You're Probably Thinking About Dieting The Wrong Way

If You're Reading This, You're Probably Thinking About Dieting The Wrong Way

A diet isn't something you select, it's something you live.

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Popular culture has always framed dieting as something you do for a short period of time to get the results you want. "6 Weeks to 6-Pack Abs," "The 8-Week Shred," etc. You can imagine the magazine and book covers right now, with bold yellow letters and one or two picture-perfect models. Don't get me wrong, I'm positive if you followed their plan you could get some decent results, but certainly not the picturesque body physiques they love to advertise.

The funny thing is, once you actually understand how the human diet works, you figure out that the way most people think about diets is entirely wrong. You're not supposed to "diet" for six or eight weeks at a time to attempt to lose weight or maintain a good state of health. Let's think about it in an easy example.

You don't go to work six weeks out of the year and expect to have a salary you can live off of all year long. So why would a reasonable person expect a diet you try for six weeks to keep you in shape all year round? Timed dieting doesn't work, because dieting is a long-term game (of course there are exceptions, but this applies to most people). You should think of your diet like it's a math equation, "oh this is a diet I have to do X amount of time to get Y result."

Lifestyle is the biggest factor in impacting your overall diet. Consistency is key in all aspects of fitness, and most importantly, fitness. It's easier to eat healthy foods most of the time and enjoy yourself every now and then than it is to be 100% strict five days a week then crash on the weekend. This is what flexible dieting is, and it allows you to go out with your friends to eat or eat that cookie your friend gives you without feeling guilty. As my favorite fitness influencer Jordan Syatt says, you're never more than one bite from being back on track.

Integrating the habits of healthy eating into your routine makes healthy eating a lifestyle component, not something you have to crutch yourself to. Lifestyles are long-lasting and maintainable, but "diets" as most people know are not. "But what about keto/high protein/fill-in-the-blank diets?"

Here's my honest opinion – 95% of people who attempt fad diets go back to their old ways of eating before they see any progress. I'm not hating on keto or any other style of popular diets people want to try. At the end of the day, it's about how maintainable that diet is for them. If you can deal with a low carb diet that's cool, more power to you. For myself and most people, restraining myself that much would drive me crazy.

Dieting basics are simple. Find out how many calories you can consume per day without gaining or losing weight. If you want to gain weight eat in a healthy calorie surplus, or if you want to lose weight eat in a deficit (~400 calories). You should never have to starve yourself or overeat if you want to change your weight because if you think in the long term, 10 pounds is easy to do over the course of six months. It's all about the long-term, the maintainable.

In the course of my five-year fitness journey, I have tried just about every style of dieting to see what works best for me. I personally abide by a high-protein diet because I am a heavy weightlifter and want to build muscle all year round (this also means I track my macros). Going with a diet where I eat my bodyweight in grams of protein has never done me wrong because protein is essential for muscle building and is incredibly satiating. As far as my fats, I try to eat healthy fats only and fill in my carbs around convenience. I must be proactive through this approach to gain unhealthy weight.

When it comes to dieting, find out what you need to do long-term to have the body you are proud of. Fad diets and words plastered on the front of magazines probably aren't going to work for you, but if you can find a way to make it fit your lifestyle, then, by all means, be creative. Otherwise, find what you can maintain and stick with it.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Save Some Calories And Order These Drinks At Starbucks

A few simple modifications to make your favorite drink healthier!

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Everybody knows that a delicious morning coffee is a must, at least once in a while, right? Personally, I have a latte Friday tradition going for myself. I wake up every Friday, squeeze in my morning workout, grab breakfast, and hit the nearest coffee shop on the way to wherever I'm headed that particular day for a little end of the week treat. There is nothing wrong with treating ourselves once in a while, but most of us are also aware (especially now that calorie counts are posted on menu boards) that even a simple morning latte can rack up more calories than your breakfast itself.

The first problem with this is, unlike a hearty breakfast, your coffee calories are mostly sugar and therefore they are absolutely useless for anything except for guaranteeing a sugar crash later on in the day. Second of all, the extra calories are completely unnecessary as there are dozens and dozens of simple swaps that will transform your cup of sugar into a (still delicious) somewhat reasonably healthy, morning pick me up. So why wouldn't you make the change?

Here, I'll get you started.

All caloric values listed are estimates that may vary slightly based on flavor and chosen modifications. Calories listed are those of the most modified form described.

