When we are faced with the challenge of learning or doing something new it’s a natural reaction to freak out. New stuff can really suck.
It can be super hard and it can feel like there’s no way you are going to add it into your day.
But the shiny newness is often appealing enough to at least grab your attention for a second right? Give you hope that maybe, just maybe you could do it?
That ray of light BEFORE the reality that anything worth doing takes your energy and attention?
Energy and attention we all need to be very selective of where we allocate.
So then.. instead of grabbing the shiny newness by the horns and full blown going for it… we turn to what we know.
In the weight loss game? If you are doing what ‘worked’ before for the 10th time? It didn’t actually work.
Sure you may have lost some weight for a bit. But anything that doesn’t actively work to change your lifestyle habits in a sustainable and healthy way is not something that works.
It’s a bandaid at best, and it can lead to some pretty crappy side effects on the worse end.
When we’ve truly adopted a healthy lifestyle and made it a part of who we are – there’s never a need to ‘try again’, because you’ve taken the time to really understand and identify with the changes you need to make to different aspects of your life and it becomes what you do and who you are.
The problem with many approaches to weight loss, is that you can never make a ‘shake’ or meal replacement a part of your identity, you can never make severe calorie restriction just ‘what you do’, and you can’t make one grocery list and a recipe book ‘who you are’.
These are quick fixes, they are temporary, and ultimately they are self-defeating. How many times do you need to fail with a quick fix before you think that your health and fitness goals are simply unobtainable for you?
It has taken you a long time to develop the habits you have – your whole life in fact. And if you’re leaving your future in the hands of calorie restriction, shakes, pills, or detoxes that would look bleak to anyone.
The truth is that it takes time to develop the right habits that not only work to improve your body composition, but that work for your current situation too. It takes a commitment from you to learn and an open mind to adopt something new, and mostly?
A desire to want something ELSE more than what you have right now.
Here’s why I don’t recommend some of the stuff I see out there:
Very low calorie restriction or ‘counting points’:
One of the first things I like to teach my clients is the right amounts of what foods to be eating for their body types to have optimal body composition. But it is not a simple caloric restriction with full reign on food. It is an indicator to go by to start to reset our ‘full feelings’ that can easily be disrupted by eating too much processed food for too long.
What do I mean?
Too much processed super tasty food can really effect our bodies feedback loop that is supposed to tell us when we are full. That’s what the people who make the food want. They want you to keep eating and not realize you’re full. So in the beginning I think it’s a good thing to know how much food is truly enough for you. But it’s not just any food – it’s real food, unprocessed, organic if possible, in the right amounts and at the right time of day. What it is not is a calorie number you must stay under with complete disregard to what you are consuming. Setting an extremely low calorie intake of 1100 kcal but allowing your clients to eat ‘chocolate cake’ and ‘pasta’ all day long is literally ridiculous and doesn’t serve your clients at all. It makes them hungry, feeling like crap, guilty, and trying to count on a ‘willpower’ we all know doesn’t exist. It doesn’t help to reset any of the natural food cues we have internally such as fullness and insulin response, and in fact sends your body into a survival mode where it fears food is at a scarcity. What happens then? It slows down your metabolism so that it can stretch every calorie you take in the longest and furthest possible.
So what does this leave you with?
Well at first you’ll loose weight until your body gets smart and adapts to what you are doing to it. After? It’ll take eating less and less to achieve the same results. And if you attempt to go back to back to a ‘normal’ or maintenance calorie intake, you will have damaged your metabolism and find you’ll put on weight way more quickly.
Why not learn to eat in a way that serves you right off the bat? It takes a little more time, but it’s lasting. And if you do the right program? It delves deep into WHY you eat the way you do to help you deal with emotional stuff keeping you from loving your relationship to food.
Good gracious. Programs that just offer expensive shakes are literally the bane of my existence. Why does this sound like a good idea to ANYONE? It’s not even real food? I get that most of these companies have tons of money to market to you and that good marketing works – but why does anyone just want to drink things all the time instead of eat… I always recommend protein shakes post-workout because they are quickly absorbed and beneficial for lean muscle gain.
