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You do not find the best diet, the best diet finds you

If you search for the best diet in Google, the search engine generates more than 7.5 million options for you in 0.52 seconds. You may have even found me that way because I used the best diet as keywords for this blog.

But what is the best diet, really? I mean for you. How will you decide which one to choose, which one to discard, and which one to have as a plan B? There are so many people out there who want to sell you a diet! Whether it is a book, a program, or a supplement, they all think their solution is the best diet. It is as simple as that!

  • Their diet will help you reach goal weight fast!
  • Their diet will help you eat the healthiest food (with recipes!)
  • And it will be their diet that will allow you to have cookies and cheat days (hmm, yes please!)

How to find the best diet

It is so hard to make up your mind, so what do you do? You listen around and find out what others are talking about – on Facebook, on Instagram. You walk into bookstores and look at the presentation table for health-related books until you see one book or one program (whether in-store or online) that keeps coming up over and over again. To be honest, I did the same thing. I listened to others to find out what I should do because I had lost confidence that I would ever reach goal weight.

One thing that all those best diets have in common is that you need to eat less than you burn, how will you lose weight any other way, right? If you eat more than you burn, you put on pounds, and here in the Netherlands, we have a saying Every pound goes through the mouth.

best diet Pinterest

Macros and calories

But how high is your metabolism really? Are you the average Jane who maintains her weight at 2000 calories a day? I’m not! I do not have a metabolism like that. When I eat 2000 calories every day, I gain weight as fast as lightning!

And what about macros? Do you follow the high-fat, low-carb thing? Are you a high-protein person? Why? Why have you chosen what you chose to work with? Because they told you to? If there is one thing that makes people diss each other in weight loss-land, it is about what to eat. I have seen so much discussion or even fighting between nutritionists in the past few years that it is not even funny anymore. Like, a good conversation about why’s and how’s is okay, but dissing a colleague because they advise their clients to eat 5% more protein or fat? No, that is not my way of having a good discussion. And while everybody tries to make a living in the weight loss industry, some people do this in a way that does not align with me.

The truth about the best diet

The truth is that it really does not matter which diet you follow. You need to follow the diet that feels best in your body – the diet plan that creates calm and balance sustainably. So, whether or not you want to implement an intermitted fasting strategy or rather follow a six small meals a day plan, it is all right, as long as your body lets go of the weight and it does not cause squirrelly thoughts and habits. It is these habits that make you gain back the weight.

Dr. Frank Sacks of the Harvard School of Public Health found out that the discussion about the best diet is meaningless. All diet types performed excellently as long as the subjects ate less than they burned. The only thing that did jump out of his research was that people who got coaching did way better than people who just got instruction and sent home, only to be weighed again by the time the research period ended.

Your body’s different needs

What I  quickly found out when I became a weight loss coach was that virtually everybody can read a few pages of what to eat and what not to eat. It is not about understanding what we put out there, it is about the behavioral change, that is so hard.

Besides that, you also need to have the guts to change your plan, away from what your coach tells you to eat and build your own program. This asks for trust in your own power and judgment. Especially when weight loss takes a long time, your body needs to have some change now and then. That is why I do not believe in eating the same thing over and over. It may be easy for you, but it lulls your body to sleep and turns your metabolism down. I believe, from my own experience, that you need to listen to your body and become aware of what it needs throughout the year.

This means that you need to keep noticing how your body reacts to what you eat. Besides that, you also need to listen to how your body’s needs change throughout the year. In Spring you will need different food than in Winter. If you live in a cold or cool environment, you will need different food than when you live in the tropics.

How I can help you

Then who are we nutritionists on the other side of the world to tell you what to eat to lose weight? Who are we to say to you that what you are doing is wrong if you do not lose weight? The only way we can help you is to help you find out what triggers you to overeat and eat more than you burn. Besides that, we can help you to implement the habits that need to become automatic, so you can repeat them over and over again without lulling your body to sleep.

The only way we can tell you what to do is when you give away your power to us and become the victim of your circumstances. It is time to take back control and create a collaboration with a weight loss coach because you can feel what is right for your body!

