I don’t need to bang on about this any more than I currently do, but I’ll ask you one question…
Do you skip your breakfast? Be honest with yourself. If you do, is it a legitimate excuse?
The reason I ask is people believe the route to weight loss is often through restricting their diet or number of calories they consume. Whilst you’re correct to do this there’s definitely better ways to go about doing this… It could be habitual, if it is, no sweat! Just a habit we’ll have to look at and assess if it needs changing.
I know multitudes of people who skip their breakfast though. And honestly I’m not surprised that the majority of people who do actually also complain how they’re not able to lose weight easily, or that they yo-yo extremely heavily with their weight.
I don’t blame you, cutting calories IS the route to losing weight, it’s just education has fallen by the wayside a bit and people start to think more of a good thing is better, right?
Wrong (big red buzzer).
When you start restricting your calories you actually risk surpressing hormone output in your body, changing up a whole host of bodily processes due to not giving your body enough energy/calories to work with. This change in hormone balance could affect how well you burn fat in a calorie deficit, to how well you recognise hunger. This is called metabolic adpatation and I highly reccomend checking out my article i wrote here!
Wtf do we do then?
So you’re probably asking how to go about losing a weight, or what on earth you’re meant to do about it.
The answer is simple just to not be so drastic and to actually be a bit more patient. Weight loss is a very personal matter and as a result can be met with a lot of emotion and impulse. Often this pairs up with drastic reductions in calories in order to see a fast change. Sadly our body doesn’t like this, but it does cope VERY well with gradual reductions over time.
Think of your body like a fine tuned instrument. Treat it with respect and it’ll react well, last longer and learn a lot more about it. IT’s the same with your body, if you go about maknig extreme changes in shrot epriods of time, or throwing caution to the wind and giving it shit you don’t need often and always, then the chances are higher that there’ll be a few more repurcussions.
There’s something cool about developing self-awareness about your body ! You start to recognise patterns and establish what makes your body respond in the way you do. Tracking my calories and macros was the ebst change I ever did, and donig so allowed me to learn I was WAY overeating during my breakfast, resulting in a mid afternoon crash that made me want to quit my job daily!
So WHAT do we do?
The best way to go about losing weight the healthy way is by being consistent with the amount you eat daily, and making weekly adjustments to give your body exactly what it needs to drive your goal, just in a more patient, less restrictive manner… But the precursor to all of tbhis is that you have to have some sort of way to catalogue what you’re eating. And the number one personal choice for me is myfitness pal. I choose to log EVERYTHING daily to assess my nutrition, and it really works for me.
I will ALWAYS coach my clients to eat the same amount of calories every day, and to try and get really consistent with it. That way come the end of the week we can tell that if said client is gnawing their arm off then they probably need a bit more food (they’ll most likely also be in a calorie deficit), and I’ll genreally prescribe 10g extra carbs a day to see how that affects their hunger. It’s amazing just what this small difference will grant you when you’re consistent.
IF they’re actually really full, and have zero appetite at their level of training, then the chances are they’re probably eating more in a calorie surplus, ie. eating to gain muscle and some weight. From here I’d usually wait a week to see if their appetite comes back but if it doesn’t I’ll make a drop in calories and try and find the point where they’re hungry.
From a bio-feedback point of view, identifying your hunger is the BEST way to tell if you’re eating enough or not. You shouldn’t be thinking “Shit, I’m a greedy bitch” for wanting to eat more food, especially if you’ve had a meal and you’re still hungry. Chances are you need it if you’re hungry. Your hunger is just a clever way your body tells you when you need to eat food for your energy output. Hence why if you’ve had a pretty sedentary week you probably won’t be anywhere near as hungry compared to when you trained 4 times last week.
But in order to make this work you need to be consistent with your daily calories. All of my clients eat consistent calories a day, and I do myself. Come the end of the week I have a bit of a self asssessment with myself and each of my clients asking how they slept, how their hunger was and their workout performance, and all these are KEY indiciators on whether we’re feeding them enough.
The minute you deviate of the calorie goal it becomes a bit more trickey to assess whether we give you more food or not. But take this as an action, if you’re hungry, well please just eat something. At the end of the day calories are calories, and if you eat less than you burn you’re gonig to lsoe weight. If you eat more than you burn you’re gonig to put on weight. This method is king.
What does this have to do with breakfast?
Glad you asked! 😉
Personally, and this is my opinion, the people I see who skip breakfast who DON’T intensively train in the morning, generally are people who don’t have their health and fitness on point just yet. This doesn’t mean they’ve not got anything right, just that there’s more work to be done with educating you on the BEST way to go about losing weight. Course, I’ve worked with clients who train in the morning really intensively so they have to rely on a late dinner and use their calories from that to carry over into the mornings workout. It’s harder for sure, but it works.
None of them, however, skipped breakfast if they weren’t training, and they rarely choose to skimp on it too.
If you’re skipping breakfast I just want you to ask yourself the reasons why you are. Have you chosen this as an area to skip becuase you’ve seen ‘fasting’ work for many people online? Or are you trying to just make a general reduction in daily calories and opting to skip a whole meal to do so, whilst eating the same dinner and lunch and snacks. Both legitimaetly work for SOME people, but you’re you, so try and find something that fits your lifestyle.
Actions to do from here:
Instead of skipping the rbeakfast I’d actually advise that you should try and remove that amount of calories from across the day, rather than removing a whole meal. Avoiding a 600 calorie breakfast would be the exact same thing as removing 200 calories from each main meal across the day, it’s just whetehr you have somethnig in your stoamch or not…
I do believe it’s important to start the day with some base of energy though just for the ability to do your job and actually give your brain some brain food. So here’s what I’d ALWAYS coach clients to do.
- Eat consistent calories daily – 2000, 3000, 1800. The number is unique to you and it’s up to you to experiement, based on your training and lfiestyle circumsatnces. This is a trial and error game.
- Eat this number daily, I said it again, eat this number of calories every day, even when you don’t workout. Allow your emtabolism to learn your daily intake.
- Adjust at the end of the week. How hungry were you on a scale of 1-5? How well did you sleep? How did youur workours feel? Depending on how these answers fit you, you need to adjust to drive your goals. When you find a predictable hunger level you’re about at maintenance calories.
- Not hungry, wait to see if your hunger develops next week? Still not? Drop 10g carbs or 40 calories to seek it out.
- Really hungry? Add 40 calories or 10g carbs daily to try nd fill you up a bit more. STILL hungry next week, adjsut again, your metabolism is probably faster than you think.
- Get REALLY self aware. Identify patterns in your diet and assess how those work for you. Have you noticed you have a big breakfast compared to other meals? Maybe balance the calories across your daily meals?
- The big pre-cursor. Track your damn food. You need to track your food if you have any intention of driving health and fitness goals the way you want to. If you’re not tracking you’re most likely just stabbing in the dark and not FULLY clued up in how well you’re doing.
It may just be a few bulletpoints but this is what I do with every single client. Tracking is the number one way for me to assess someone’s nutrition and it should be your eway to if you put importance on your goals.
There’s nothing sexy or glamourous when it comes to dieting. Doing it this way it allows you to incoirporate treats in your diet but it also depends on how well you are at being consistent and having the willpower to eat a specific amount daily.
There’s no tricks. There’s no intentional fasting, there’s no ‘off days’ there’s no cheat days unless we actually structure an official calorie increase for one day in there. There’s no juice diet. There’s no diet pill. There’s no bullshit.
It’s just you and the amount you eat and it’s either currently working for you or it’s not.
Where do you stand?
Get in touch if you want some help!!
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