You may notice that we don’t like to use the word “diet” in our nutrition program. That’s because for many reasons, diet has become a word with more negative connotations than positive. It’s a shame that for a lot of people, diets tend to cause more frustration than actual weight loss. In the end, virtually every diet fail comes down to three simple factors:
1. You’ve Picked a Diet You Can’t Follow Forever!
Nearly all “fad” diets that get marketed by huge companies simply don’t work! They are not sustainable for the long term, and are based around quick fixes and caloric deficits rather than sustainable LIFESTYLE CHANGES. So how do we define sustainable? Well let’s talk about goals for a minute. Your goals are something you would like to hold onto for more than just a few weeks, right? Then you can’t just eat a certain way for three months, hit your goal and then say, “cool bro that was fun let me just go back to eating the way I use to” and expect your physique to hold onto its progress. Yet time and time again, so many people fall into this pattern. Research from the University of California–Los Angeles shows that while most people can lose about 5 to 10 percent of their weight on just about any diet, on average, they end up gaining it all back – and then some. So what’s the big solution? The end-all be-all answer? It’s simple: If you can’t see yourself following your current meal plan for the rest of your life, throw it out the window and consult with a nutrition expert to gain some healthy eating habits and knowledge you can use and stick with for years to come. The weight loss will typically happen more slowly than it would on a crash diet, but I promise it will be longer lasting.
2. You’re Eating Too Few Calories to Lose Weight!!
This is a big one. And it is something that surprises MANY of my nutrition clients. You need to burn more calories than you’re taking in each day. But that shouldn’t be by some gigantic margin. After all, while the U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines state that the average woman needs to consume between 1,600 and 2,000 calories per day and the average man needs between 2,200 and 2,800 in order to maintain a given weight, as a general rule, eating any fewer than 1,200 or 1,400 calories a day is not only dangerous to your health, but it can counteract your weight-loss efforts. When you cut your caloric intake too low, your body dramatically slows its metabolic rate and begins to hold onto any sugar and fat it can, rather than burn it as fuel. Basically, your body thinks you’re starving, so it does everything in its power to hang onto whatever you eat. Without enough food to fuel your body, it begins to break down muscle, your metabolic powerhouse, for energy. The result? A lot of hunger and a scale that won’t budge. How do you end this yoyo calorie cut? Work with someone to calculate how many calories YOU need. You might be surprised by the amount you need to eat, not cut, in order to lose weight! Trust me, 80% of my clients actually come to me severely under eating and the majority of them are surprised by the volume of yummy food they can consume and still hit their goals! If you are exercising regularly, and have been seeing no results, it is possible you aren’t eating often enough, aren’t consuming the proper macronutrient balance for your goals, or simply aren’t eating enough period.
3. You Aren’t Doing the Proper Workouts To Reach Your Goals
Sure, they say weight loss is 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise, but if you’re only dieting, the fact is – your metabolism is slowing. Your body mass and weight largely determine your basal metabolic rate, the amount of calories you burn just sitting on the couch all day or behind a desk. Think about it, it takes more fuel to run a Monster Truck than a Scooter right?? So the more weight you lose, the fewer calories you’ll burn per day just chillin’. So whenever you cut calories, you lose at least a little muscle along with fat (although if you cut calories too far, you’ll lose a lot). And since muscle is the key to stoking your metabolism, any muscle lost is counteracting your weight-loss efforts. For example, in one yearlong obesity study of 439 overweight and obese women, those who tried to lose weight by combining both diet and exercise ended up losing nearly 30 percent more weight than those who dieted alone. (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics). What’s the takeaway here? Simple… PICK UP THE BARBELL to lose weight. Time after time, research shows that strength training is the key to fat loss when paired with proper nutrition. So after all is said and done don’t let a smooth-talking, cookie cutter meal plan, crash diet kind of “coach” take your metabolism on a roller coaster ride to nowhere!
I know far too well how complicated exercise, nutrition and weight loss can be to the beginner. I was there myself just a few years ago, and I remember how easy it can be to fall into quick-fix traps. But I promise if you ask questions, follow these basic principles, be someone who is coachable, take time to listen and absorb what a quality coach has to say to you and you invest in you, you will earn the results you want!
My nutrition clients put their health and wellness in my hands, because the foods you choose to eat have a profound impact on your life. I am incredibly passionate about healthy eating and the power of food. If you’re ready to put some structure into what you eat, and surprise yourself by how you can stress LESS and get CLOSER to your goals by working with a nutrition coach, e-mail me at COURTNEY@AMERICANSLEDDOGS.COM