Or, Why you shouldn’t “go on a diet.”
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or just get fitter, yes, you will need to track calories — at least for a while. But I encourage people to not think of this as a “Diet.” For most people, the word diet has negative associations. It makes us think of depriving ourselves, of something temporary, of an ordeal which must be suffered through. Instead, consider this phase an education: counting calories is just a tool to get you to where you know what works for your body and your life.
Your personal trainer is here to be part of the education! Ask us about your food questions. We can often suggest tweaks or alternatives that will both satisfy your palate and fuel your fitness. And we do take into consideration your food likes and dislikes, and your personality. Some people love to be organized and scientific and are all over the calorie-counting thing. Others are free spirits, and chafe at the thought! But we can help you find a solution that works for you.
Part of that education will be learning about the food picture beyond calories: what foods make you feel more energetic and which ones make you sluggish, which ones cut out cravings and which ones incite cravings. After a couple months, with some trial and error and good advice (and following the good advice!), most people find a way of eating that works for them. Then, if you’re not loving the calorie counting, you may be able to live without it. You can go back to it again, temporarily, if you need to get back on track.
Along the way, your body isn’t the only thing that will change. The way you think about food and even the way certain foods taste to you will begin to change! When you get to the point where you can say “no” to an unhealthy food, not with a sense of martyrdom and deprivation, but because you know the cost just isn’t worth it to you and how you’ll feel later, you’re done dieting: you’ve got a new way of life!