Stop losing and gaining the same 10 pounds
Has to be the number 1 cause why you may have made one or two attempts in the past at starting a ‘diet programme/plan’ only to regain the weight after a period of time. The first point to be made here is that 95% OF DIETS DO NOT WORK! For the general population who are overweight or obese eating a healthy, balanced, varied diet and moving the body regularly is enough to achieve the desired effects. So if that’s simple then why are you seeking out the next plan to follow?
The reason being is that before you address what you’re eating, how often you’re moving, if you’re getting good, quality sleep and where your stress levels are at, you need to learn and understand what are your values, beliefs, behaviours/patterns and current identity (who you are currently and who you need to be). All this information sits in the subconscious part of your brain and this is where 95% of daily activity takes place. Do you ever find yourself running the same patterns again and again?
Do you start a ‘diet’, do really well for the first month then start to drop off, rewarding yourself for doing well, diving into the chocolate because you’ve had a shit day or you’re on your monthly cycle (dealing with hormones is another topic) or just give up because you’re not seeing results fast enough? You see all of the above occurs as a result of the stories you tell yourself in your head, your current identity and what you tell yourself on a daily basis eg. I’m big boned, I have a thyroid problem, I’ve always been big, I can’t function without coffee etc.
Define your compelling future, identify the underlying issues that cause you to crash and burn, learn new skills and strategies to address these challenges and work on creating and establishing a new sets of values, beliefs and behaviours based on your new identity. Only when you have made a start on focusing on your mindset is it the best time to work on #2 mistake.
The current mentality of ‘dieting to lose weight’ creates a whole world of problems for the individual. Rather than looking at food in it’s purest sense as fuel for the body which is vital for maintaining life, the majority live in a world where food is the enemy, food is a reward, food is comfort, food is social. Referring back to mistake #1, this mindset will forever hold you back from creating optimum health and a body you feel comfortable in.
When you are in the right mindset and no longer label foods as good/bad, right/wrong, treats/sins, but instead understand that there are 4 different food groups and when eaten in moderation and sometimes at optimum times of the day can lead to realistic, achievable and sustainable results.
Making sure the majority of your daily intake includes filtered water, fibre, quality protein,
complex carbohydrates and fresh organic vegetables and low GI fruits will create the path to overall health and wellbeing.
The common mistake the majority of women make when it comes to exercise is they choose long steady state cardio as their preferred choice of activity. Whilst this is no bad thing, as I will explain in a moment, it is the least effective way to develop a strong, lean body shape if done without combining it with some form of strength training. A typical scenario would be 10 mins on the bike, followed by 20 minutes on the cross trainer, followed by 30 mins on the treadmill (on an incline!). It’s no surprise that the drop-off rate for this type of training is very quick as it’s long-winded, boring and not particularly challenging.
So here’s the slight curveball...there is something called NEAT which stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis - or to put it another way burning calories whilst you are carrying out all the activities of daily living eg. walking the dog, doing the housework, having sex, gardening, playing with the kids etc. The overall effects of NEAT add up to your daily calorie expenditure which in the bigger picture is extremely beneficial and will go a long way to helping you drop those unwanted pounds.
The second part to this topic on movement and the area where I see most women avoiding is that of strength training. Now we know that the body burns calories during the day whilst we are up and moving about, it’s time to look at what makes it possible to achieve a firmer, more toned shape and actual reduction in size.
Strength training involves lifting weights - be it dumbbells, kettlebells or even bodyweight and getting out of our comfort zone. When done with purpose and intensity it pushes our bodies to a new level and is essential for building lean muscle tissue, which burns more calories at rest, as opposed to fat. The key to a successful weight training programme is training smart and not spending countless hours in the gym.
Once you have digested and have started to master all of the above the biggest challenge is to keep going. Consistency and Momentum is key. Due to old patterns and behaviours which are be deeply ingrained in our subconscious there almost always come a point when you:
1. Get bored and slip back into old patterns/behaviours.
2. Hit a plateau, get demotivated and slip back into old patterns/behaviours.
3. Your mindset goes back to ‘diet’ mentality and slip back into old patterns/behaviours.
4. Hit another obstacle in life, allow it to take over and slip back into old patterns/behaviours.
If any of the above sounds familiar that’s where MOMENTUM becomes so important. The truth is change takes time. Think of a baby who is learning to walk, how many times do they attempt to stand up only to fall back down again with a bump. Do they stay down never to try again or do they keep up the momentum and repeat until they reach their goal? And when they’ve finally stood up on 2 feet and mastered the art of walking then they are faced with lots of new challenges such as running, skipping, standing on one foot etc.
Final message here is...keep on going, face the obstacles, work through the plateaus and stay strong in times of adversity you body and your health will thank you.