A consistent caloric deficit is the key to weight loss. This is fundamental thermodynamics. There is no magical diet or meal plan. There are no magical foods or supplements.
You don’t HAVE to track macros, but it will probably be helpful in progressing toward your goals. It’s difficult to be certain you’re in a caloric deficit if you aren’t tracking.
Just as there aren’t magic foods, there aren’t magic times to eat. While you will want to fuel your workouts well and time your meals accordingly, there aren’t special windows for eating. And eating after 8pm doesn’t make you fat.
You can, in fact, really damage your health if you’re deficient in micronutrients or essential fatty acids. Adequate proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are necessary for your overall health. That’s why if you’re dieting very seriously, it can be helpful to have your plans and protocols overseen by a registered dietitian or other healthcare professional.
We shouldn’t demonize specific foods and food groups. If you follow a flexible dieting approach, you should be able to fit in foods that you enjoy, but that doesn’t negate the importance of fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods.
It’s isn’t complicated. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t difficult. It takes effort and time to make changes to your physique.
You can’t outwork a bad diet. It’s more trouble than it’s worth to try.
Katy Hair, RD, LDN, CPT