If you’ve been following my articles for a while now you’ll probably notice how much I rant and rave about low calorie diets and how, more often than not, they’re the root cause of why a lot of people can’t hold the weight off that they lost.
But there’s also a lot of frustration circulating around not being able to keep the weight off too.
You may be frustrated with the repetitive cycle of smashing a really healthy diet only to find it was way too restrictive and the weight creep back on the minute you have a slight binge.
At this point you may be frustrated with the lack of body progress completely. Potentially years of yo-yo dieting like this will frustrate many, going year to year not really changing their physique and doing the exact thing they did last year, making net zero progress.
But one of the key frustrations I hear is that a lot of you get put off by the thought that a life changing physique or body requires a heavily restricted diet, planned and stuck to like a strict book of rules.
Hell, by this time you maybe even thinking that the body you want will never be attainable whilst eating what you want at times.
I’m here to denounce those frustrations and fears and turn it on it’s head. You CAN have the body you want with flexible dieting, it will require consistency, hard work and patience but that doesn’t equal restricting your diet in any means. In fact it often commonly requires the opposite, increasing the amount of food you eat over time but that’s a story for another section.
I’ve spoken to a number of clients and a number of members of the public with regards to keeping the weight off. Some of the common desires were:
- You want to eat what you want yet lose weight consistently.
- You want to start seeing progress TODAY.
- and you actually want to understand nutrition better as a whole…
Yet each individual spoken to said one common thing: You want to hold your weight off and your goal physique forever and when necessary apply what you know in order to drive weight loss if need be. It comes down to knowing what you actually need yourself!
It’s no surprise then, if we could teach you a set of guidelines to drive weight loss or aid your nutritional education that you can apply whenever you feel like it this would aid a lot of people. Instead, every individual is unique and has vastly different nutritional requirements to the next person, so one set of guidelines is bound to not work for the other. There is NO singular diet that works for everyone, repeat that again please. So for that reason I’m going to highlight 3 reasons I KNOW why you’re not making progress wtih weight loss, or why you can’t keep your weight off. Some hard truths incoming:
1: You’re diet is WAY too restrictive.
We’ve all been there, we’ve all done it. You decide to eat one rice crispie for breakfast, a ryvita with air for lunch and water for dinner, the classic restriction of calories in order to lose weight 🙂 Now, I’m trying to be funny there but it highlights how easy it is to restrict calories by cutting out foods. You’re right to do so though, the only time you lose weight is when you are in a calorie deficit, so a reduction in calories is often the right thing to do – you got that right!
Sadly it’s the way the nation goes about it. If cutting 100 calories works why not cut 500, 1000, more? It’s logical, if you want to drive faster weight loss restrict your calories more. Again you’re correct, that’s how we implement faster weight loss. From a nutrition coach perspective however we would implement the drop in calories controlled over time or a calculated big decrease. From someone who doesn’t know how their body works it’s often not calculated or consistent which results in drastic reductions and inconsistent intakes.
Such a drastic decrease in calories may work for one or two weeks as water leaves the body as body carbohydrates get expended, and possibly targeting some good fat loss for a couple of weeks too. But after two weeks of heavy dieting your energy levels will plummit and metabolic adaptation starts to occur. Hormone outpout get’s lowered in order to match the low energy supply and affects a multitude of physical and mental processes, often slowing down fat loss processes in order to reserve energy.
With a supressed hormone output comes an unhealthy environment in your body when paired with other stressors like training, increasing cortisol (stress hormone) and altering your physiology on a deeper level. Ultimately your huge calorie deifict suddenly puts a big toll on your physical and mental welbeing often relapsing to junk food as a source of energy. When your body is used to such a low amount of calories and it’s suddenly faced with a surplus in calories the only reaction is to store as much energy as possible as fat reserve and this starts the cycle of massively restricting your calories, experiencing weight loss and putting all your weight back on as a result of binging or increasing your calorie intake soon after.
Instead, reduce your calories over time slowly. You NEED to track your calories using an app. Make weekly small adjustments to allow your body to react to the adjustments you’re making. Often as a coach I’ll never make a reduction more than 10% of your current intake, and often reduce by 5% a week or fortnight, or even a flat 100 calories every couple of weeks.
When you make your diet less restrictive you mitigate the chances that you massively crave treats to helo with energy levels.And in fact the more patient you can make your weight loss journey it often ends up becoming much more permanent.
2: You’re too impatient.
This point pretty much ties up with the fact your diet is too restrictive, as the whole reason you’re massively restricting your diet is probably because you want progress NOW. The truth is this process needs to be patient if you want it to be permanent. We’ve discussed that sitting in a calorie deficit is the key to weight loss, and we’ve discussed what happens if we’re too restrictive but you need to account for your body and the daily routines you put it through. If you restrict your calories you’re choosing to restrict your energy and the amount of energ yyou have available for all your daily routines.
