Why can’t I lose weight and keep it off?
We’ve all been there- the yo-yo dieting, jog it off June, this time for good! The problem is we follow the same patterns with a secret wish to have a different out come (losing weight). As a NASM certified personal trainer (who is currently completing a weight loss certification) I am going to let you in on a secret that no one wants to hear…you need to be vigilant forever! Yes, forever!
Is this girl insane?
Someone once told me that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different result. So, by that definition- yes, I’m insane! But hopefully, I’m making a lifetime change and I’m hoping you will do it with me!
How does it work?
There are some basic concepts that I want to review in order to lose weight. First of all, most diets work if you stick to them- yes, if you stick to them you will lose weight. The problem is very few are lifestyle changes. Which means, very few achieve the goal of lifetime weight loss. I encourage you to spend a week writing down all of the foods you eat in myfitnesspal (or another food tracking app). With this information in hand you can assess:
- What foods you like,
- What foods you do not like
- How much you typically eat, and
- Most Importantly- How/Where you can make changes.
Do Not eliminate foods that you love!
I don’t care if its a dunkin’ donut or chocolate cake that you love- you must not eliminate it. We all get joy from food. We just need to figure out how to successfully incorporate those foods into a reasonable weekly menu.
Do Not think of this as a diet.
The rigidity of a diet and the focus on a single nutrient (i.e. eat only proteins vs. eliminating carbohydrates) or the purchase of special diet foods will lead to failure! Diets promising rapid results with little effort will also lead to failure.
- Account for your personal tastes and preferences,
- Include activity, and
- Most importantly effectuate a behavioral change process.
Today you hopefully have the initial enthusiasm that motivates someone to get started and start losing weight. Maybe you are doing something that isn’t working, maybe you’ve hit a plateau or maybe your doctor is telling you to lose weight.
Whatever your reasoning, the next step is to create a few sample menus and figure out how these work within your macro goals (more on this in later articles). You need to start by tracking protein, calories, fat and carbohydrates. Myfitnesspal is a great free app to help you to do this. It’s owned by underarmor and is an incredible weight management tool.
You must fight psychological reactance
What is psychological reactance? NASM defines it as “a phenomenon defining behavioral response that occurs when regulations (i.e.diet) threaten or eliminate specific behavioral freedoms. In other words, if you feel your freedom of choice is being taken away (no more cookie or ice cream for example) that undesirable behavior becomes more appealing. This causes a person to fear losing choices and recapture that threatened parameter. This is what leads to “yo-yo dieting”.
The take away
For this week- let’s start with some baby steps:
- Add myfitnesspal app to your phone or computer
- Track everything you eat
- Come up with a list of the top foods you love and cannot live without
- Create 3 sample breakfast, 3 sample lunches and 3 sample dinners (oh yeah, and include some snacks too) and (by playing on the app) create a few sample days that fall within the guidelines for your weight loss journey
- Meal prep!!! Make sure you have those foods handy. Eating a lunch that you love everyday helps eliminate the chance of choosing something off your plan because its there!
Remember, when you fail to plan, you plan to fail!
You can do this for little or no cost (Yes, it can be done for FREE)
I am available for private consultation but promise that if you follow my weight loss series we can do this together (for free!). Together we can make this dream a reality.
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products that I link to and recommend them because they are companies and products that I have found helpful and trustworthy.