Worried About Holiday Eating? Let’s Talk…

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a happy day, spent with family and or friends, where we come together and ENJOY our favorite holiday foods.

It should NOT be a day where we demonize food, or feel like we need to EARN food, or work off food. Don’t get me started on those posts about “It takes X amount of burpees to burn off a piece of pumpkin pie” – stop it. Enjoy the pie.

On the flip side, if you have been working at creating consistency and positive, healthy eating habits, it should also not be seen as a day to completely forgot about everything you have been working on and just pig out to the point of feeling sick or so bloated that you look like a tick ready to pop.

We need to get away from this “all or nothing” mentality.

Thanksgiving can easily be enjoyed without stressing about our diet, or the scale.

Here are some simple things to keep in mind when it comes to ENJOYING Thanksgiving responsibly.

1) It is ONE day. Enjoy that ONE day.

There are 30 days in November, and 31 days in December. Let’s assume you eat 3 meals a day. That makes 183 meals for the two months.

Let’s assume there are 3-4 meals of pure holiday joy during the two months. Enjoy them – and put your focus on the other 179 meals.

Where people tend to get into trouble is when they start celebrating the feast at the start of the week because “who cares, I will be pigging out on Thursday, so why not just start now?”

Or allowing the feasting to continue past Friday (because leftovers happen) and the rest of the weekend.

This is the mindset that can easily snowball back into old habits that you have worked hard to break. Leading up to Thursday, you should continue your week as you normally would. Eat responsibly, eat when physically hungry, get your workouts in, and maintain a slight caloric deficit (assuming your current goal is fat loss). Simple – IF you have been working on these habits up until now.

Give yourself the day, but nothing extra before or after. It is ONE day out of 365.

2) Enjoy Your Favorite Foods – responsibly 

I use this with my clients all the time. Do you enjoy (insert favorite holiday food here)? Then eat one serving/slice/portion/scoop/etc – not the entire thing.

Yes, it can even be a super rich, sugary, fatty dessert. One piece will not destroy all of your progress and ruin everything. However, if you know you have certain trigger foods, it may take some extra precaution before indulging. Plan to have just the ONE piece – and move on.

The truth is, food does not not carry morals, nor does eating a certain food make YOU a bad person. It is food – that is all.

Thou Shall Not allow guilt to be felt on Thanksgiving Day!

Enjoy it, clean up your dishes like your mother taught you, and move on back to your regularly scheduled life.

3) Plan Accordingly the Day Of

If you are like me you KNOW that you will go a little crazy with the food choices at the feast. These are probably foods you don’t regularly eat, so why not?

This being said, if you normally eat an early Thanksgiving dinner, then maybe have a lighter breakfast, or pass on lunch – knowing all too well that you will definitely get those calories in later.

Focus on protein and veggies early in the day, saving all those rich, carb and fat filled foods for later.

Even if you have the best of intentions and you do over eat, oh well. It’s OKAY!

Side note: I know I said you don’t need to feel like you need to earn your food, however if you want to make the most of it, hit a nice heavy weight training session the morning of the feast – I’m thinking 10×10 squats are on my pre-feast plan 🙂

The Bigger Picture:

Holidays are supposed to be enjoyable times. When you create a healthy relationship with food, you don’t worry about holidays because you know they are only a small fraction of the entire year – and there are bigger habits that matter.

When you have an unhealthy relationship with food, you stress and worry about the holidays, but often ignore all the other moments that you mindlessly snack, over eat, and all the moments that you eat without even being hungry.

The moral of the story here is short and sweet – enjoy the holiday, enjoy your family, enjoy the foods, and get right back to it Friday morning and through the rest of the weekend -and all will be good – I promise!

 

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You CAN Get Protein at Breakfast With These 9 Options

Everyone knows they need to get more protein, right? We have been pretty clear on that. I often hear “I can’t get enough at breakfast!” “I don’t have time to make eggs”…

First, there is no “rule” that you must have breakfast foods at breakfast, and breakfast only. However, I get it – we want some familiar delights at breakfast, so lets look at a few different options based on how much time you have.

