I'm going to be real honest with you. If you don't have your psyche right with dieting, you will never, and I repeat never succeed. That sounds harsh, but it is probably one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle. I want to go through some common things that might occur and how to try and overcome those. I am NOT a psychologist. I took one psych class in college. This is just from personal experience.
I think that macros work great. I think they helped me to finally put an end to a long battle with food, which eventually led to intuitively eating and not tracking macros. I will start coaching girls that want to lose a little bit of weight, and tracking macros to them is like the devil. The mindset to plan out a day and make this puzzle work is a mental mind game that they cannot play. That's okay. That doesn't mean that you are doomed.
There are some that want to be told what to eat every single day...a cookie cutter meal plan. Chop my arms and legs off before you tell me to do that because I have things that I want to do and friends to meet up with and that is not a healthy lifestyle that I can sustain.
There are some that want to eat 100% vegan and that's what works for them or vegetarian or paleo or keto or whatever it may be. The first step in dieting though is finding not even what works for your body but what works for you long term.
Look at your life and the way that you live it. Are you going to be able to do paleo, whole 30 or keto for the rest of it? I'm not putting down these diets. I'm simply legit asking the question. If the answer is yes, then by all means. Diets work when followed consistently because all of them are going to have some form of energy expenditure decrease whether that be through dieting or exercise, and most of the time if you are consistent the weight will come off. However, if you don't think that you are going to do them forever, then where is that going to leave you? Are you going to go back to normal because if so, then you are just going to gain it all back and then what was the point of that? All that hard work and restricting down the drain.
I think that a diet needs to teach you something. You should learn about nutrition. You shouldn't just be slapped with a plan because real life is not able to be lived with a strict meal to meal plan every single day, and if yours is, then you are a rockstar because I'm meeting up with people all the time for lunch or dinner or coffee. I have family functions and I can't imagine trying to navigate those or bring along little tupperware full of food. Yikes.
The next step after finding something that is sustainable in your lifestyle is finding something that you are going to stick to. I know that these sound similar but I mean with the issue of binge eating coming into play. There are so many girls that struggle with this issue and even if it's not full on binge eating, they struggle with over eating at night time. There are memes that joke about this, and it's a real problem. It creates the hamster on a wheel where you are getting absolutely nowhere with your progress even though you are sticking with it during the day. You have to make changes. One of those changes should probably be that you increase your intake earlier in the day. There is no reason to eat tiny amounts early in the day when you know that every single night you are just going to come home and eat everything. POINTLESS. 100% pointless. Most of the time in this instance, you just need to increase your calories.
Aside from all of this, there's the aspect of just beginning in the first place. There are so many reasons to never do it. You think that genetics are against you. You have tried things in the past, and always failed so you think whats the point? You have too much going on so what's the point? You don't care so what's the point? haha! You get the point ;)
It's tough and all of this goes back to all the myths and people thinking that it's harder than it really is and that it's going to come with tons of restriction and low calories and most are not willing to do that.
I truly believe that if your mindset is not in the right place, then you should never begin a diet in the first place because it's almost always going to end in failure or if you succeed then you are going to end up gaining it all back. I know it's so cliche, but it really needs to be something that you find that you can make that switch...that "lifestyle change" and just keeping it sustainable always....like always always and forever. That's why macros are so beautiful for me. I can eat whatever whenever no matter what. I keep it balanced all the time. I don't hit my numbers most days (over and under) and now I know what that looks like without tracking but I do aim for a balance of fat, carb and protein every day.
I wrote this in my facebook team group but I really believe that it needs to come with an element of just not thinking about it. You know the steps to take in whatever avenue that you feel works best for you, so get off the scale, stop setting all these lofty goals and just do it. Live your life, do your plan and the results will come. Don't set time lines of when it should happen (or maybe you are someone that needs a timeline), but just change your life. When you change your life instead of thinking of it as a diet, then there is no timeline. You don't have to make weight by this point or that point and you are able to live free but also healthy.
I don't talk much about competitors anymore, but this is why this is so dangerous. Everyone talks about how you can't stay show lean and that is the truth however, I think that this becomes an excuse for binge eating then "dialing in for prep for a show" and it's SUCH an unhealthy way to live life. You are just wrecking your metabolism, and need to find a happy place. If you fluctuate 5-10 pounds then I think that's healthy but if you diet down for a show then gain 30-40 pounds from really overeating/binge eating then there's something there that needs to be addressed that has a deeper route, and doing another show to lose the weight is NOT THE ANSWER. This becomes a constant cycle, and makes me sad when I see it all the time. The mental shift needs to happen. I know that I haven't addressed everyone's mental state but I hope this helps with some and that this should be a HUGE PRIORITY.