What is right for me may not be right for you. Your body is a wise and knowledgeable instrument, and you must start grounding your experience. You need to listen to it and trust it that is wise enough to tell you what to do. This is not something you build overnight, but it comes through experimenting, making mistakes and going back onto the original program and start all over again until you tweak it to something that makes your body and soul hum.

Sabotage

If you find it hard to follow a list of instructions and keep on sabotaging yourself into a weight gain, then you must find out what triggers you to cross the lines in the sand that were described as rules in your food plan. Why do you break your promises to yourself all the time? What is there in your life that makes weight loss so hard to just –excuse my French- follow the fucking plan?

It is the emotional and mental stuff that clogs up your clear channel with your body. The cloudy water and stormy skies keep messing up your days, and you need to find out why you keep eating your stuff away. It is not because your body does not object – it does. It is your heart, your mind, and your soul that are also opposing to what you are doing because you apparently do not want to listen to what they are telling you. The only way that makes you pay attention is when you see the scale go up. You create your own weight gain by not listening to what your mind and soul are telling you.

Stop that eternal quest for the best diet

So, while you are looking for the best diet in the world, you can stop the eternal quest. Just look back over what worked best for you in the past and gave you the best experience of freedom. Just choose one. There is no perfect diet, you know. Research shows that there is no difference.

You need to tweak your focus – from searching outside of you to looking within because that is where the answer to what your best diet is. As long as you think that you only need to focus on what you eat and do not align your strategy to what your real problem is (your big fat why of overeating), you will probably lose weight and gain it all back again over and over again. This is because your inner world needs to be heard when it is sad or hurt – even if that sadness and hurt started years ago. It will stand in your way if you do not address it. I am sorry to be such a party pooper if you ended up on this page to find the best diet, but this is just what it is.

Weight loss is not about what you eat, but how you look at yourself and how you align your actions with your real needs.

Questions?

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

A Letter To Food Addiction

Dear Food Addiction,

At a very early age, you taught me you were always there for me. While I did not know what that meant, I later learned that you were there at a few steps away. The moment I started to eat, I’d feel tension subside, and I would sink into a state in which I did not feel much anymore.

Read more

Permit yourself to be skinny or anything that only slightly resembles that

Why do you struggle with your weight? Why is it so hard to permit yourself to be skinny? Possibly because you feel like you do not deserve it or because you tell yourself a story why it is impossible to have this.

What you are struggling with is a self-proclaimed obstacle because this is all about that story in your mind. If you would ask your mom, your friend or your sister if you have their permission to lose weight or to own a weight that is healthy, they would probably look at you, saying: “Are you alright there, hon?”

Own the story and all the words you use to create a mindset to make it difficult.

Why you deserve it

You deserve to be skinny! Why? Because you have overcome other obstacles as well, you know you can do this. A skinny body has nothing to do with your worthiness. If your worthiness is low, then you tell yourself that you can’t have it and it is an ongoing record playing in the back of your mind. You cannot do but starting to believe that crap.

But you know, you are not your past failures. You are your future successes. Your past is your starting point. From there you can only grow. Forgive yourself for the struggling and move on. Really! Forgive yourself and start there.

There is only one fundamental question you need to answer: “How do you want to feel from now on?” Do you want to remain struggling, that’s fine. Or do you want to feel confident, empowered and balanced in your whole being and slowly but surely move toward your goal weight in the way YOU want it to be?

It is all a mind *uck!

Can you see the mind *uck that you are following? You tell yourself that it is hard or impossible or that you do not deserve it. Your body only follows what you’re telling it, so it creates the excess stubborn weight and the struggle. Special delivery for YOU!

But if you own your story and how you want to feel from now on, that is when change starts. Become the CEO of your life. Decide where you want to go (your mission) and how you want to get there (your vision).

If you tell yourself that you want to be at goal weight asap, then you still tell yourself an undercurrent story of struggle and “do not want it”. My dear, this is what the rest of your life will be if you keep thinking like this.