***The calorie amounts vary, so make sure you adjust based off of your goals***

Unlimited Time

Protein Pancakes 

1 cup kodiak cake mix

1 egg

1 cup Fairlife Milk

530 cals 60C/9F/47P

Breakfast Burrito

1 XL Flour Tortilla

2 eggs + 1/4 cup egg whites

Any veggies

2 Tbsp. Cheddar Cheese

590 cals 53C/23F/35P

 

 Euro Breakfast

1 plain bagel

2 oz. smoked salmon

2 Tbsp. Whipped Cream Cheese

450 cals 62C/13F/24P

Short On Time

All American Breakfast

1 apple

2 hard boiled eggs

1 flavored Oikos Triple Zero Greek Yogurt

350 cals 37C/10F/28P

Classic Crunch

1 cup Raisin Bran

1 cup Fairlife Skim Milk

2 eggs (prepared any way)

420 cals 52C/11F/30P

 

PrOatmeal

1/2 cup oats (dry)

1/2 cup Fairlife Skim Milk

1/2 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt

1/2 cup berries

1 Tbsp. Walnuts

500 cals 70C/11F/32P

No Time At All!

McDonalds Can Be Healthy

2 Egg White Delights

500 cals 64C/14F/36P

Shake It Up

1 Scoop Whey Protein

1 cup Fairlife Skim Milk

1 Large Banana

2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter

475 cals 38C/16F/46P

 

No Time Breakfast Sandwich

2 slices of toast

2 oz. ham

1 slice cheddar cheese

1 fried egg (this only takes 2 min – I promise)

440 cals 37C/18F/29P

There you have it. 9 options to get protein at breakfast no problem at all.

Now get cookin!

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Two Vacations, Two Different Results

HAPPY 4th of JULY!

After getting back from my week cruise to Alaska, I was back at it Monday morning.

One of my clients was also on vacation the entire week that I was gone – in Italy.

He was curious to see how he did while being gone for a week, and he stepped on the scale.

To his amazement and as I expected – he lost weight.

So how did he vacation for a week, and lose weight – while I GAINED weight?

It’s the food (mostly). It’s always the food.

Before discussing the food, this was probably the 2nd biggest factor:

Movement

I worked out 4 times on my cruise – but walked much less than I am used to in a normal week. I usually average 12,000 steps per day, but this week I averaged 7000.

He walked 17,000-20,000 steps everyday.

As I have discussed many times – daily steps and movement is VERY crucial to weight management. Studies have shown a range of 500 – 2500 extra calories can be burned in a day based off of just how much you move!

The Food

The food on the cruise was amazing. However – it was VERY VERY rich. There was butter in everything. There were extra portions of everything. I had a roll every night with butter. I had dessert every night. I had several drinks most days.

What does this add up to? Considering ONE tablespoon of butter is 100 calories…

One old fashioned is 200+ calories…

2 scoops of REAL ice cream could be around 500 calories…

I have no idea how much I consumed.

Do I feel guilty? Shameful? Nope – I chose to do it – I’m an adult and I’m cool with my decisions.

So what was different with HIS trip?

Traditional and authentic Italian food is relatively “light” compared to the American versions.

They eat limited red meats, little butter, plenty of fruits, veggies, pastas, and olive oil (yes it’s still a high calorie fat – but much less is needed than butter).

So is butter and fat the problem with American diets?

NO! It is one of the leading factors contributing to the American diet – but the bigger picture is just an overconsumption of FOOD and CALORIES.

When you prepare your foods, when you know what you are eating, and when you are in control of your nutrition – you know exactly what to expect.

Back to normal habits for me!

How to GET BACK to it!

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Are You A Weekend Saboteur?