For The Latte Drinker:

Lattes are a fairly easy fix. First and foremost, switch your milk base. Lattes come with 2% milk when ordered regularly. To cut down on calories ask for a lighter milk like skim. If you are a non-dairy drinker, skip the soy milk and ask for almond or coconut milk which are the lightest two of your non-dairy options. A second easy fix is asking for sugar-free syrup which will majorly reduce your carb intake as well as overall calories. If you are against calorie-free sweeteners or just want a more mild drink, try asking for half the amount of syrup.

Calories in regular 16 oz: 250 k cal

Calories in modified 16 oz: 80-120 k cal

For The Cappuccino Drinker:

Easy, easy fix here. Cappuccinos, like lattes, come with 2% milk. Save some calories by switching to skim, or if you're dairy free, ask for almond milk (opposed to soy) to cut calories down to the minimum. If you get flavors in your cappuccino try asking for sugar-free syrup, or simply asking for half the amount of sweetness.

Calories in regular 16 oz: 120 k cal

Calories in modified 16 oz: 80-100 k cal

For The Macchiato Drinker:

So a macchiato, essentially, is similar to a latte (milk base with espresso and flavoring), only heavier due to the added heavy cream, dry milk, drizzle syrup, and butter. And yes, I did say butter. There is butter in your morning coffee if you are drinking a macchiato from Starbucks. As far as making healthy adjustments, I would suggest opting for a lighter milk base like skim or almond milk. I would also ask for sugar-free syrup rather than regular, and even ask for it half sweet as I will continue to suggest with multiple drinks. You may also opt to pass on the drizzle syrup over the top.

Calories in regular 16 oz: 250 k cal

Calories in modified 16 oz: 120 k cal

For The Mocha Drinker:

I'm not going to lie, mocha's hurt me a little bit. These are tricky drinks as, although I'm sure they're delicious, they are essentially sugar bombs. Racking up a whopping 430 calories, a cafe mocha is made up of 2% milk, "mocha sauce", espresso, sugar syrup, and to top it off, a big blob of whipped cream. I'm not here to pass any judgments, but if you're drinking these things on a regular basis, I am glad you're reading this article. Not because you don't deserve it, but because I care about your health. So let's get started. First off, skip the whipped cream. Just skip it. Try skim or almond milk instead of 2%. Ask for a sugar-free vanilla syrup in place of the regular. You can also ask for it half sweet. As far as the "mocha sauce" I suppose this is what gives you the taste you love. Try asking for half of the amount of sauce. If you hate it you can always switch back, but give it a shot.

Calories in regular 16 oz: 430 k cal

Calories in modified 16 oz: 200 – 230 k cal

For The Frappuccino Drinker:

Depending on the flavor, a small Frappuccino can rack up to 500 calories into your system. Not healthy ones either. Guys, like I mentioned with the mocha drinks, I hope these aren't something you're drinking on the regular. Everything in moderation, but I care about your health and well being too much to not warn you against these frozen cups of cholesterol. That was harsh, but its the truth. With too many syrups and various sauces blended into ice and whipped cream to count, it's easier to just switch out your Frappuccino entirely for a blended iced coffee. Order a "Light Frappuccino Blended Coffee" to curb your frozen beverage craving for about 1/4 of the calories and sugar.

Calories in regular 16 oz: 500 k cal

Calories in modified 16 oz: 110 k cal

For The Shaken Tea Drinkers:

Obviously, there are dozens of varieties of tea drinks at Starbucks, whether it be shaken, infused, sweetened, etc. The healthiest way to order Starbucks iced teas is plain and unsweetened. If you need a little more sweet to be satisfied, try asking for their calorie-free sweetener (they use stevia) and or just having them add half of the amount of regular syrup as usual. Try to avoid the lemonade teas, as the lemonade added is just cane sugar, flavoring, and citric acid.

Calories in regular 16 oz: 70 k cal

Calories in modified 16 oz: 0 k cal

Completely Calorie Free Options:

  1. Iced or regular Americano with sugar-free syrup, no cream.
  2. Shaken tea with stevia sweetener.
  3. Black cold brew or black iced coffee.

My Go-To Drink:

My personal go-to drink is an Americano (iced or hot depending on the weather and time of year) with a splash of coconut milk. If I am having a sweet craving, I'll add two pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup.

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