Choose to focus on feeling good right now, even though you are not at goal weight yet. Don’t you think that being in action feels so much better than focusing on what you cannot do or what you do not deserve?

Who cares what your past has been? Who. Cares.

skinny

It starts here. Permit yourself to be skinny

Stop overanalyzing your eating habits and your goal weight. You forget to savor your life, and it keeps you in the past. Just do something. When you become more confident in doing something, then you can add another action to it. Then you do something and something.

Do you think that I reached my goal weight by following the diet to a T? Ha! Nope! I made a mistake after mistake. I had so many shitty days, but there was one thing that kept me going: I had unwavering faith in what I wanted to create. Yes, there were moments that I struggled with that faith, but when I managed to let my True Self speak about that, I would instantly know that having a healthy weight was waiting for me.

I’ve been at the overanalyzing and perfectionistic behavior. I guess I don’t have to explain to you how that does not light me up. If there is one thing that I want for myself, then it is to feel proud of doing it and empowered and confident, no matter what for results I create, because at least I do something.

The fear of being brilliant

Perfectionism can break us and can keep us from doing great things for ourselves. It is the fear of being brilliant, and to shine in a life that is ours.

You are good enough, and yes, you do deserve to be skinny (or anything that only slightly resembles it if the real vision still feels scary).

Imperfect action beats perfect inaction. That is what counts. I also do not have 100 bright shiny days in a row or 1000. I am human, shit happens. But every time something happens that messes up my structure, I start over because I own my future.

Let me know in the comments, what this blog meant for you.

Why so many people suck at manifesting weight loss

Ever since I concluded that it wasn’t about what I ate that made the difference in manifesting weight loss goals or not, I’ve been pointing at my head when I talk about where the choice to eat is made, as if that choice is made in my head. Read more

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How to know if your weight scale is a big fat liar

Your weight scale is a great tool to measure how much weight you’ve lost? I mean: your weight isn’t showing anything else than the force of gravity on you, which may be defined as the mass times the acceleration of gravity. Or something. I was never any good at this in school, so correct me if I’m wrong, I’m not even going to Google this.

But this gravity thing isn’t all that reliable when you weigh yourself very often. Every time you get these different numbers. One thing is real, though: down is right, up is terrible.

The question is, though: does that devil of a thing show you the right number all the time? I dare to say that it doesn’t. Your weight scale can be a big fat liar, so now and then.

In whatever way you use your weight scale, please don’t let it define if you’re good enough, because whatever a scale does, it doesn’t say if you worked hard enough at reaching your goal or if you’ve lost enough this week.

Enough is such a subjective word. We load it with sub-conscious stories about who you are and if you’re good enough as a person.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU USE YOUR WEIGHT SCALE?

In my opinion, you shouldn’t weigh in more often than once a week when you’re on a weight loss program. I will explain why, later on in this blog. But when you are just starting maintenance after you’ve lost a lot of weight and wanted to keep it off, your weight scale might be a good friend.

Depending on how you label the results, the weight scale gives you; I might also advise you to not even weigh in at all while on a weight loss program. There are so many other ways to define if you’re losing weight that it is ridiculous to trust that one tool so much. Too often, I see emotional eating or disordered eating in connection with daily weighing. When you’re obsessed with the number on the scale will not help you to come back to who you are and what you want to create in your life.

To help you, here are eight moments when you’d better decide that your weight scale is a big fat liar.

scale

RIGHT AFTER YOU’VE HAD DINNER

So, you only had dinner, and you’re 4 pounds heavier? Huh? How’s that possible? This weight gain is often not about added body fat, which takes so much longer to create. What is possible is that your blood volume has grown because you ate and drank during the day. Without noticing, this can cause quite a lot of weight. Calculate the weight of all those cups of water you drank plus the weight of all the meals you ate. It is probably more than the weight gain you now see reflected between your toes.

It often takes 24 hours or more for your body to decide what to do with the food you ate. So eating outside of your rule book doesn’t mean you’ll gain weight. Eating outside of your rule book several times a week does.

