200 Calories a Day... and How Many at Night?

There’s a meme on social media with someone saying you should only have 1200 calories a day. The respondent in the meme says, “OK and how many at night?”


Controlling our calories, counting points and carbs, and limiting foods is one of the easiest and fastest ways to kill your weight loss goals. The word diet further complicates this matter because it implies a temporary activity where once we’re done dieting we can go back to regular eating. It’s a formula for disaster that leaves many of us wondering what diet actually works and how we can lose extra pounds.


There are elements of many diets that are positive and do promote improved health. It usually is not the diet that doesn’t work, but our own commitment and ability to stick with it that does us in. If the diet “works” it is also a matter of maintaining results and incorporating real life eating that seem to cause many to restart a diet. The primary problem with restrictive diets is they set the unrealistic expectation of it being a lifestyle change but one that does not account for living real life. Plus seriously who wants a diet that swears off birthday cake for the rest of your life?


The popularity of diets like Keto is due to the results people have seen. It is life changing and encouraging to see people succeed on a diet. Once in ketosis, people have more energy, sleep better and weight melts off. However, if the person “slips” they fall out of ketosis and it takes up to 4 to 5 days to get back on track in their body. The other challenge is getting the right amount of fats, proteins and carbs so you reach ketosis and control the levels based on your weight goals. Then after the desired weight is achieved, maintaining often leaves former Keto dieters right back where they started. As much as we would like to think our diet is a lifestyle that will actually last the rest of our life, the truth is most don’t. It simply isn’t manageable for most people.


I prefer to not use the word diet at all. When we say diet, it is a temporary state that means sooner or later that diet ends and regular life resumes. Since that is the way most diets end for the majority of us, the word has lost its value in helping us actually improve in a life long way. Instead, I believe its better to use the word eating plan. Whatever word works for you, it needs to be based on the idea you are modifying and enhancing how you eat every day that can accommodate your health goals and needs as well as be sustainable and easy to do.


What I have learned from my experience with low carb dieting is it does certainly work but didn’t last forever. The other thing I noticed with other diets is I didn’t always like what I was told to eat or how much I could have. With Weight Watchers I was hungry all the time. Low fat foods and artificial flavorings and sweeteners are dangerous for your health and leave you eating more than you should as well as introduce toxins to your body.


The best eating plan design looks at what you like to eat. It allows for foods that are important to you like at holidays and birthdays. It includes healthy, fresh options that support the body’s needs for nutrients, fats and proteins. Most importantly, it honors you and serves your needs and goals. As a natural health practitioner, I work with clients to help them realize that following a diet is not where true health is achieved. Creating an eating plan that is individualized to you is what we want to put in place for a far superior chance at succeeding.


Some important considerations include:


Coconut oil and other healthy fats. Your body needs fats for brain health, joint health and controlling glucose levels. It is important to avoid low-fat, artificial fat options as these are not things your body can process and long term have health risks associated with them.

Dairy. You need calcium and fats from natural sources. Again, the low-fat options are not serving you in this area. Real butter is hands down a better option as is real milk.

Protein. Get the best your can find and afford. Chicken, beef, pork, eggs, all matter. We need the proteins to support muscles, cholesterol and blood functions.

Fruit. Please avoid canned, sugary and fake fruits. Explore the fruit section of your grocery store and retrain your taste buds to be curious. I promise the desire for real sugar through fruit will overcome processed food choices if you let it.

Vegetables. Here too, please avoid canned options as much as possible. Go for fresh or frozen so best nutrient value. Grow some in the backyard too!

Nuts, seeds, grains. Get back to nature and find those pure foods that come from the Earth for best results and health support.

Beans, legumes are great for you and help balance blood sugar levels while helping you actually feel full.

Water. Filtered, high quality water is key. Drinking up to 50% of your body weight daily in water ensures you are not dehydrated and remarkably you also develop changes in your eating habits from hit

Things to swap from your diet:


Sodas, including diet versions. Seriously it’s time to kick the soda habit. There is no substitute for water.

Coffee. It’s ok to enjoy a cup but switching to water as early in your day as possible ensures you don’t over do it with the coffee. If you can wean off the coffee all together that’s even better.

Table salt. Replace this with Pink Himalayan or Celtic salt for improvements in taste and health benefits

Processed foods. This includes meats, packaged snacks, bagged microwave popcorn and all the things we have come to know as convenient food. Eliminating these from your diet reduces toxic load and starts to support your liver function.

The biggest part of changing how you eat is your mindset. We can make an excuse for everything and often do but at the end of the day what really resonates with us is how we feel inside and out. When you are tired of being tired, your clothes not fitting, your mood always glum it’s time to consider why. A diet won’t fix that for you as these are deeper than food issues. It does however start with addressing our health which includes our mental outlook and that is where food can be our friend.


For help with your health using natural processes and support, let’s chat. Together we will dig into how you eat and ways to help you establish a loving relationship with food that not only makes you feel better but supports your health too. Visit dragonspitapothecary.com for scheduling a consultation.


Citations:


Holland, Kimberly, Insider.com. 13 reasons why most people fail on the keto diet — and what you can do to prevent that from happening. Retrieved, February 22, 2022, from: https://www.insider.com/reasons-why-people-fail-on-the-keto-diet-2018-6


Abate, Emily. Shape. Why You Should Give Up Restrictive Dieting Once and for All. Retrieved, February 22, 2022, from: https://www.shape.com/weight-loss/tips-plans/why-you-should-stop-restrictive-dieting


Amidor, Tony. Food Network. Coconut Diet 101. Retrieved, February 22, 2022, from: https://www.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/diets/2012/08/coconut-diet-101

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