No-one can continue to lose fat indefinitely.
I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but it just can’t happen. Sure, you may have great results for a while; rocking that calorie-deficit and seeing the pounds fall off week after week.
Until, that is, you stall!
Talk about a mind-scramble. After-all, everything was going fine up until now.
OK, so what do you do next? Typically, there’s a quick recap, and you focus on what’s been successful so far:
Calorie-deficit = fat-loss……..right??
The next logical step is to go back to plan ‘A’ and reduce those calories even further. In other words: doing more of the same. I get it; makes total sense. Except this is where you start flirting with the dysfunctional aspect of dieting, where extreme measures take you down a dangerous rabbit hole.
The Fitness Industry has a lot to answer for:
Especially those who use a one-size-fits-all approach; basing their philosophy upon the tired old calories-in/calories-out equation.
And don’t even get me started on the never-ending stream of ‘meal-replacement’ products being peddled by those who really ought to know better.
The point is that the accepted ‘reality’ we’ve continually been fed for decades is that the only factor that really matters when it comes to fat-loss, is maintaining a calorie deficit.
This is a simplistic view and misses entirely the fact that a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods can re-balance hormones, thereby allowing the body to find its optimum composition.
In fact: the intuitive eating of nutrient-dense foods, while eliminating junk-food, makes calorie-counting completely unnecessary.
Keeping the focus purely on maintaining a calorie deficit, ignores the bigger picture: long-term health, of mind and body, and of-course sustainability.
I don’t believe in diets:
At least not in the traditional sense. It’s far healthier to look at our food choices as part of our lifestyle.
This changes the view of what we eat from short-term thinking to a long-term strategy. And let’s be brutally honest here: you cannot continue to starve your body, every day, and not expect something to happen.
You see, when the body is made to endure a calorie-deficit for an extended period, it will go into energy-saving or survival-mode. It can’t be sure that adequate nutrition will be coming any time soon, so it slows down the metabolism, and hoards everything it can.
This is the principle reason why people can be eating next to nothing and still not lose body-fat.
I make a distinction here between fat and muscle. Because muscle can be cannibalised by the body as a source of extra energy. This is what some rapid weight-loss can often be attributed to, and why many dieters ultimately become weaker.
How to break the stall?
Firstly, you must take the body out of survival-mode and return it to optimal functionality.
You do this by eating more nutrient-dense food, which gives the body time to repair its damaged cells.
While we’re at it, let’s destroy another popular myth: increasing calorie consumption, under these circumstances, will not mean you suddenly start gaining fat. You may now be able to gain back some lost muscle and feel altogether stronger. But keeping the increase in calories from healthy sources will ensure that fat isn’t regained.
Most people are shocked how much they can actually eat without gaining fat. But then again, it’s not something that’s typically talked about in weight-loss circles. Of-course, if your extra calories are junk, then it’s going to be a different thing altogether. Don’t neglect protein!
Always make sure you eat clean, and your body will thank you for it.
Sometimes, this is all you need to get the body functioning properly and for fat to start shifting once more.
Cycles aren’t just for spin class:
Long-term fat loss works best when approached in a cyclic manner. As I said before, calorie restriction will only work for a limited amount of time before the metabolism slows down to compensate.
By going through regular cycles of caloric restriction and sensible re-feeds, the body is not stressed unduly, a state of hormonal imbalance is not created, and your body’s ability to access fat stores is up-regulated.
What’s more, you really can lose fat, on a regular basis, without feeling hungry and weak all of the time.
I kid you not! This is what happens when the body is allowed to function properly.
Show your body some love:
Start by not placing unrealistic expectations upon it. Your body will serve you well if you create the right environment for it to do so.
After all, it’s an elegant biological machine that’s evolved to work optimally; providing it’s treated with respect and not hampered by poor food and lifestyle choices.
I’ve found that the overwhelming majority of people who clean up their lives and their plates, soon find that their body arrives at a natural balance. Insulin sensitivity is restored, and the body is once more able to discard the extra fat that hampers efficiency.
However, you can’t rush the process, and crash-diets consisting of severe caloric restriction are a sure-fire path to metabolic chaos and frustration.
All you really need to do, is ask yourself the question:
Do I want to starve my way to short-term results, or would I rather take a little longer, but keep all the results?
Hmm, tough one, isn’t it?
For more information how to lose fat and gain an effortless relationship with food: shoot me a message.