If you are interested in having that goddess-like summer body and the perfect athletic figure in the easiest way possible; I wouldn’t recommend you any diet or nutrition plan. If you are struggling to lose or gain weight and are considering going to a dietician; I am telling you: don't do it before you educate yourself about dieting.
After my two years of weight fluctuations on both extreme ends of the spectrum, my advice would be not to trust anyone with a certificate and a badge. No one understands your body like you do and I highly doubt many doctors have your best interest at heart. Here are the facts that I wish my nutritionist told me before my journey began:
1- Dieting is Short Term
Unless your life and career depend on your weight and body mass index then following a diet plan will never be long term. You will get bored due to restrictions. I stopped eating pizza for three months and then for an entire week, I had pizza every day for breakfast AND dinner. I was craving it so bad. Fitting a nutrition plan into your schedule can be a bit challenging with work, family gatherings, and friend outings. This may promote a feeling of failure. So you are better off making your own healthy eating habits that can fit into your lifestyle.
I wish that doctors in Egypt would explain eating disorders; such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating, before explaining counting calories. Weight loss dieting is the number one cause that triggers eating disorders.
It damages your relationship with food. Dieting makes you constantly aware of food, categorizing it into good and bad. If you start getting anxious around food, avoiding dinner with your family, thinking of throwing up, having binging episodes more than 2 times a week, and obsessing over calories, then you should drop that diet plan.
You shouldn't compromise your mental health over your physical looks. Check out "To the Bone", a Netflix movie about eating disorders starring Lily Collins.
3- Intuitive Eating is the Answer
Here is a link to a video explaining intuitive eating if you want to get yourself educated about where to start. Listen to your body. Know the difference between hunger and emotional eating. When are you hungry the most, which foods make you full and boost your energy for a longer time? Are you eating because you are sad? Don't be hard on yourself, it is okay to give in to cravings every once in a while.
So, these are my personal dieting tips for you to start your journey:
- Eat 5 meals a day with 3 big meals that contain all macronutrients, fruits, vegetables, and a small healthy snack in between.
- Join any activity that makes you feel good about yourself.
- Your sleep schedule affects your hormones, so make sure to get 6 to 8 hours of sleep.
- Drink water. Sometimes thirst can be translated to hunger. Drink water, wait 10 mins, then repeat again. If you’re still hungry, then it's time for your next meal.
4- Love your body and have a good relationship with it
Finally, learn that having a good relationship with your body image has nothing to do with the scale. Weight loss is not going to fix your problems. Your overall health should be your main concern. I have been skinny and sick, fat and very unfit. I was never happy with my body until I decided to accept myself in all sizes. Confidence and acceptance are based on your mindset.
You can follow these Instagram accounts for positive body image inspiration:
What do you think your relationship with food is like?
Was following a diet successful in the long term for you? Share your thoughts and stories about nutrition in the comments!