‘‘We are all different people with unique schedules and routines’’
Between magasines, Instagram and your friend who lost a stone in three weeks, contradicting diet information is everywhere.
Are carbs good or bad? Should you lift weights or run? Will eating fat make you fat? Is fruit bad for you?
For every five articles you read, there will inevitably be one one that tells you the opposite.
As a result, people get confused, they don’t know what the best approach is and find themselves running round in circles frustrated that fat loss isn’t coming as easy as they would like.
The thing people don’t realise is that dieting doesn’t have to be a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
We are all different people, with different schedules and day to day commitments, so finding the best approach for YOU is much more important than copying a friend’s or model’s routine.
The basics of fat loss
We gain body fat by consuming more food(calories) than what we burn (through steps and exercise).
Fat won’t be gained overnight, but if you are continually eating more calories than you are burning over a long period of time, the weight will slowly creep on.
Reversing this process will also take time.
We would all love to lose a stone of fat in a few weeks but unfortunately, this won’t happen.
You will lose quite a lot of weight at the start of any diet but this weight is mostly water (not all fat) and once this water weight is dropped, fat loss will slow to around 1-2lb per week (if dieting is done correctly).
Enjoy the process
Dieting is hard at the best of times, but most people shoot themselves in the foot by choosing the most ridiculous approaches far too often.
Giving up carbs might seem like an easy go-to option at the start, but have you ever tried going a week without carbs? It’s madness!
Remember if you are going to try a specific diet for a few weeks, think about what will happen after the diet is over? If you end up eating exactly the same way as you did before you started, you will simply regain any weight lost and maybe even add a few extra pounds for all your troubles. How can you avoid this? We mentioned before that fat loss will be completely reliant on you consuming fewer calories than you burn in a day. That means controlling your calorie intake is vital for fat loss.
Using apps like My Fitness Pal and logging/weighing your food is the easiest way to do this. Using digital kitchen scales to manage portion sizes and keeping an honest food diary will help keep you accountable and understand exactly how many calories are in the foods you are consuming.
Sure it takes an extra minute to scan, weigh and track your food, but having worked with hundreds of clients over the years, in my opinion this is the easiest way to eat the foods you like to eat while getting sensational results.
That is the beauty of tracking calories! There are no bad foods, good foods, cheat foods, or free foods.
There are just calories… you have a certain amount of them to eat in a day - all you have to do is stay under your target.
If you are eating foods you love and taking the time to weigh them accurately, you will find your perfect diet that is made around your own lifestyle and individual dietary tastes.
Find the type of exercise you like to do
Once your portion control and calorie intake is underway, to maximise fat loss potential we must move more and exercise.
A question I always get asked is: ‘‘What is the best way to exercise?’’ The answer I like to give is: ‘‘the exercise that you enjoy doing.’’
There is no point pushing yourself through gruelling workouts that you hate. If you hate doing it and feel no benefit after them, it’s simply not the workout for you!
Exercise doesn’t have to mean blood, sweat, and tears. It can be as simple as going for a short walk, going for a cycle, or going to a local Zumba class.
If you enjoy your exercise, you will do it more frequently, burn more calories, and feel more energised as the weeks go on.
My last piece of advice for today is to be realistic in your time-frame for expected results.
A good rule of thumb for someone who has a goal is to double their time-frame to allow for hiccups, nights out and to take a less drastic approach. Rather than wanting to lose a stone in a month, why not take two? Eight weeks to lose 14lb is a great target and you won’t have to be as aggressive in your approach.
When your calorie targets are more sensible you have a far greater chance of actually sticking to them, and you might even find yourself dieting far longer than the original two month time period.
Cutting carbs, starving yourself, exercising twice per day, every day may help you lose weight quickly at the start, but I have no doubt you will burn yourself out and find yourself right back at the start unless you find a strategy that is sustainable for you.
Finally, if you think you have been doing things wrong for far too long, why not give us a message on Facebook or Instagram and we can have a chat about how you can get on the right track.