 

You are trying your hardest to eat healthy. You eat super clean all week. You eat a caloric deficit. You do your workouts. THEN Friday night arrives along with the weekend.

You overeat on whatever you want. You drink plenty of alcohol. You sit on your ass all weekend. When Monday comes, you are frustrated and sick of spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere.

This is okay – you aren’t the only one, far from it.

My first year of trying to lose weight was this exact scenario – after all it was college.

How does this happen?

Here is a fantastic graphic from Carter Good (Envision Being Thin – @cartergood on Instagram)

So how do we avoid this? Stop having fun? Stop being social? STOP DRINKING?

No, no, no, and no. There is no need to become a full on Buzz Killington.

1) Set Rules

Rules suck, but we listen to them. Instead of coming up with weekend goals every weekend like “I’m gonna do better this time…”, set rules like:

  • If I go out at night, I will go to the gym the morning of.
  • If I go out on a Saturday, I will have an active Sunday.
  • If I go out on a Friday, I won’t go out on a Saturday.
  • If I know I’m going to have a fun filled night with drinks and food, I will focus the rest of my day on eating lean proteins and veggies.

Set the rules, and follow them, and enjoy your weekend – guilt free.

2) Change How You Eat During the Week

Do you fixate on “clean eating” Monday through Friday? Can’t have this, can’t have that…well that may be setting you up for disaster on the weekend.

If you try so hard to “eat super healthy” all week and deprive yourself of certain foods or food groups that you might really want you are more likely to binge on them over the weekend.

Let’s find a happy medium.

If you want a sweet treat during the week – have it – but account for it appropriately:

  1. Know roughly how many calories it is.
  2. Know what swaps you could make to stay within your nutrition parameters.
  3. Plan it out in advance. If your kid has a baseball game and they always get ice cream after, you can plan your day accordingly so you can still enjoy ice cream later.
  4. Know what you REALLY want, and what you could exclude to shave off some extra cals. i.e. you really want a brownie, but could pass on the extra pecans on top (shave off 300 cals)

It doesn’t even have to be sweets either.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring and bland! Experiment with recipes, spices, flavors, make it fun – make it an activity with family.

3) Shift Your Mindset

“I earned this weekend”

“Thank God the weekend is here, time to rage”

“I was good all week, time for a break”

“This is what we do on the weekends – bottomless mimosas WOOO!”

If you constantly think of the weekend as a light at the end of the tunnel, you will hype your brain and body up for letting loose and getting cray cray.

Don’t use food and drinks as a reward, or as a shoulder to cry on – it’s just food.

Find different ways to reward yourself or de-stress.

ALSO don’t use exercise as a punishment. There is a big difference between, “I had a bad night, I need to go to the gym and repent” vs. “I’m going to feel much better after I go to the gym and work on getting stronger” – exercise is ALWAYS for gaining health – not beating you up.

So find some balance 7 days per week, come up with some little rules to follow, break the mold of what most people think the weekends are, and you will find your life a much happier one, and healthier as well!

 

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4 “Hacks” To Save Time, and Make Tracking Food Easier

Whether or not you use something to track your food, I’m sure you could use some extra time in the day – so don’t rule these tips out just yet!

The number one objection I hear to not being able to track food using an app like MyFitnessPal is “I don’t have time”.

While the smart ass in me could have a few things to say about that, I shall refrain and provide some useful tips instead.

1) Enter some or all of your food the night before.

If you know what you want for breakfast, know what you have for snacks, and know that you are going to have left overs for lunch – then take 2 minutes and enter that the night before.

This is also a great strategy to learn about how you can set up your day to fit within your macro goals.

By doing this, you are already mentally preparing yourself for what you will be eating tomorrow – and this makes your life less stressful, and honestly makes it easier to stay on plan.

2) Measure and cut portions after bulk prep

Did you grill up a bunch of chicken? Do you know that you will need 5 oz. of chicken per meal that you want to have chicken at?

Then cut up the servings into appropriate serving sizes for you.

