As much as we are the biggest bell-ringers for whole foods and clean eating, weight (read: fat) loss comes down to one thing - calories. Calories are energy. If you consume more energy than you expend, you will store that energy for use at a later time (body fat). Sounds easy enough, right? So why is it so hard for people to lose weight?
1. Fad diets
It's human nature to look for something bigger, faster, stronger, etc. The diet industry are masters of marketing and if they can convince you to hand over a few of your hard earned bills to gain an edge on your problem, they do it and we happily comply.
2. Your "cheat day" is blowing you out of the water.
How many times have I heard, "I went to my favorite Mexican place on Saturday. I stuck the rest of the week. 100% perfect. You mean to tell me that I can't go out one night a week?!" Yes and no. To lose a pound of fat, you must create a deficit of 3,500 calories. So, let's assume you are successfully creating a deficit of 500 calories every day of the week. That would show a 1 pound net loss for the week. Congratulations! Now, what happens if on Saturday of that same week you didn't create a 500 calorie deficit? Maybe even a surplus? The scale at the end of the week will show less than a pound or maybe even more.
3. Lots of things can affect the scale
Water retention, not being hydrated enough, menstrual cycles, stress, and sleep are just a FEW of the daily things that can affect the numbers on the scale. Being consistent in weighing and using other metrics though your health journey such as strength and measurements such as your hips, naval, and bust are great indicators of fat loss.
4. The scale isn't moving
Taking measurements such as your hips, naval, and bust are key to a fat loss journey. As you start to burn fat and build lean muscle mass, the scale may not drop as quickly as you'd like. Keep in mind, muscle is dense and doesn't take up as much room as fat. Keeping measurements will show progress when the scale doesn't move as fast as you would like.
5. I can't seem to keep my calories down!
Take a look at your fat intake. For each gram of fat you eat, you take in 9 calories as opposed to a protein (4) or a carbohydrate (4). Keeping a diet high in fiber and protein will help keep this curve down.
1. Cut the crap.
Before you do anything else, get rid of the crap. This includes: processed foods (think things in a box or bag), alcohol, sugary drinks, and fast food.
Literally every chemical reaction in your body needs water. Make sure it's the first thing in your body in the morning and you are drinking it often. How much? Take your body weight and divide in it half. Drink that many ounces of water.
3. Strike a balance
There seems to be this impossible chatter of fad diets on repeat. "High fat"... "no fat"... "no carb"... "keto" .. "whole30"... It has been and always will be about balance. You need to be able to stick to your chosen lifestyle 365 days a year. Balance is the name of the game. Fads are just that - quick results that usually lead to right back where you started.
Intentionally. At the end of the day, the calorie is king and the way the body reduces mass is burning more calories than we take in. So, the more calories you burn, the bigger the gap is.
5. Pick up heavy things
The more muscle you have, the more calories your body requires to work. This doesn't mean you have to be the Incredible Hulk. Try some circuit training that includes moving weights 8-12 reps at a time (those last few reps should be tough). And, get the most out of your motions. Don't spend time doing trivial movements like bicep curls. Do big movements that require big work. Ideas such as squats, farmers carrys, assisted pull-ups, and deadlifts come to mind as great exercises. Other things like rowing and walking on an incline are great forms of exercise. Even 20 minutes a day makes a big difference!
6. Rest easy
Stress management is essential to fat loss. This includes sleeping regularly, having "rest days" from working out, and taking a little "me" time to relax. Find a new book, watch a favorite show, or call up a friend for a laugh.
7. Look for what we call the "magic three"
High in protein, high in fiber, low in fat. These foods tend to keep our belly full, our digestive system operating regularly, and our caloric intake down. Think dark and/or leafy: kale, spinach, artichokes, green beans, broccoli, asparagus, and more. Lean proteins top our list too! Look for: chicken, lean beef, pork loin, fish, deer, etc.
8. You can't outwork a bad diet.
Planning meals is essential to success. Keep healthy snacks on hand like nuts (1 oz, about 22 almonds), fresh fruit, lean lunch meat, low fat cottage cheese, and more. Make extra at dinner time to have for lunch the next day. Or, call us. We are here to fill that gap for you!