It’s that time of year where you will be bombarded with l00’s, if not millions, of quick fix schemes. Diets, detoxes, cleanses, you name it. Programs that are promising “X” number of pounds lost in a month or less.
We are getting close to January 1st, and that’s when everyone starts a new diet. Don’t get sucked into the vortex.
If you want to get started on the right foot, then keep reading. If you’re looking for a quick fix and rapid fat loss, then you can leave out of the virtual door. I’ll be here when you are ready to put your health first, with open arms.
#1 reason you are struggling is that you are dieting and you continue to have periods of dieting – gaining and losing over and over. Now, before you accuse me, I am not saying you should stay overweight. I am not saying that you should remain fat. What I am saying is – there is a better way to lose fat safely and sustainably (a moderate caloric deficit, not an extreme one). No one can say they enjoy dieting – specifically, diets that ban or restrict foods even for a short period.
White knuckling and banning foods is a temporary solution with significant health repercussions.
What I am saying is that dieting will make you fatter and fatter. How? For several reasons. Extreme dieting lowers your metabolism and decreases your muscle mass. Dieting slows down your metabolism to hold onto fat for survival. When going on low-calorie diets and when we abuse cardio, the body goes into survival mode. It first taps into your muscle, not fat (which is what we want – we want to lose fat and not store it). So, by the end of the diet – the scale may be lighter, but you don’t look toned (#muscle loss). I’m sure this the exact opposite of what you had hoped for.
5 Reasons you are struggling and what to do about it:
- Too much cardio – this is the first thing folks believe they should do. Run and run, get on the treadmill or elliptical several times a week and stay in the fat burning zone. Not the best way to go about losing fat.
You want to minimize the cardio – use it as a supplement. When you’re trying to lose weight, don’t throw everything plus the kitchen sink at it. The minimal effective dose is what you want, because once you start using cardio, the more you will need to see results. Another by-product of extreme cardio is hunger. Ever notice after your cardio sessions how hungry you are? You don’t want your hunger through the roof when you’re already in caloric deficit.
Choose cardio based on your goals. If you are love running 5k’s, marathons, etc., then hitting the pavement is where you probably will spend most of your time.
If you are seeking body change, want to drop fat, and gain muscle, then I would suggest intervals or sprint work a couple of days a week. And maybe, if you just want to run – perhaps a mile or two.
- You are not #LiftingTheThings (strength training), and if you are, you’re probably not doing it with much effort. That is why you may not have seen any progress. To gain strength, you must progressively overload the muscles. To look toned, you must lift the things still. Fyi – toned really means the appearance of the way the muscle looks beneath the skin. To see muscle tone, you must lose body fat. However, if you just lose fat with no muscle definition, you will look gaunt and stringy, not toned.
When you’re trying to lose fat and maintain your muscle, lifting the weights is King. It’s superior to cardio – too much cardio can strip muscle. During a low-calorie diet with extreme cardio thrown in is a recipe for disaster. That is why it’s key to set a moderate deficit based on your activity level, age, height, and type of work you do. When you are trying to lose fat, it’s crucial to continue lifting and if you’re not, there is no time like the present to get started #LiftingTheThings.
The lifting of the things is a muscle maintainer. If you are trying to lose weight (calorie deficit) – yes, you do have to create a deficit to lose fat – whether you count calories or not.
The best thing you can do for yourself while losing fat is to continue to lift heavy to hang onto your muscle.
- Starving yourself – not eating enough to lose. 1200 calories ring a bell? A child eats 1200 calories or a tiny person with a body weight of 100ish pounds.
Fyi – you must eat to lose, eat to gain muscle, eat to live, eat to sustain and maintain. You are doing yourself a huge disservice when you slash calories so low. Sure, you will lose weight, but nine times out of 10, when the diet is finished, your weight will come back plus some.
The body wants you to feed it adequately, even when trying to lose weight. Food is thermogenic. Ever notice, when you’re eating, you may start to warm up? That’s your metabolism. So why would you starve it? It wants to fuel and nourish you. When you start to feel super hungry when you’re dieting, that is your body’s way of telling you “Feed Me Seymour” – lol!
The harder you diet and restrict, the harder the cravings come with force. You will eventually give in because the body is not having it. It has nothing to do with willpower; it’s physiological or psychological response to being underfed.
What to do instead – start off with a small caloric deficit. Don’t do any cookie cutter diets or any diets calling for banning of foods.
- Catch some sleep, my friend! I love to get as many zzz’s as I can, but I do know it’s the first thing we tend to neglect. Most folks are like; I’ll sleep when I am dead. I’m like no thank you; I’ll sleep now. Sleep affects so many functions in our bodies. It’s hard to say NO to quick snacks and drive-thrus when you’re tired and don’t feel like cooking.
Lack of sleep affects our hormones as well. Not only that, it elevates our cortisol. Cortisol, in turn, affects belly fat. Having a hard time losing belly fat? Get to sleep – I’ll bet you’ll start to see your midsection change. Of course, with all the other ducks lined up.
Sleep will affect your willpower and your mood – which leads to stress, then down that chip bag or bucket of ice cream you go, complete with guilt and punishment for eating because our human bodies forced the issue.
We are not smarter than our bodies.
* I can’t sugar coat it or tell you that there is an easy solution. The solution is to get yo butt to bed. Can’t get the recommended 8 hours of sleep, well then aim for a solid 6 – good quality.
* Secondly, look at why you’re not getting those 8 hours. Plus, a look at your nighttime routine. If you want to see some progress physique wise, you must figure out how to get to bed a little earlier.
- The banning of foods that you love – this is a sure-fire way to find yourself neck deep in those bags of chip ahoys. Do people still actually eat those? I prefer a home baked cookie, but whatever floats your boat, but not the whole bag.
The minute you place foods off limits, the more you want it. Ever noticed that? You start dreaming and thinking about that bread you banned. Fyi – bread is not bad, for nor does it make you inherently fat.
If you enjoy bread, eat the bread! If you can take it or leave it, then do so.
Always eat the foods that you love and foods that satisfy!
It’s not if, it’s when – you will give in – why? Because banning foods and the rules you created were meant to be broken.
So, the cycle begins ⬇
Guilt ==> restrict ==> binge==> guilt ==> restrict – over and over and this ties back into why you keep struggling and getting nowhere with your fat loss efforts.
So, which one do you struggle with? Inbox me here or fill out my contact form so that I can assist with your fat loss efforts. I struggled with the cardio and not eating enough – it’s a recipe for disaster. I’ve been there and experienced it, and I don’t want you to continue to spin your wheels.
Contact me and see if we are a great fit.
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