Unfortunately we see loads of people work really hard to get in great shape. Only to gain it all back.
In today’s post I want to share a few things that – if fat loss is your goal – will help you avoid a few common mistakes.
And if you have fallen victim to the gradual weight gain, know you’re not alone. I’ve got a few tips to help you get back on track too.
2 biggest reason for this comes down to approach and priorities.
If the approach was one that wasn’t sustainable then at some point the honeymoon period is going to come to an end. Things get hard. Or boring. You go back to ‘normal’. Forgetting that the result of normal is two stone heavier than you’d like to be.
The second reason is a change in priorities. Life’s dynamic. And what was important last year (losing weight and getting back in shape) may have taken a back seat to looking after elderly parents, working flat out on a new project at work or 101 other important things that take your time and energy.
This change in priorities leaves less time for you and your health and fitness goals.
The reality is that a change in priorities means you just kinda need to ride it out. You can’t focus on a load of things all at once. So there are times when your health and fitness is going to need to take a back seat.
But when it’s been long enough and you’re ready to get back on it here’s a few mistakes to avoid and tips around how to approach it for long term weight loss success.
It’s easy to skimp on eating throughout the day. Especially if you’re busy at work. The tendency is to eat a larger than life meal at the end of the day, perhaps followed by dessert to sate your appetite. Surely you’ve still only eaten the same total amount of food?
Problem with this approach is that when you have long periods without eating your body produces more fat storing and hunger hormones such as ghrelin. This means when you finally get to that evening meal you’ll need far more to feel satisfied. And worse still, your body will be geared up to store more of the food you eat.
Here’s a better approach
Eat 3-4 similar sized ‘meals’ through the day. You’ll not only keep on top of your hunger and avoid overeating later on. You’ll be keeping your hormones geared up towards fat burning, rather than fat storing.
In days gone by my wife Lyz and I would have similar portion sizes. It was only fair, right? Except one of us was gradually gaining weight. The moment Lyz started asking for ‘me sized meals’ we realised that – in reality – she probably only needed half of what I ate (male, active lifestyle, walks >10’000 steps/day).
It didn’t matter that the meals were heathy, nutritious food. The fact was that her body just didn’t need as much food as mine. And as a result would end up storing the excess.
Here’s a better approach
Serve up ‘me sized meals’. Easiest way to do this is use your palm to gauge how much protein (meat, fish, eggs etc) to have, and use a fist for measuring fruits and veggie servings.
Watch out for restaurants where you’ll get served up the same portion size as someone potentially twice your size.
This one’s a common approach; Diet hard through the week but let loose at the weekend.
When you been ‘good’ all week you feel like you deserve it. Perhaps even need it. Problem is all the effort you put in through the week is easily undone by a weekend of reckless abandon.
Being strict through the week is – at best – damage limitation. You’re unlikely to see significant changes to your weight, health or fitness. It’s more likely you’re slowing the weight gain process. Which ideal if that’s what you’re looking for.
But if you’re actively looking to see progress…
Here’s a better approach;
Choose habits you can do each day, even on the weekend. Something like drinking 2l of water, or sticking to using carbs as a condiment. This kind of approach helps you create a new rulebook for your eating. One that’s sustainable, and therefore leads to long term changes.
We let ourselves get away with all manor of things. And because there’s no one to answer to other than ourselves we put stuff off. We tell ourselves stories like it’s only this once”. And it’s true – once in a while won’t cause a problem. But if the weight is creeping back on chances are we’re not keeping track. So once in while becomes often. And often becomes a habit.
Here’s a better approach;
Have someone else to check in with. It’ll make sticking to your goals more likely.
Accountability works best when you know in advance that you’re going to be checking in. At DF we book monthly progress reviews to make sure things are going okay. If things are going well great. We use the time to talk about what needs to happen to keep things on track.
If things aren’t going so well great. We talk about what we can adjust to move forwards. Either way regular planned accountability is vital to your long term success.
If you’ve lost your way a little and want to get the weight loss or fitness back on track the quickest and most effective thing you can do is… wait for it.. ask for help!
If you’d like to get things moving back in the right direction give us a call on 07766 808553 for a quick chat or Request a complimentary consultation (worth £75).