People say it every year, they are going to make a change and lose weight. A staggering 80% of people who start a ‘diet’ fail at it – and by failing I mean fail to reach a target weight or body composition and more importantly fail to maintain their weight for a period of more than 12 months.
But what is really stopping them?
There are certainly plenty of tools out there to help, but often people spend a lot of unnecessary money on fitness DVD’s, weight-loss groups and diet books. There are hundreds of ‘diet books’ that typically have one-size fits all approach. They don’t take into account individuals’ physiology, psychology, hormones, intolerances, goals, lifestyles and dietary preferences. A diet that may work for one person, might not work for another. So the way I see it is that its not 80% of people failing their diets – its 80% of diets failing people.
To give this some context, I have seen many clients achieve success, some by utilizing the principles of eating low glycemic index foods, some by using carb cycling, carb restriction, calorie counting and Intermittent fasting, the list goes on. BUT I have never implemented a plan that has worked the same way for every single client. We know that the law of Thermodynamics is king – total calorie intake vs. output is ultimately what matters, but the methods of success I’ve used with clients to achieve that differ massively…
So what is the answer?
Well it really is true that not one diet fits all. The most effective way to lose weight is to consult with a weight loss specialist or qualified Trainer in order to look at the bigger picture. So many factors can affect your fat loss journey and ultimately what kind of eating pattern and nutritional strategy you should employ (I hate the word diet – its got the word ‘die’ in it which can’t be a good thing).
However, to give you a taster (no pun intended) and get you started, there are three key elements to ANY good, balanced, healthy eating plan:
1. Cut calories sensibly– You should never have to feel hungry if you are eating the right balance of food groups. You should be creating a calorie deficit that is sustainable without it affecting energy levels and cognitive function. Crash diets may work to strip weight off in a short amount of time, but they are not maintainable and can actually be very dangerous. Sensible food plans ensure that you are able to maintain it long-term, by making sure you never go hungry.
2. Eat enough protein– This will help to ensure that the majority of the weight that you do lose comes from body fat, instead of muscle. Too many people look to the scales as a measure of success. If you cut protein too much as part of your calorie deficit you could still see the numbers on the scales go down – but I can almost guarantee it’ll be muscle you’re losing and not fat. If you lose muscle at the expense of fat, it will reduce your muscle tone, strength and possibly have an affect on bone density as well as cutting the number of calories your body actually burns in a day at rest, slowing the progress further still!
3. Accountability– Any eating plan is no good if you can’t stick to it long term and make it work for your lifestyle. Tracking what you eat is so important as it forces you to really look at the number of calories you are putting into your body. You can read more on the benefits of tracking here!
So in summary, my advice would be to think twice before you embark on a diet that promises amazing results within days. There truly is NO healthy quick fix diet. You need to:
1. Make some simple lifestyle changes – such as having a regular bedtime and wake time.
2. Introduce healthy eating habits that suit your lifestyle, physiology and psychology.
3. Embark on a tailored exercise program bespoke to you and your goals.
4. STICK at it!!! Rome wasn’t built in a day. Remember – consistent actions bring consistent results!
Contact me for further information and to see how I can help YOU achieve your New Year goals for a healthier life!