There are numerous weight loss options out there, given that it’s a billion dollar industry! Diet trends are created with new scientific research, documented by before and after photos, passed down by generations, and promoted by famous celebs. We are willing to do just about anything to fit into our favorite pair of skinny jeans, so we tend to listen to whatever diet is trending at the time. Atkins, Du-ken, Cornish, Campbell study, Palo, Vegan, Juices, Gluten free… One swears by fat, the other one by proteins and the third one has a strong evidence that both fat and too much protein are to blame?! Just who should we trust and what will deliver the results that will last for a lifetime?

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The secret is very simple, Pollen says: “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.” And that’s it. Eat the food! Do not eat anything that has more than 4-5 ingredients. Don’t eat anything that your grandmother would not recognize as a legit food.

Eat mostly plants. We tend to overestimate our daily protein needs as well as underestimate the amount of protein in plants! Eat your beans, Quinta or nuts and your digestion system will thank you for it!

Not too much. One of the dangers of healthy foods, especially ones containing sugar, is that we might give ourselves permission to overeat them because they are healthy. It’s true- 200 calories coming from oranges is nutritionally not the same as 200 calories coming from cookies, but… they do count!

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Following those 3 rules, after hundreds of lost and gained pounds over the last ten years, my scale and I finally live in peace and harmony. After the dark age of diet pills, shakes, compulsive exercise, fat burners, ephedra, protein bars and L-carnitine, here are the 3 most important lessons I’ve learned while maintaining a lean physique:

  1. Hunger is a normal natural phenomenon. Actually, it is desirable from time to time. It is OK to feel hungry and you should feel hungry from time to time. Embrace it!
  2. To live as a fit, healthy and strong person is a decision you have to make several times every day in a million different situations. Should I just sit in front of a TV because I’m tired or should I actually go for a 20-minute walk? Should I eat another slice of bread or have a bowl of lettuce? Make the right decision for yourself on a daily basis.
  3. Make peace with your scale. It is what it is and that number does not define you as a person. Be brave, step on and keep stepping on every single day. Find out where you are today and decide where you want to be tomorrow. Commit to it and never stop tracking your progress. Remember, it’s just a number!

And at the end… the most important secret of all… (drum-rolls) Never give up on yourself! You won’t get fat from one day of binge eating, it happens. What you do the day after is what makes all the difference, so forgive yourself and try harder tomorrow!