Know that it takes at least 3600 kcal above your metabolical maintenance level to gain a pound of body fat. That is a lot, and it will often be reached by eating more than you should on a daily level than in one meal. So it is the daily habit that you check, not the one ‘over the top meal with friends.’

DURING THE FIRST FEW WEEKS OF A NEW DIET OR TRAINING PROGRAM

Don’t you love it, those first two weeks of a diet? You lose weight fast, and you think it will always be like that. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you’re most probably losing water weight and muscle tissue. Losing body fat doesn’t go that fast. Yeah… bummer.

After a week or two, your body will settle in the new regime and will build back the muscles if your diet is healthy enough, and if you eat enough.

Most people also become more active when starting a new diet by going to the gym (again) or starting a work out regime outside. So what your body lost in the first few weeks because your body had to get used to getting less food, is now being rebuilt again. This aspect may cause your body to gain weight a bit. Building muscle is hard work.

Your body needs food, water, and rest to do its job. So at first, your weight scale might show a rise because your body holds on to things first before it starts to build muscles. Does that tell you that you didn’t do your best? Hell no, you did you best and more than that. Give that body of yours a bit of slack… it is working hard for you.

To know if you’re losing fat mass, you’ll need a particular weight scale that sends a small current through your body to see what kind of tissue it finds in its way. The current will move through the water quickly, but it takes longer to move through fat tissue. Use a high-quality weight scale that has this feature and use the impedance feature only once a month or even once every three months to see a difference. All other weekly weigh-ins, you only register your weight. Nothing more.

Doing an impedance measurement more often shows the up and down of water in and out of your muscles only and its effect it has on fat mass. Trust me; my personal experience is talking here. It will drive you crazy, trying to understand how you can suddenly gain 2 pounds of fat mass in a week while you didn’t do anything wrong.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER A WORKOUT OR A SAUNA VISIT

I’ve seen them, people who step on the scale in the gym or the sauna. A weight scale in a gym is only real information if you want to know how much sweat you lost and how much water you need to drink again to stay healthy.

The same with stepping on a weight scale in a sauna – you’ve spent all day in the spa, spent time in the sauna, and when you go back to the dressing room, there might be a scale. Don’t use it to see if you’ve lost weight. Only use it to see if you need to drink up.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOU DRANK A LOT OF WATER

There are days that even before I hit my office chair, I’ve already drunk a liter of water (4 cups). I have a darling of a husband who brings tea in the morning. I drink another cup of tea at breakfast, maybe even a cup of coffee if I’m in the mood, plus I drink two big glasses to take my vitamins. So my moment to weigh myself is right after I wake up and after I’ve gone to the bathroom. Any later than that, it is no use anymore.

Choose your moment of weighing on the same day of the week, same time, after bathroom visit and preferably without drinking or eating anything before. That will give you the most trusted result.

JUST BEFORE BED

This aspect connects with the first reason why your weight scale is a big fat liar. There is another aspect added to it. Weighing before bed is nothing more than punishment because you probably overate during the day. Why would you weigh yourself if you already know that you’ll be heavier because of what you ate?

If you do this, notice the inner conversation you start with yourself because of the number you see. Also, monitor your quality of sleep because I can’t imagine you’ll have a rested night after being upset with yourself. A better strategy would also be to skip the weigh-in the next morning because you know for sure you’ll see a weight gain. If you’re prone to negative self-talk than weighing in after overeating is not your strategy.

AFTER YOU’VE HAD A BABY

After you’ve had a baby, you often think you’ve lost quite a lot of weight, right? Baby + placenta + amniotic fluid = YESSSS!!! Well, it’s a yes when you’ve weighed just before you went into labor but a big fat no if you compare it to the weight you had before you got pregnant.

Your body will have to change its hormonal balance (again), and it takes time to change it. Going on a diet is a bad idea because changing hormone balances are very, very hard work for your body, and it will need lots of high-quality carbs, proteins, and fats to do that. Enjoy the new baby, follow the food instructions you get from your post-natal coach, and you’ll get there in the end. Don’t go crazy over all the “I had a baby two months ago and look at my abs already” images on Pinterest. That’s social media, not real life…

Take care of yourself to also adjust emotionally and mentally to be a new mom. It is okay to do that. And much healthier for you and your baby.

