This one’s a hot potato………unless of course you are following a low carb diet. More about that later.
Ok, I have said it before and I will say it again, you will not lose fat by exercising. Sorry if you have just read that after 2 hours in the gym, but don’t worry it was all still worth while. You on on the path to increasing your bone density, improved heart and lung capacity, increased muscle mass and better emotional wellbeing. The list goes on, so please keep going.
THE ONLY WAY YOU WILL LOSE FAT IS BY CREATING AN ENERGY DEFICIT1. Yep, angry capitals have made an early appearance today. Why? Diet and exercise seems to all have become a bit tribal, you are either, Keto, low carb, no sugar, 5:2 what happened to just eating food to meet you own needs.
So its Calories in Calories out?
Yes …….and No.
100cals from cake (who only eats 100cals of cake!) is not the same as 100 calories from Brocoili.
You body uses energy throughout the day in different ways, breathing, going to the gym, fidgeting, walking and digestion. The last one in the list is what makes your 100cals from cake different to your 100cals from Broccoli. Your body expels more energy breaking down the fibre in the veg, where as the cake just goes down nice an easy without a lot of effort.
So I need to cut out Carbs?
No……., you need to cut down on your highly processed carbs, but I’m not going to tell you to never let a piece of cake ever pass you lips again. Just make sure it’s not for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
What about bread, pasta, rice and starchy veg?
Wholegrain carbs and veg contain fibre, vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for digestion, gut and bowel health so they play an important role in our bodies.
But eat too much of them and you will put on weight.
“The low – carb diet is the only thing that worked for me, as soon as I started eating carbs I put all the weight back on” how many people have you heard that from? I’ve lost count.
Look, if a certain diet works for you then fine, keep going. I would question that its actually working if you find you keep falling off track.
A truly successful diet is one that doesn’t leave you obsessing over calories, avoiding social gathering for fear of the bread sticks or worse you turn up to parties with your own food in Tupperware.
Here’s a quick side note on calorie counting. If you love counting them just be aware that that the number on the packet might not be that accurate.
Calorie values of food can be effected by cooking and storage. So don’t be ruled by them. Try looking at your portion sizes.
So why do people lose weight on low- carb?
They lose water2
1g of carb tags along 3g of water.
As soon as people add the carbs again they retain more water.
As unattractive as it might sound if you want to lose fat you have to reduce your calories. Now your calorie intake is going to be very specific to YOU.
Health ,emotional and physical
All of the above has an impact on how your body uses its calories.
How do you go about creating a deficit that’s specific to you?
Be honest first of all.
Are you really only eating one cookie a day or is it really one packet. Portion sizes can make a difference.
FORGET FAD DIETS. You can cut out carbs, but if you just eat the same amount of calories in proteins and fats you will not lose fat. YOU NEED TO CTREATE A DEFICIT. Lots of angry capitals there- sorry!
Write what you eat down. Keep a food log. You don’t need to do this indefinitely but do it long enough to give you a true picture of what you are eating.
If how your body uses its energy is effected by sleep, stress and illness then you need to address these.
Being sleep deprived and stressed is going to elevate your cortisol (Stress) hormone leading to poor nutritional choices and poor digestion. Being healthy is about more than how you look.
Go back to your food log. What can you reduce? Is it the late night bag of chips, the sugar in your coffee or your spiced pumpkin latte (Honestly, that isn’t coffee anyway!). It has to be your choice, just because someone else cut “X” and lost “Y” it doesn’t mean you will.
Start with the low hanging fruit, don’t try and change everything at once. Pick one thing and make it a habit. Habits………. we have been there before.
Why is it so hard?
It’s hard because we have to keep that deficit to lose fat. Then when we are at a point where we are happy we have to maintain the balance.
Try looking at the big picture when it comes to your nutrition. Don’t just think about what you are about to eat, think about what you had for breakfast before you make your lunch. Consider what you will have for dinner before you have your lunch. That way if you make a few questionable choices at breakfast, you may want to make some better choices for the rest of the day.
We have all gotten used to having food easily available 24/7. Often this is calorie dense and quick digesting. Bottom line is we don’t like feeling hungry. Its uncomfortable and with yummy food usually just a click away on the iPad why wait.
Get used to listening to your bodies hunger and fullness cues it’s an important step to successful fat loss.
Stop at 80% full
Remember we eat food not single nutrients.
For successful changes you need to enjoy what you are eating. Don’t go on the “Kale diet” if you hate Kale!