You’ve seen your loved one or close friend hangry right? Violent! 🙂 Truth is our body’s are fine-tuned machines, adapting to every input we put on it and when you start playing with the energy systems and your nutrition you end up dictating your daily functions. You’re body needs time to adapt to increases or decreases in calories and the only weay round this is patience.
Here’s some food for thought. Me and the girlfriend booked a holiday for September, CAN’T WAIT. I’ve just gone through a cycle of building muscle over the winter and now losing my fat for summer. I’ve managed to lose 2kg of fat since start of March simply by sitting in a calorie deficit of 100 calories a day. I’ve calculated my calorie baseline and monitored my weight and am losing approximately 0.1-0.2kg a week. This is my patient progress and is completely evident in my physique just from sitting in a 100 calorie defiict and driving weight loss for 3 months.
Now I’m going to build some muscle June and July and come August and September drive the fat loss exactly like I’ve just done. IT’s easy when you’re patient and the truth is if you get it right or even just consistent, you’re barely hungry outside of your regular eating habits.
Choose the patient route if you want a more permanent result. Patience works, you just got to learn that this is a journey and build your education and skills along the journey!
3: You need to develop consistency.
I’m sorry if this doesn’t apply to you but I’m not pulling any punches. But if you suffer from yo-yo dieting and putting the weight back on afterwards I’m going to take a punt and say you’re not the most consistent person when it comes to your food (or alcohol?) intake.
Truth is I’m sitting on a golden ticket. I HATE drinking. In fact it flat out makes me ill after one pint and physically affects me horribly, I just avoid it completely but maybe every 6 months I have a couple of drinks, this isn’t even a lie. I had two strongbow dark fruit two nights ago for the first time since december, and felt physically sick the next day. My food intake however is SO consistent. I have the same macros every day, the same calories and nearly the same lunch and dinners… Truth is this works for me. I don’t mind the same lunch. I also don’t mind the same dinner four nights in a row. I’ve got the end goal in mind and can switch into that and go hard. It’s really no surprise i’m so consistent, I’ve removed as many variables as possible by choice of lifestyle (drinking) and getting go to choices in food for simplicity.
This is ok for me, but you’re probably asking how to get that consistency. For a start you need to track your food intake. If you’re anyone who seriously has an end-goal in mind about a specific body goal or weight goal you’re setting yourself up to fail if you’re not even tracking your food.
It pretty much is the pre-requisite to a health and fitness goal. If you have no idea of the true amount of calories you’re eating every day, then how can you dictate your weight loss, at least to an efficient manner like we’re discussing. If you know your weight but don’t have a clue about your daily calorie intake then how can you react to try and lose weight. You’re essentially stabbing in the dark, guessing and reacting to your emotions and results instead of being proactive about it and building the process.
It’s not an easy journey, if it were so easy everyone on this planet would be slim or their ideal body goal but the truth is we’re a country in an obesity epidemic and not enough people understand what they need to do to improve their nutrition. OFten the only thing you do need is self awareness though. Tracking your food is literally black and white. It’s on paper. As long as you’re being honest with what you’re recording you know where you’re gonig wrong. That innocent alcohol drink a couple nights a week may have soon escalated to a drink a night without you realising, offering zero nutritional value and potentially taking away from your scope for more nutrious food.
You can easily identify the patterns in your lifestyle that may be affecting your diet and goals too. Perhaps that weekly meal out isn’t assisting you like you thought, or the lunch time pack of custard cremes you found in the office has just used a quarter of your daily calories. All potential pit falls. But if you’re not tracking how can you be 100% sure you’re being consistent, and if you’re not being consistent then a simple deficit of 100 calroeis a day could very well be out of reach when all that takes is reaching for 2 digestive biscuits.
Don’t get me wrong, the issue isn’t the treats or the biscuits. It’s the UNKWOWING. The reason why you can’t keep your weight off could be truly because you have no way of staying consistent. At the end of the day you may not realise the current impact your diet is having until you get consistent every day and start tracking in the first place.
We have just a couple of spots left from the 5 to get involed i our 12 week weight loss nutrition transformation program.
Leave me your email above for more info! 🙂
So those are 3 tips I genuinely believe why you might not be making progress with your weight loss, or even just experience the weight creeping back on after a heavy diet. Don’t restrict yourself, I truly believe it comes from a lack of patience and at the end of the day, you’re playing with nutrition and your body, it’s important to be healthy and give your body what it needs in order to function at it’s best. At the end of the day you have a responsibility to yourself and potentially your job and your future, so make sure you’re giving your body what it needs to ensure consistency in all aspects of your life.
Thanks for listening in to me chime on about restrciting calories but I just want to drill that point home the most.
The best progress was always made with consistency and as long as you keep showing up daily and being consistent, even in a small calorie deifcit, you’ll see results more prominent than the person not showing up, and especially the person in a huge deficit.
Keep grinding team, hope you’re all well.