AROUND YOUR PERIOD

Let me start with the good news: in the two weeks before your period, your metabolism is a tiny bit higher because of the hormonal changes that lead up to your period. Don’t start your happy dance just yet because this is only 4%, so put-back-the-chocolate-bar-now.

Still, this rise in metabolism could be an explanation of why women struggle with eating just before their period. They feel hungrier than the weeks before, and it is hard to say no to something tasty when it comes along.

Right before your period, your weight starts to rise because your body needs water to make this whole process possible. You’ll lose it quite quickly as soon as it has begun.

Your best strategy is to skip your weigh-in when your period is just about to start because of the added water weight.

MY ADVICE ABOUT USING A WEIGHT SCALE WHEN LOSING WEIGHT:

  • Do not weigh yourself more often than once a week.
  • Understand that your scale is pretty stupid and only shows a gravity number and nothing more
  • Always use the scale in the same spot because even that can give a difference in measurement.
  • Stop weighing in and ask your partner or a good friend to hide your scale when you show signs of emotional attachment to your scale.
  • Understand that weight loss is about losing fat mass, not weight.

 

Five tips for solid conscious eating habits

Eating without guilt is something I’d like to teach everybody. I find it so important that not a single client will end their mentoring program without learning about conscious eating.

Read more

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Does eating at night really make you fat?

It sounds so easy: dinner is over, the kitchen is closed. Well, no. It isn’t that easy. For some reason eating at night is the #1 reason why we gain weight and stay overweight.

The evening is the most favorite moment in the day in which people eat. During daytime, it isn’t that hard because we have a lot of things to do. We have work, kids or whatever we focus on, but in the evening when we sit down to relax, that’s where it starts.

So, how bad it is eating at night really? Well, more than you think. I invite you to take pen and paper and calculate with me to get “hit by a frying pan” (as I lovingly call confrontations like these).

Do you want to stay in a dream state about what is needed to lose weight, I urge you not to read any further. Please don’t, because you’re not going to like me.

Further reading is at your own risk of being confronted with the truth.

Free download: Stick To Your Weight Loss Diet With Ease

What weight loss all boils down to

Gaining weight all boils down to eating too much. I can show you all kinds of other reasons, but every time they come down to this one reason. Your body doesn’t work differently in the evening as it does during the day. So looking at what you eat altogether over a period of time, you need to eat less than the total of energy you burn during that time frame.

What happens, though, is that your metabolism turns down a notch during the evening and the night because your body is getting ready to start the regeneration mode that goes on in your body during the night.

How much energy do you really burn?

Did you know that 70% of all the energy you use is spent on keeping your body going? It means that your heart needs to beat and your lungs need to process air. So the majority of all energy is to keep you alive. The rest of the 30% is needed to be able to work, to walk, to be active outside or in a gym or to play with the kids.

Research shows that we overestimate the amount of that number. We think we burn loads and loads of energy with a walk or a workout, but reality shows it isn’t that much.

So when you sit down to relax at night, and you’ve been really busy, maybe even been active, then there is a good chance that you think you’ve earned it. Raise your hand if you’ve told yourself: “I’ve been so active, I’ve earned it!”

Free download: Stick To Your Weight Loss Diet With Ease

Does eating at night really make you fat?

You probably didn’t burn that much

Well, I don’t want to spoil the fun, but you probably didn’t earn the amount of energy by eating at night. If you’re the proud owner of a smartwatch and can see how much you burn in 24 hrs you have to understand that 70% of that number is just what you needed even to survive; to live and breathe. The rest of the number is to get through the day, including get up, do your job, do your groceries, maybe even clean your house if you’re up to it or even work out; your normal things to do in a day.

