The 100% Truth on LONG TERM "DIETING"
Most people are not only 5-10 pounds away from their goal weight. Most people have never stepped foot in a gym. Most people have never known what it is like to be consistent with some type of fitness training and a healthy eating lifestyle.
I consider long term dieting to be anything longer than 16 weeks in duration. Sadly, the truth is that it is really hard to stay consistent and diligent with all training and nutrition when trying to lose weight long term. When a person has 40 or more pounds to lose, it can become mentally draining each day. I have personally coached many clients long term throughout their weight loss journey. Some, even 100+ pounds in 6-8 months. I typically see the same 5 pitfalls or sticking points when it comes to losing weight!
Let me explain...
It all comes down to guidance. The person that is dieting needs to have the right sources of information to ensure that each day, success is one step closer. Here are the problems that I see.
1. People fail to realize that it is not a "diet."
When someone hears the word diet, the first thing that pops into their head is this. "I can only eat "healthy" food." This tends to become a problem because will power is not only involved, but over time it is depleted. In your head it registers as short term, or something that you need to get through. Not only does this revert back to old ways of eating, but it also puts the person in a mindset where they are being restricted. Natural instinct is to rebel and want the "unhealthy food" even more.
The problem isn't even healthy vs unhealthy. It is more a game of, "Does this food fit into my daily macro-nutrient intake?" You see, when a person gains knowledge and understands how to track their macros (protein, carbs, and fat grams for the day) it makes it so much easier to fit in the favorite foods that you love. The key is to understand portion size, and the calories that that food is made up of.
2. People have no idea how to track their daily macro intake.
The reason so many people fall off of their diet is because most do not understand that all food, "healthy" or "unhealthy" is made up of macro-nutrients.
Here is my past blog explaining if you need to track macros, calories, or both.
Essentially, when you track macros, you are also tracking calories. 1 gram of protein has 4 calories, 1 gram of carbs has 4 calories, and 1 gram of fat has 9 calories.
Gaining knowledge of nutrition labels and your TDEE
will lead you in the right direction so you can set your macro-nutrient amount for each day.
No matter what kind of food it is, you can still allow it in your meals for the day, if your macros allow it. Set up your meals for the day so occasionally you can enjoy your favorite foods by making room for it in your numbers.
3. Most do not understand what a "reverse diet" is.
When a person is in a calorie deficit and is losing weight for a number of weeks in a row, eventually a weight loss plateau will come.
The fat burning hormone called leptin becomes depleted over time and needs to be restored. For some people, a weight loss plateau comes within the first couple months. For others, it is much later down the road of weight loss. Eventually it is inevitable for everyone.
The key to get around this is the reverse diet. A reverse diet is when a person takes a period of 1-3 weeks and slowly ramps up their calories until they are in a slight caloric surplus. A calorie surplus is when a person is consuming more calories than they are burning. This causes weight gain.
The goal with the reverse diet is to give the body a break from constantly being in a deficit. This will allow the metabolism to come back up and leptin to be restored. After a period of time when calories are increased, the body now knows that levels are restored and the restriction of calories can go back in place.
This is key for everyone to learn.
4. Documented training is necessary to make progress.
Men and women often desire a toned muscular frame.
This requires strength training but more importantly it requires progressive overload training. This means that each week you are going into the gym with a plan and gym routine set up for you to make STRENGTH GAINS each week. Strength is a bi-product of muscle. The stronger you become, the bigger your muscles will grow.
The key is to always look for ways to progress. The ways of progression is through added weight, added sets or reps at a given weight, or shorter rest periods. Never stay at the same fitness level. Look for ways to progress.
Strength levels need to be documented on all levels. The exact exercise, weight used, sets and reps hit, and rest periods should all be documented. If you do not record, how do you know what to improve on the next week?
5. People fail to get mentally dialed in for the process.
Long term dieting to achieve your goal body fat is hard work. No doubt about it. Mentally you need to get over that fact that eventually you will be slightly hungry. Think about it. Your body is restricting calories and pulling extra calories from stored body fat or physical body tissue. This is not always a COMFORTABLE process.
There is no way around this either. Getting to a lower body fat takes a strong and resilient mind. The goal is to add volume to meals through lean meats and lots of green veggies that are low in calories to keep you satisfied through the day.
For some people the hunger comes at a week or two into the diet, and others not till many weeks or even months later. It is a process and it all depends how much fat you have to lose in the first place.
Regardless, you need to accept that it is a process and one that you are willing to accept and take on!
For my full video going even deeper on this topic check out my link below!