Weight loss goals are a highlighted goal brought to the forefront of any consultation I do. The statistics do not lie. According to the CDC 38% of American adults are obese as of June 2016. So obvious logic would tell us that many trainees/clients look at this as objective #1. How we get to your goal is not a perfect system, it truly is different strokes for different folks if you may. There are several different methods to lose weight, but it all comes back to a basic equation, calories in must be less than calories out. A simple concept on hand, but in today’s society is incredibly difficult in practice. The ways to sabotage such a campaign normally tends to follow the same pattern between each person. I have found 5 very common ways that your weight loss efforts have ceased, slowed, or stalled altogether.
Taking the weekends off.
This one is the creme-de-la creme of many people’s falters. Monday-Friday at 3pm they are on point with the diet, sticking to their routines to the T. Many people say they stay on track during the week, so when the weekend comes they will splurge. Staying on point and being lenient on the weekends CAN work for some when it’s monitored or once a month type of deal. But for most people’s weekends, such an endeavor can bring you to the realms of fried everything and chocolate covered ice cream with double fudge brownie cake and a handful of drinks, not to mention an appetizer! Such a night out can go for over 2000 calories easily even for the lightest of eaters if you include alcohol.
Staying on track 100% on the weekends is not required in order to lose weight. The strategies vary quite a bit but a good rule of thumb is to plan for a high day that day you splurge. So go conservative the rest of the week/weekend and then have that one day where you go over. One or two bad meals won’t sabotage as long as it’s not a daily or weekly thing.
Besides a life full of poor decisions and other various health effects. Alcohol is one of the leading causes of weight gain or slowed weight loss efforts. The truth is many people do not realize that alcohol contains calories. This is partly due to the fact that calorie counts are not found on most alcoholic beverages. If it is not there it doesn’t exist right? I wish that was the case, even the lightest of alcoholic beverages still tend to be higher than what most people think. A favorite beer of mine, Golden Monkey, has 272 calories in it! 2-3 of those is suddenly 544 or more additional calories being brought into your diet.
For the wine drinkers, mixing some wine with a club soda or seltzer will give you the volume you’re looking for with much less of the calories. For beer drinkers, I enjoy drinking black tea at night, I found it to be a good alternative and has a calming effect on my Central nervous system after a long day at work.
3. Not weight training.
Another health professional at another studio shared with me that she overheard two of her clients discussing weight training as “good for bone density but not as beneficial as cardio”. When asked why, the client’s answer was simple, “well because cardio elevates the heart rate and makes it stronger”. Several face palms later, this person and myself decided to get better at explaining why this is misrepresented. Weight training if done with free weight, multi joint movement patterns like squats, lunges, deadlifts, and rows can provide you with a cardiovascular benefit, along with challenging your muscles and allowing them to get stronger. So overtime, muscle mass increases, which means from point A you took in 2000 calories in order to maintain your bodyweight, now your body takes in 2100 calories.
The solution to this is very simple, incorporate weight lifting into your routine, if you are unfamiliar with how to do so, see if a friend will teach you or hire a trainer to teach you how to strength training and develop a plan for three times a week!
4. A ‘System’ diet
I was originally going to call this post “ doing a fad diet”. But that concept is far too vast, and some fad diets turn out to be known facts that are crucial to a weight loss journey. But any diet that involves only eating “x” foods and using “Y” supplements should be questioned. The ‘system’ diet that is supposed to help you get to your goal weight does not factor in date nights, family gatherings, or the simple road block of what you’re going to do after you lose the weight! A weight loss diet is only as good as it is for THAT person. Diets vary all around the world, certain foods are considered off limits to some, but are delicaces to other cultures. A diet that restricts eating certain foods is a recipe for a failing effort.
If you need help constructing a flexible, balanced diet, talk to health professional about constructing such a plan. If the diet consists of eating only certain types of food, buying food from a certain brand, or taking “special” supplements, it’s probably someone looking to make money off of you!
5. Labeling foods as inherently bad or good
This one comes from misinformation to the consumer. We have a very extreme approach to our nutrition, which says that certain foods should not be eaten, or certain foods can be eaten by the handful regardless of what it is. When a food is labeled as good we as consumers tend to get the green light to eat as much as we like, I like to use the term “bear claw” it. Certain foods are amazing for you, and can be bear clawed for incredibly large quantities for a small amount of calories. Such as green veggies like kale, or spinach. OTher foods that are thought of as healthy are nuts, and peanuts. Although these foods are full of healthy monounsaturated fats, it is easy to overeat these foods if they’re bear-clawed, a cup of almonds has 529 calories in it! If you love almonds as much as I do, that is not the most satiating food out there. Fat is good for your overall health, but overeating fat will lead to fat gain, same as overeating carbs will. Along with labeling foods as “bad”. Packaged foods, such as that have add preservatives have been under fire recently, but just like the “all natural” foods they compete against, the calories are all the same!
Like White Goodman from Dodgeball, binging is common with folks who heavily practice food removal. Enjoying foods in moderation like the previous post says, is the best way to keep sanity and enjoy the foods you love in moderation.
Understanding these concepts will lead to a weight loss journey that will be self sustaining physically and mentally.