SO many people come to me with a single goal, to lose weight. Not lose fat, gain muscle, feel better, live longer...just one, 'simple', one tops all else goal of 'lose weight'.
Why I no longer work with these people?
Many reasons actually, but one mainly being that in order to lose weight, you need to fuel your body properly FIRST. Unfortunately, many of the people w/this mindset of a dire need to lose weight, are not mentally or emotionally prepared to do the work they need to in order to actually lose that weight in a safe & sustainable way. As a health professional, I refuse to simply give people what they want when I know it won't benefit them in the long run.
So, here's the scoop! Before you can lose weight, you have several factors to look at. Some of those being, sleep quality, food quality, overall activity levels (this does not mean the 1 hour of workouts 4-6x/wk you do), stress management and finally, food quantity. Notice, quantity is last on my list. If we don't focus on all of the above, we have no right to be looking at portion sizes and food quantities, because the others significantly impact your body's ability to hold, use, burn the fuel you're consuming.
For times sake, lets say all of the above boxes are checked, you're crushing sleep, you ensure you're active outside of your 9-5 desk job, you're eating 80% whole foods...now we can look at how much you're consuming! Roughly, a female can easily eat 1800 cals (and more!) and should be to ensure proper hormone function and balance. A male even more than that! You read that right, these template and calculators spitting out 1500 and less cals for you are. not. it. friends!
How I work with clients...
First, I'd work with you to slowly increase your overall intake and get you to a point that will serve your body well! Once there, we need to let your body know it's safe, going to be fed, a famine is not coming and you're not going to starve! This takes weeks, even months depending on how long you have been restricting food from your body prior. This is where an experienced professional will be able to tune in to your body & listen to the cues it's providing and hear what it's saying.
When appropriate, the 'cut' aka diet can finally begin. But, don't get too excited to cut down that daily calorie #, a cut should safely only be done from 4-8 wks max! ((All depending on the person, there are no cookie cutter plans or templates that simply work for everyone, we are all beautifully made so intrinsically different and thus need to be treated as such!)) Then back to that maintenance # you go. This allows your body to again ensure it's safe and going to be fed. So, you see, losing weight the right way, is guaranteed to take time. You've heard it before, I'll say it again...you didn't put on that 30 lbs in a month, it's not coming off in a month.
If you're serious about changing your weight, hopefully for the sole purpose of improving your health, you should consider doing it in a healthy and sustainable way. I'd be skeptical of any coach willing to cut cals immediately and same goes for any diet that promotes the same. Invest in yourself and take the time to help your body vs. harming it even more.
What's the difference?! Well, lets just talk about mind set for minute!
When we were younger and considered cheating on a test, did we think of it as something we enjoy? How about deserve? How about is needed? Probably not! Labeling and just thinking of your refeed day as cheating is already setting yourself up for a negative mindset and feelings of doing something wrong.
I know that I have tried almost every kind of nutritional plan out there...and almost all of them resulted in me having 'cheat meals' or days which always left me feeling so guilty or discouraged. Even when it was programmed into the plan. I could never just have one cheat meal and feel ok about it because I was so terrified I was cheating and simply doing something wrong. This is the exact reason why so many nutritional plans also didn't work for me. I would literally become so stressed out about what I was or wasn't eating. I would get frustrated when I couldn't enjoy my favorite restaurant or celebrate with friends and family and realistically, down right crabby! Then, I would give up.
It wasn't until just recently that I discovered that when we are restricting our diets for weight loss, performance, maybe just overall health...that we physically need to replace certain things back into our diet. Without getting all scientific on ya, to basically increase our levels of certain nutrients that play such an important role in the conducting's of our bodies. Think of it as a re-set. Our bodies probably don't need that huge plate of delicious pasta with white sauce, hearty craft brew or giant bowl of ice cream, but! Enjoy that, and move on! It'll be ok!
Point is, when we're being mindful of what goes in our mouths, we also have to remember to not be so incredibly hard on ourselves. This world and amazing people in it have created some utterly delicious foods and drinks that likely aren't always that great for us nutritionally. That does not mean we can not have them ever! It means maybe sparingly, which gives us the opportunity to really enjoy them. So don't crush that thinking that you're cheating. Take your refeed day....fuel your body. Make smart decisions and watch portions so you're not going completely overboard, but relax guys. Don't make it harder on yourself!
Who's ready for a good refeed day?!
Do you ever have a great idea in mind...just to have it shut down by the ones you share it with? Does it totally crush you? Well, it does me and did! I shed some tears, slept on it, did probably way too much thinking and stewing as to why things happened the way they did. Then! I woke up and thought, no, I'm doing this! No matter what and if someone doesn't support me, that is ok! That is their choice and I need to allow them that with understanding and compassion.
The old me would have let this bring me down, make my mind race, and bring in a ton of negative thoughts. Would have made me doubt myself and think 'why would I even think I could do that?' Now, I allowed myself that little bit of time and then got up, brushed myself off and moved forward! I have that mind set of determination! I put all the doubts, voices in my head telling me I can't or shouldn't, out of my head! I decided to make a choice to keep pushing and keep moving forward!
Who else is just like me and lets their mind spin out of control in certain situations? We sit and think why people looked at you a certain way and assume they must hate you! We rewind what we wrote or said about 100 times before we'll let it go. We over analyze pretty much EVERYTHING! I'm there with ya! But, I have learned this is in fact a choice. And some times, so that I can sleep at night, I need to just let it go. Sometimes I'll write out what I really want to say to someone, sometimes I'll be a weirdo and talk out loud, yes to myself, on what I'm really thinking. I just need to have my moment and then just let it be...and not let it change what I'm doing or planning to do!
If it's important to you, keep your determination! Push those doubts out of your mind! You got this!