You want to lose weight, so you cut calories and start exercising more. Seems logical, right? If we get down to the science, 3,500 calories = 1 lb. of fat. So do that math. . . eat 250 calories less each day, and burn 250 more calories with exercise and in 7 days you will lose a pound, right? Well, it’s not that simple, and here’s why. . .
Our bodies aren’t science experiments or machines. We all know that on the outside we are all completely different, but for some reason, when it comes to health, fitness and fat loss we tend to treat the inside of our bodies as though we’re all the same. We’re told if we do the Mediterranean Diet, Paleo Diet, or follow a specific set of rules, we’ll get specific results. We look through social media channels searching for “before” and “after” photos and choose our diets based upon other people’s results. We see someone else who has lost weight and we ask them, “What did you do? You look great! I need to do that too!”
While finding motivation from others is great, and looking for a “cookie-cutter” approach can be a good start, it’s not realistic for long-term success. You can only follow rules for so long, and your body is going to respond completely different than another person doing the same diet!
Do you have to reach a caloric deficit to lose fat? Yes! But calories and macros aren’t all that matter. If you follow the perfect macro/calorie plan, but you’re starving everyday, or you have low energy, then you’re relying on will-power to get through. At some point, will-power runs out! When this happens, you’ll revert back to old habits or go into a complete binge cycle. When this happens, you end up gaining more weight back than when you started. Here’s the picture most people don’t show you. . . the “after” and “after” picture! The picture that shows them fatter than before they started a program. Many of you can probably relate!
Until you realize that you have to become an EXPERT in YOUR body, your results will always be short-term! You may start a diet or program that produces results, but eventually you’ll be back to the drawing board. . . looking for another diet to shed the weight over-and-over again. Eventually your life is revolving around weight loss and it starts to control you!
Sit back and think. . . “How many diets have I actually done in my lifetime?” For many of you it’s probably dozens! So next time you reach for the latest, greatest diet trend that someone else tells you is absolutely amazing, remember, if it’s a “cookie-cutter” program like most are, chances are even if you get results, you’ll likely end up back to where you started, or worse, you’ll gain more.
Here are 3 things you can do to start becoming an EXPERT, and get a PhD in YOUR BODY:
- Log your meals and biofeedback signals between meals- If you eat a bagel with cream cheese in the morning and find that you have a crash in energy and increased cravings around 10am, you need to re-think your breakfast! Foods should satisfy hunger and stabilize cravings, while providing you with sustainable energy!
- Learn your “Trigger Foods”- If you open up a jar of peanut butter, do you end up eating 3 spoonfuls? Or if you open a bag of trail mix or chips, before you know it, you’ve eaten the entire bag? Foods like this would be considered your “trigger foods.” Learning how to handle these foods is crucial for you to sustain long term success with fat loss.
- Learn your “Buffer Foods”- If drinking a glass of wine at night keeps you from eating the house down, then wine is a “buffer food” for you. Or if having a Hershey’s Kiss everyday keeps you from bingeing on a bag of them on Friday because you’ve been restrictive all week, then Hershey’s Kisses are a “buffer food.” Incorporating these foods in your daily or weekly diet is imperative to your long-term success!
Start the practice of listening to your body. . . you’ll be amazed what you can learn! Your body gives signals all the time, you just need to listen and learn and respond accordingly! If you start being more mindful of your bodies, you can become an EXPERT and finally unlock the “diet” that is your own and unique to only you and not anyone else! That’s the only “diet” that will ever truly work!