Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why Weight Loss is So Difficult

It's so common I can almost predict what I'm going to hear every time I meet with a new client. Usually it's some form of "I'm fat, and I cannot seem to lose weight on my own," or "the weight keeps creeping on no matter what I do!" And I tend to give them lots of words of encouragement, "Don't worry," I say, "I will help you take it back off again, you just have to do exactly as I say."

Unfortunately, no one does exactly as I say. I had to ask myself why that is. I think the easiest explanation, is that I am asking for a lot. In order to put on weight, we have to eat an excess of calories, not exercise enough to make up for the extra, and slowly but surely our waistlines will begin to grow larger. It is usually a slow process, one that kind of sneaks up on us while we avoid the scale. We start noticing our pants are getting a little tight, or some stay in denial and just wear skirts or dresses to avoid having to try on those jeans they once wore with ease. Eventually, we wake up and realize just how far we have let ourselves go.

Believe me, I know. My weight cycled as a child, I went from a healthy weight, to underweight with my tonsillectomy, and back to overweight when we moved away from my home town and I sat around all summer eating Jelly Belly's. It went back down when I realized that if I skipped meals, I could lose weight (my ignorant middle school friends gave me this idea). I didn't realize I was hurting myself until one day I almost passed out in a pizza place from a panic attack/low blood sugar. So I started eating normal again right as puberty set in, and sure enough I chubbed back out. I didn't realize that what I had done was mess up my metabolism, which is what many women do because of the diet cycling they do.

What I promote now is a slow, gradual lifestyle change that WILL work, but it's just as slow, if not slower than packing on the weight took in the first place. And it is not nearly as enjoyable. In fact, it kind of sucks.

If you enjoy the occasional sweet thing, you are a kindred spirit of mine. Unfortunately, most people who enjoy the "occasional" sweet thing (or fried thing, or salty thing, insert your guilty pleasure foods here), enjoy it a lot more often than they realize. Those who think they have a relatively healthy diet, may not be fully cognizant of the little tidbits here and there that are sabotaging their success.

The hard cold reality is, when it's weight you want to lose, you have to be perfect. There is the caloric deficit you have to create, but there's a lot more to it. Insulin, Insulin resistance, and how our bodies deal with the different types of calories we put into it have a HUGE impact on weight loss. Why are low-carb dieters so successful? Because SUGAR (the byproduct of carbs) is what really makes us fat. I promote whole-grain carbs because the fiber does protect us from some of that, but really, the lower the carb count, the faster the weight will fall off.

You can read any female body competitor's blog, and she's most likely eating a low-fat, low-carb diet to lower her body fat. These women are hard core, they are drastic, and they see results. It's time for you, my clients, and my fellow weight cyclers, to get hard core. I am not saying eat like a body builder, but it's time to really take an honest look at your diet, just like you have finally looked at your body with brutal honesty and realized you need to change.

YES, you need to work out with me. Building muscle, and therefore raising your metabolism will most definitely help you see results. However, it's not enough alone. It will never be enough by itself. You have to fix the diet.

So here's my plan for you:

START A DIET JOURNAL TODAY!!! Not tomorrow... right this moment. Go out, buy yourself a cute little spiral notebook, and get to it. I want you to write down what you ate, how much you ate of it, how you felt (physically or emotionally) after you ate it, and what time you ate each thing.

I want you to start looking at the trends in your diet. I want you to start noticing all the tiny bites your taking of cheat foods, and where it's adding up. Hold yourselves accountable. This is the only way you will truly succeed. Believe me... I know.

Once you start the diet journal, I want you to start limiting your carbs at night, and make dinner your smallest meal.

Enjoy a delicious salad with lean chicken at night, and give yourself 1 cheat day/week where you can enjoy those things you have to avoid the rest of the week.

Get at least 30 minutes/day 5x/week of cardio OR 2-3 days of HIIT for at least 20 mins.

Get in 2-4 days of weight training (preferably with yours truly :p)

Start substituting your carbs with vegetables.

Make sure you have a nice lean protein with every meal, and get in your good fats like avocado, and olive oil.

This weight battle is one you can win. I know it. I have lived it. I have seen the diligent clients succeed. Stop making excuses and DO IT.

For a Diet Journal Template please send me an email at, and I will forward one to you. I also review diet journals for all clients free of charge.