Call me crazy and obsessed but here I am.. at 6am, on a Sunday, writing a blog post because this subject is playing on my mind. Not sure If its because summer is coming about, but I am seeing a lot of people begin dieting right now. A lot of those people are going about it the wrong way. This is the reason I am up writing this right now. I don’t want to see friends, family.. anyone putting them self through a crap fad diet and actually getting fatter in the long run!
So I went to watch Wolf of Wall Street with my boyfriend last week.. What a film! If you don’t like lots of sex, drugs and over the top nudity in a film. Don’t go to watch it! Now this is not a film review.. So for anyone who has seen the film… ‘Sell me this pen‘. Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) is not only fricking hot in this film! He is an awesome sales man. He teaches his employees to be amazing sales people by giving the buyers urgency to have it.. They do not want it.. They need it. Now what ever ‘it’ may be, companies use this strategy to sell their products. Diet companies being one. They target the over weight, vulnerable, self conscious audiences with their fad diets claiming extreme weight loss. ‘Lose 1 stone in 1 week‘ Seriously… If you lose 1 stone in one week your body is going to need help.
So before all you dieters get up in my face and tell me your diet worked. I’m not claiming diets don’t work. A lot of diets work.. In the short term. Do you want short term fat loss? I didn’t think so. This is why a lifestyle change is needed. This is a long term change which results in long term fat loss with out using these crazy diets.
Lets look at how a diet works.. Diets are a reduce in calorie intake which means your energy expenditure is higher than your intake. This causes the body to use the fat stores as a fuel resulting in fat loss. Sounds good right? Well not exactly. By reducing your calorie intake, your slowly reducing your metabolism. This means your body is becoming more efficient, getting use to running off less and less calories. ‘I want to have an efficient metabolism though right’? No. Having an efficient metabolism is bad for fat loss. We want to be able to put more in (more calories) and use less. Pretty much eat more and stay slim.
So you finish your crazy fad diet plan.. Your eating 1000 calories a day, but thats okay because you have lost 2 stone and you can go back to eating normally now… Think again!!! This is where diets suck. You go back to your normal diet of 2000 calories a day and the weight begins to pile back on. This is because your body has become efficient at using the little amount of calories you are giving it. So to maintain your weight you would have to stay eating 1000 calories a day because this is all your body needs. Now eating more than 1000 calories a day means your energy intake would be more than your expenditure causing fat storage. And because you have been depriving your body it is now a fat storing machine. A hungry monster in starvation mode ready to store every extra calorie you give it! Also being restricted from so much food on your diet, your going to go off the rails binging on donuts, chocolate and cake! This is going to cause even more fat gain.
1 month on and you have put on 2.5 stone. Your metabolism is still slow (efficient) which has caused ‘fat over shooting’. Fat over shooting is where your fat levels go passed what they were before you started your diet. This happens because you go back to eating normally and your metabolism doesn’t increase. Your unhappy and ready to start dieting again. So down the calories go… You have that goal weight in mind but this time your going to have to take the calories even lower because your metabolism is slower (more efficient). You reach your goal weight at 800 calories this time. Your body is super efficient at using the fuel your giving it with a really low metabolism. You finish the diet and boom. Hello weight gain … For most people this cycle will continue for most of their lives and they will actually get fatter and fatter over time. This is why a life style change is needed. A long term solution!
Before you break down crying saying your going to be fat forever, I am going to explain to you what you need to do. Now this is just what I have found to work and what has also worked with my clients. Here are some pointers on how to make a lifestyle change with your nutrition and how to get long term results!
- Make changes which are realistic and sustainable! Its all well and good going on a juicing diet for a month but your going to have to eat normally again at some point. Guess what happens when you eat normal food again.. Fat gain!!!
- Learn how to read nutrition labels. There are many foods out there claiming to be healthy. Low fat vanilla yogurt… Check the label and you will see the fat has been removed and replaced with a ton of sugar. Not cool!
- Don’t cut out whole food groups. Its all well and good saying..‘I’m never eating sugar, dairy or wheat again’. Well realistically you will so allow your self everything in moderation.
- Don’t think of foods as good and bad. Moving on from point number 3.. If you make these associations with certain foods as bad it can cause a unhealthy relationship with this food. This means when you do allow your self a small amount of ‘bad’ food it will often lead to a binge as you feel your cheating!
- Eat good fats! Fat does not make you fat so don’t cut out fats. Make sure you get unsaturated fats from sources such as salmon, avocado and nuts. These fats keep your skin hair and nails beautiful while keeping your brain functioning.
- Reduce sugar intake. Sugar spikes blood insulin levels which can cause fat gain. Get carbohydrates from complex carbs e.g. sweet potato, brown rice and oats.
- Get your protein. Protein plays a vital role in muscle growth and recovery so after you have worked your ass off in the gym your body needs protein to recover! Great sources of protein are lean meats, cottage cheese, eggs and protein powders.
- Minerals and vitamins. When people diet they often get deprived from certain minerals and vitamins. Because many people will cut out dairy they end up having low calcium levels. Calcium plays a vital role in bone and muscle health. You may need to supplement with a multivitamin to maintain levels in the body. Keeping your veggie and fruit intake up will also help with this.
- Make sure your diet is balanced. Its all well and good eating healthy foods but make sure your eating enough of each food type. Macros calculators such as IIFYM can be used to find out how much of everything you need to be eating.. Everyone is different though so be careful of these generic calculators. They are good to use as a rough guide.
- Enjoy your food! Finally make sure you enjoy your food. You will not stick to anything if your food tastes like crap. Its not all about eating plain chicken, rice and broccoli every meal. Do your research for healthy new recipe ideas. Keep mixing it up and try new foods. For this to work it is essential what you are eating tastes good.
If you want to know more about the science behind all this. Watch Lane Nortons video on ‘Is Your Weight Loss Diet Making You Fatter?‘. He is an extremely intelligent guy from the USA and who is fricking awesome! He knows his stuff and you should defiantly make time to watch some of his videos. He has taught me most of what I know about nutrition and dieting!
Please use my tips and advice to help you make your first step to a lifestyle change. Its not easy which is why people like my self are there to offer nutrition plans.
Everyone is different so a nutrition plan made specifically for an individual can work very well for long term fat loss. A nutrition plan would involve sustainable changes in the individuals diet with controlled calorie restriction followed by a reverse diet to increase metabolic capacity. This should be done with the help of a nutritional advisor or personal trainer like my self to ensure the correct method is used for you to maintain optimal health and maximal fat loss!
Be Healthy and Be Happy 😀