In my life, I’ve collectively lost around 100lbs, I’m not joking. “Wow”, you’re thinking, as you scroll through my fb and insta to see a “before” picture, expecting some epic transformation. You won’t find it. You know why? It’s been the same 10lbs, over and over and over again. Now, you aren’t impressed or inspired, but you probably relate to this. How many of us have done this and continue to keep doing this. You’ve done it because you’re reading this article, and like me, you want to stop. It’s difficult to not get trapped in the cycle when you look at mainstream media and what, as women, we are fed (pun intended). All these latest fads “Green Smoothie Cleanse”, “the 6:1 diet” or my new favourite “only eat purple food” diet. They sound appealing, not because we enjoy only eating once a day or can’t wait to have purple cauliflower but because we want to look good.
The reason you keep losing the same weight isn’t because there’s inherently something wrong with you. It’s because of two reasons. The first: misinformation the fitness and nutrition industry gives you. The second: unsustainability. Take Oprah, for example. Oprah built herself up from nothing, now she practically runs the world. She has so many experts and a lot of money at her disposal. Yet she continues to lose weight and then regain it. Why? Because she follows the advice of the mainstream. She's an advocate for the latest trends and diets not founded in research. She buys into the misinformation which produces unsustainability.
Now you know what's holding you back from further fat loss, lets get into how to change it.
Change your mindset
If you’re thinking “I can’t wait to be done with this” or “5 more days till carbs carbs and more carbs” then you are stuck in the yo-yo dieter phase, which means your results will be short lived. A temporary action does not equal a long-term solution. You must create habits and actions that last a lifetime. The goal isn’t quickly dropping 10lbs. When you reach that goal you’ll rebound and gain the 10lbs back. The goal is to lose X number of lbs in a maintainable way so that you can continue down the road of fat loss. The best way to do that is to write down 1-2 short, medium and long-term goals. Start putting the habits in place that will transfer that short-term goal into the long term goal. For example, I want to drop 5lbs in 3 weeks. My medium-term goal is to feel confident in a bikini by July 7th (12 weeks). My long-term goal is to look and feel better at 40 than I did at 20. That means the habits and actions I put in place now must be sustainable and enjoyable enough that I can turn that short-term goal (lose 5lbs) into a medium-term goal (exude confidence half naked) and then into a long term goal (continuing to be in the best shape of my life)
Create an eating plan that tastes good
As a kid, my least favourite foods were cauliflower and brussels sprouts (they still are) so I don’t eat them. It’s that simple. If you don’t like a particular food then don’t eat it. We create sustainability by eating the foods we think are tasty. By definition, we know the foods that are healthy and not-so healthy. I'm a firm believer that you can have anything you want but you can't everything. So if you want to continue losing fat, limit the chocolate/wine/junk food and view them as treats to have on occasions (that could mean 1-2 times a week, or once every 2 weeks, it depends on many factors). The bottom line is to include protein, fats and vegetables at every meal. Opt for starchy carbohydrates over grains, for the majority of your meals.
Create an exercise program that you enjoy
I hate cardio. Perhaps because I’ve always been told that it’s imperative to fat loss, as a female, which makes you want to do it even less. If you enjoy HIIT (high intensity interval training) that’s great, there are many benefits. If you enjoy long hikes, perfect. However, you don’t need cardio to get results. You also don’t need to kill yourself 5-6 times a week in the gym for 1-2 hours. What you need to do is create an exercise regimen that you’ll continue to do because it’s enjoyable and fits into your life, in the long term. I do recommend that you include strength training (bodyweight, kettlebells, dumbells etc) as this will increase muscle, which will rev up your BMR (basic metabolic rate) and have you burning more calories aka more fat.
Remember: its a marathon not a sprint. Developing healthy habits that stop you from regaining the same weight takes awareness and consistency. First, master the mindset. Then create your own version of an enjoyable exercise and food plan. Then get the low down on how to burn more fat and get better results.
Feel overwhelmed and need some advice? Leave me a comment.