So let’s see how much you burn and calculate your BMR (the number if you refuse to get up in the morning and stay in bed all day for 24 hrs, with the following Harris-Benedict formula:

Imperial

Women: 655.1 + (4.35 x weight in lbs) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age)

Men: 66 + (6.2 x weight in lbs) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.76 x age)

Metric

Women: 655.1 + ( 9.563 x weight in kg ) + ( 1.850 x height in cm ) – ( 4.676 x age in years )

Men: 66.47 + ( 13.75 x weight in kg ) + ( 5.003 x height in cm ) – ( 6.755 x age in years )

How active are you really?

When you’ve calculated your BMR you then multiply it with one of the below numbers that shows how active you are:

1.2 Sedentary.  Little to no exercise
1.375 Mild activity level: Intensive exercise for at least 20 minutes 1 to 3 times per week. This can be cycling, jogging, basketball, swimming, skating, etc.  If you do not exercise regularly, but you maintain a busy lifestyle that requires you to walk frequently for long periods, for instance, working in a shop, you meet the requirements of this level.
1.5 Moderate activity level: Intensive exercise for at least 30 to 60 minutes 3 to 4 times per week. Any of the activities listed above will qualify.
1.7 Heavy or (Labor-intensive) activity level: Intensive exercise for 60 minutes or greater 5 to 7 days per week (see sample activities above).  Labor-intensive occupations also qualify for this level.  Labor-intensive occupations include construction work, farming, landscaping or similar occupations.
1.9 Extreme level: Exceedingly active and/or very demanding activities:  Examples include: athletes with an intensive training plan that includes multiple sessions a day, or a very demanding job, such as shoveling coal (who does that these days?) or working long hours on an assembly line. Generally, this level of activity is very difficult to achieve.

Now be honest

Be honest. Have you chosen the right one? I’ll gladly admit that I’ve done the “exaggeration thing” in the past. Being very tired of a workout isn’t part of the equation. And no, one intensive week isn’t going to change your life. The number you choose has to be something you’ve done for a longer time.

But it doesn’t stop there. The number you just calculated is the number to not gain any weight. If you want to lose weight you’ll have to take away 500 kcal. The number you end up with is what you should eat to lose weight at a steady pace.

Choosing the wrong multiplier was one of the causes why I couldn’t lose any weight. When I pulled my head out of the sand and lowered my daily intake, I was able to lose another 50 lbs.

Free download: Stick To Your Weight Loss Diet With Ease

Uncover the BS nonsense

That’s how powerful thoughts and stories can work for you too. Uncover the stories you tell yourself and lose weight.

How often do you tell yourself a story how hard you worked or how many calories you burned today? How often do you tell yourself that you’ve earned that extra helping or that snack? Be honest. And then calculate how many calories you add while you listen to the happy but fattening chat.

My clients often don’t like me when I let them do this exercise. It sucks. Yes, it also sucks that age is part of the equation. It had been a while ago when I did this equation for the last time, and in the meantime, I added a few years to the equation. Even though I now understand that I can’t eat as much as I used to, it was still a confrontation for me.

So how does this influence your eating at night?

Well, if you only have that 30% that you can influence by being active and you want to lose weight, then you have two choices:

  • Become more active (and I really mean active) or
  • Eat less than you’re eating now (starting with ending eating at night)

Of course, you can eat something at night, it won’t kill you or your goals. Just know when enough is enough, especially when you also have sensitive intestines, sleeping problem, experience a lot of fatigue or have stubborn weight that you just can’t seem to lose.

But that’s a whole different subject that I might cover in a webinar someday. Until that moment you can work with me to make weight loss possible or if you’re just not able to maintain your results. If my way of confronting you is something you might need (no, I’m not on the warpath all the time!) then apply for a strategy call with me.

Let me know in the comments: were you shocked to know how many calories you really can eat in a day?

Stick to Your Diet with Ease

My interview with Cheryl Kemppainen

Not so long ago I was interviewed by Cheryl Kemppainen about my personal weight loss journey and the vision I built from that to help you and other women to lose weight and keep it off.

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Goal weight: I reached my goal weight for 2017!

This morning I reached my #bigass goal weight of 2017. A goal weight that I really wasn’t sure if I’d ever reach it. Maybe you know the feeling. Let me tell you a personal story…

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