But let’s look at what the implications of that are:
Quick absorption means you shuttle the contents of your shake into your system asap. Why do you need to do that for, I dunno, breakfast? Wouldn’t make more sense to have something in your stomach which takes some time to digest so you don’t feel hungry again in three seconds? Because here’s the other thing – the way the body works, the second it detects something sweet on your tongue, it’s a signal to send out insulin because your body is anticipating getting some sugar. Insulin is what deals with this sugar so that it doesn’t pile up in your blood stream and kill you. But if you just have a sweet shake that a) doesn’t actually contain sugar and b) doesn’t have any fibre, then you are ingesting something that still requires an insulin response (even thought your shake is ‘sugar free’) so it continues to reek havoc on your insulin sensitivity and has no fibre to slow down the digestion process. To me, there is simply no need for this quick digestion, amplified insulin response, and lack of BULK in our tummies unless we are replenishing post-workout.
So what does this leave you with?
If you are on the shake train, I truly do recommend you get on the food train. They are supplemental, they are plan Bs, but they are not your go-to meal plan. And hey – this is not because I don’t believe in supplements, trust me, I do, but I also believe in the power of proper nutritional habits, learning the whys of how you eat, dealing with the norms you have been accustomed to and adopting a ‘new normal’ that serves your health and your body composition. There is no shake that can do that. Real food knowledge and nutrition isn’t about cutting corners. It takes time. And it takes you wanting to be healthy SO much, that you are ready to delve deep and get to know your body.
The same CLASS, WORKOUT, DVD, or just plain running you always did:
Here’s the thing – the first time you do something? It’s going to work. That Tae Bo video, that spin class, the Zumba class.. you get my drift. But eventually? It’s going to stop working because our bodies are awesome at survival and what they want to do is accomplish all movement with as little energy expenditure as humanly possible.
So you go in and do your Zumba class the first time? WOWZA you are sweating and feeling great. The second time? Not so much sweat. The third time? You went in with a margarita because…why not?
If you want to get a response from your body like fat loss or muscle gain, it takes real WORK. Not to say it can’t be fun too, but that ‘burn’ you feel is needed – and not only the burn (because you can feel that just by holding your arm up in the air for a minute), but also that breaking point where you actually think you are going to die. At that point? That is the point your body goes, “EEEEEE! I better do something or we are going to die.” Sounds like it sucks right? But really? I have NEVER had a client go through something that challenged them that much and had them say – man, I wish I hadn’t done that. It’s powerful. Your body is powerful. And it wants more than that same old class you’ve been going to since 1984. It wants you to challenge it. It NEEDS you to challenge it. Otherwise? Your efforts are wasted even if you feel like you got a good workout.
So what does this leave you with?
Well, there is a reason that personal trainers (good ones) have jobs. There is a science to continuous progression. That’s why I offer an online 28 day transformation, but I always encourage my ladies to commit to a long-term membership right off the bat. Why? Because by telling you you can transform in 28 days, what I’m really telling you is that I’m going to convince you that 28 days isn’t enough. LIFE is enough. It’s a lifestyle of dedicating yourself to challenge, to understanding the way the body works, and to jumping on the opportunities that are presented to you to give your body the stimulus it needs to want to change.
A coach will plan for you. This means your workouts should build on each other to keep prepping you to rock the next phase, so you get better and better, and leaner and leaner, and stronger and stronger, and healthier and healthier inside and out. Even if you go to a circuit class, that changes the exercises you are doing, you are not necessarily changing the TYPE of exercise. You are continuously in a ‘Metabolic Conditioning” phase that your body gets used to because it uses the same energy systems to help you do the work. The beauty of having a coach who understands you need prescribed phases to see the changes you want in your body, is that your workouts will help you NAIL the body you want with way less spinning your wheels. Unless, of course, that is what you like. I always tell my ladies to follow what I prescribe to them – even if it’s a workout they don’t LOVE – because the benefit they get from it will allow them to CRUSH the workouts they can’t wait to do! I also say to pop in some of the stuff they love (like spinning or yoga or additional HIIT) because doing what we love is fun, and that keeps us excited to keep training.
So here’s the thing.
DO the shiny new thing. And do it HARD.
Because weight loss – and fitness in general – is 100% more to do with you conquering the voices in your head than it is to do with ‘what works’. You have to do an inventory within. If you are not happy with what you find, stop choosing to do what you’ve always done. You are going to end up in the same place guaranteed. Pushing yourself physically is pushing yourself mentally. Your body only does what your mind tells it to. The strength comes from YOU finally deciding that your health.fitness.strength.confidence means more to you than what you already have.
You want a change?
You need a stimulus.
You want to make it stick?
You need to work on your inner strength and demons.
Because the thing is – the time is now. There’s simply never been a better time.
And believe me when I say you are worth more than 900 kcal, a $475 shake, and the same three leg lifts you’ve been doing since grade 10.
You GOT this;)