Weight Loss Questions Series 001 – Is food restriction/elimination necessary to lose weight?

I am so excited to begin this little “weight loss series” on my blog. I have asked you guys over on Instagram to let me know what the HARDEST part of losing weight was for you.

Jacqueline Adan Before and after 300+ pounds weight loss
The number of responses BLEW me away and it also gave me an idea. I want to make content and share information that YOU want to see and that will be helpful for you!!! That is how the idea for this series all began. I will be taking the challenges/struggles and areas of weight loss that you feel are super challenging and share what helps me, what I am doing to make it work for me and the ideas/tips I have. I hope that this information I share will hopefully be helpful to you!!!
If you ever want to ask a question or share your challenges, comment down below and I will make sure to answer as many questions as I can!!!

Each question will be a separate blog post so I can dive in, expand my responses and give as much information as possible!

I am not by any means an expert, nutritionist, doctor or professional in any way. I am not going to be giving any specific diet/workout advice, I am just going to share with you what I do and what helps me. After losing 350 pounds, gaining some weight back, recovering from a Binge Eating disorder and learning to love myself through it all, I have learned a lot along my journey and I will be sharing MY OWN OPINIONS AND SUGGESTIONS!!!!

So, let’s just dive right into the first question and the question I have received probably the most (or close to if not)

Question from Instagram

Food Restriction -eliminating sugar, carbs, low calorie, fat-free, “bad foods”???? Or never allowing yourself to eat certain foods or food groups.

How I deal with Food Restrictions

Food restriction is a hot topic, and for good reason. I am not surprised that this question was one I was asked so many times about. With the Keto craze and people talking about how bad sugar is…it’s no wonder this topic of eliminating foods or food groups gets confusing.

But really, the answer to this is simple for me.
I believe it is all about balance and having everything in moderation. Too much of anything is not healthy.
So when it comes to food restrictions, I do not believe in eliminating anything!!!
Along my whole weight loss journey, I ate everything. I ate carbs all day long…and I lost over 300 pounds.
I can tell you from first-hand experience that, that CARBS are not the reason you are overweight or not losing weight. My poor carbs have such a bad reputation for being the culprit for people being overweight and so many people will tell you “carbs are bad”. I do not trust those people haha
Like I said, everything in moderation.

I love carbs. Like I LOVE CARBS.
If I told myself they were bad and restricted myself from having them, sooner or later I know I would have some bread and that would be a huge trigger for me. I would eat so much that I could not stop. Not only because it tastes amazing, but because I have restricted myself from having it for so long. So my body is craving it. That binging tendency rears its head and I physically cannot stop. Also, by restricting it and not allowing myself to have it, it makes that food seem “bad” or that you are doing a bad thing. Mentally that causes a lot of harm because it puts labels on foods and tricks your mind to think you are failing, cheating or doing something you shouldn’t be doing or eating.

Also, if I do restrict myself from having something for long periods, and then decide to “treat myself” I go way overboard. I do not know when I will “allow” myself to have it again. So instead of having one piece of bread, I eat as much as I can to a point of making myself sick because like I said, I do not know when I will have it again and I am trying to get my fill.

I think when it comes to “diets” and figuring out whether you want to eliminate a certain food or food group, you have to think about what is best for you. What is something you are going to be able to stick with long term, not just right now or for weight loss? Can you live the rest of your life without that food? Is that realistic for you? Will you be happy doing that? Will that work for you? I cannot answer those questions for you. You have to decide what is best for you long term…like the rest of your life long term. For me, I could never and would never want to give up carbs. So I don’t.

I believe that if you want something, make it work for you! Have a piece of Chocolate cake if you are craving it and move on! Have some pizza, enjoy some pasta. But make it work for you. For me, I counted calories/ macronutrients or macros. I know if I really want to eat pizza, I will plug that in and make the rest of my food choices for the day work around that. If I know we are going to my favorite restaurant for a friend’s birthday, I will stick with my normal plan all day, then get what I want at dinner and move on! I have the little extra treat and then keep moving forward!

Jacqueline Eating a Margherita pizza from Tony's Napoletana in San Francisco
Jacqueline Eating a Margherita pizza from Tony’s Napoletana in San Francisco

I think by restricting food and labeling it “bad” causes a lot more harm than good. Like I said mentally, we will then associate what we are eating as something bad or good. I do not believe that is ok. Food is food. Food is fuel for our bodies. At the end of the day, if you want to lose weight, it boils down to being in a calorie deficit. No matter what plan you follow or what foods you “eliminate or restrict”. People lose weight because they are in a calorie deficit. It’s not because they give up carbs or soda or sugar. Sure those things may help but ultimately it’s because they are burning more calories than they consume.

Do I believe that you should restrict the foods you eat? Absolutely not. I think we need to have everything in moderation, remember portion size, what foods are going to fill us up, fuel our bodies and help us get the results we want. Do I think you should have a whole chocolate cake every day? Probably not. Do I think it is ok to have a slice of chocolate cake every once and a while? Yes!!!

Remember you do not need to restrict certain foods or eliminate certain food groups in order to lose weight or live a healthy lifestyle. It comes down to being in a calorie deficit, and choosing a plan that works for you and makes you happy so you can actually follow it and succeed! It really is about long term sustainability and being able to repeat those choices for long periods of time so that you reach the goals that you have set for yourself.  At the end of the day, it comes down to what works best for you.  What makes you happy.  What feels good to you and your body.  But no, I do not think we need to deprive ourselves of certain foods in order to lose weight or be healthy!

Until next time!
Xoxo
Jacqueline

2 Comments

  • It is the first time I read one of your blogs . I follow you in sintagram. I do agree with you butt there are just some things I’ll add . The portion and balance is key the point is that when someone thinks ” Ok I’ll not restrict ” and that person is one that usually loves sugar or carbs usually that ” one time ” will turn into : birthdays , Christmas , Friday’s or Saturday nights , a celebration for a job news , a celebration on baby showers , anniversaries , 4th of July , get aways … just saying ” oh well this is a special occasion and I don’t want to restrict myself . So what I think is that we have to k ow restriction ( may sound bad) is not the answer but make food a thing to celebrate should either . I know this sounds tricky and it is . I am trying to do it for the last years . So what I do ? I celebrate things sometimes wo4h food sometimes no . This Christmas I do not have any treat . 0 . But then on January I had 2 . I will go maybe on st. Valentin dinner with a healthy choice but then maybe on 26 February I’ll have a treat …. I don’t know if I sound clear . The key word is the boundary between I don’t want to punish myself and I’ll reward myself so often .

    Candela 28.01.2020
  • Restriction for me – equals rebellion by me. My mindset is so complex, yet so predictable. Allowance of restriction for delayed reward is so tricky for me. You two have covered the inner war we combat on a daily basis.
    The personal game playing and keeping track of my behavior and food choices is exhaustive. I eat my restricted foods and then forfeit my nutrition in order to keep at a calorie deficit. Then my emotions come in like a bomb and I meet defeat.
    Then there is the battle of money and affordability. Sharing atmosphere and space with others. That extreme turmoil of finding balance.
    So, for the long run, I will avoid elimination and go with Jacqueline’s, “But make it work for you”. I appreciate the shared information and advice.
    In my world of neglect and inner hatred, I am trying to love myself, making it work for me sounds doable.

    Derique 04.03.2020

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.