A few years ago I tried the Whole30 diet. It was the most restrictive diet I've ever been on, but - surprisingly - the easiest to follow. That's because there were no gray areas: if it had an ingredient I couldn't have, then I didn't have it. No need to measure the amount or think more than a second about it.
It was a great experience, and the philosophy behind the Whole30 was really eye-opening. The diet is intended to also cover the psychological aspect of our relationship with food. For example, during the diet, you're not allowed to replicate junk foods with healthy ingredients (it means you're maintaining your attachment to foods that don't serve you).
Another example: you can't use the scale.
Instead, during the Whole30 diet, you focus on non-scale victories.
- Are you experiencing a better mood?
- Better skin?
- Have more energy?
- Greater confidence?
- Smile more?
Celebrate these, not a number on the scale, especially when that number can be deceiving: if you're building muscle, then the number would indicate an increase in weight, when you were hoping for a decrease. Increased muscle is a good thing, but because we measure the wrong thing, we can get disappointed by our achievements.
The past couple of weeks I've not been happy with my weight loss, but it doesn't matter because I have a lot of great non-scale victories to celebrate, and since I'm adopting the philosophy of "progress, not perfection" and treating everything I do as an experiment, I focus on what I can change to improve my results, rather than simply hope for the universe to give me what I want.
I mostly use the scale to remind myself that I want to lose weight so I'm more mindful of what I eat. The last few times I tried to manage my eating habits without something to measure I would end up forgetting about it. Hence the daily weigh-ins and, of course, the 12-week timeframe to keep me focused.
What metrics do you measure to track your progress?