Then when you are ready to eat them you can grab, and go – knowing that you have 5 oz. of chicken breast at that meal. No need to guess, measure, or weigh out.

3) Keep a measuring cup in any bulk prepped carbs

Similar to the above, say you make a big bowl of rice.

If you learn from tracking that 1 cup of cooked white rice is 38 grams of carbs, and you want 38 grams of carbs at a meal, then keep a 1 cup measuring cup in the big bowl of rice.

When its time to dish it up, just scoop it out, and but the bowl away.

Same thing can be done with pastas, potatoes, corn, etc.

4) Have your “go-to” meal foundations

I have been eating the “same” thing for breakfast the last 3 months (minus a few days).

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup egg whites
  • 75 grams of carbs
  • 10 grams of added fat

This is the foundation of my breakfast meals – but not the actual meal.

The eggs and whites usually stay the same. But sometimes they take the form of an omelet, a scramble, over easy eggs, or mixed into pancakes.

The carbs I like to play around with. By reading labels it is pretty easy to figure out “how much of this food equals 75 grams of carbohydrates – give or take 10 grams?”

My carbs have been cereals, oats, pancakes, fruit, bagels, toast, or a combo of a few of those. THEN I will also add some sort of veggies to breakfast, unless its pancake day, cause that’s nasty.

My 10 grams of added fats is usually just from cooking the eggs in coconut oil, or putting a little butter on toast or pancakes.

This is MY breakfast foundation, work on creating your own – then play around with how you sculpt it.

Hope these tips help you save some time and realize what a great tool tracking your food can be.

Once you get things dialed in, it can be pretty fun and freeing to see how you can play around with your diet – and still make progress.

 

 

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More Leads to Less

 

So many “diet” programs and gurus want to tell you what you CAN’T EAT, and what you MUST EAT to successfully live your life and lose your belly…

Well screw them.

We are all adults and we can choose what we want to eat, and if done responsibly as an adult, we can definitely make tons of progress and get the results we are after.

Here are the basics of eating like an adult:

  1. Add MORE vegetables and fruits

  2. Add MORE lean protein

  3. Add MORE water

Yup, I’m more about adding in foods rather than telling you what you need to take away.

Why?

Because over time when you truly focus on adding more of these options, they will naturally phase out all the junk food that you might eat at most meals – but you could still have it once in a while.

1. Add More Vegetables and Fruit

I think we can all agree that vegetables are good for you. But what about fruit? Apparently some people still think fruit makes you fat!

Fruit is great for you, and you should be eating it.

What makes you fat? Too many calories – so sure, too much fruit COULD stall your weight loss…but I’m willing to bet there are other areas in the diet we could address first.

Here are some ROUGH numbers on different portions of fruits and the calories in them:

Notice that the super healthy and trendy avocado is at the bottom. containing about 280 calories per avocado?? Avocados are super healthy, yet they DO contain a lot of calories – and calories always matter.

2. Add more lean protein

I probably write about protein whey to much, but it still needs to be preached.

If you have less than 20 pounds to lose, shoot for 1 gram/pound of body weight.

If you have more than 20 pounds to lose, shoot for .7-8grams/pound of body weight.

(these are not set in stone numbers, but just suggestions – my one on one clients get much more personal numbers)

If there is anything that you SHOULD be tracking, it’s your protein intake. Try it like this:

Using MyFitnessPal, enter only your high protein foods for the day, and see where you are at, then adjust from there if you need to. It may look like this:

So after entering this, I hit 172 grams out of my 205 gram goal. That is great, because after adding in my carb sources, and fat sources I will probably be very close to hitting 205 grams of protein.

3. Add More Water

Simple, and basic – just drink more water, and drink mostly water.

The number of calories you can consume through liquids is insane, and you might never even notice it.

Someone who drinks 2 sodas a day (lets say cans) consumes 300 calories. Cut that out and replace it with water, without changing ANYTHING else, and you will lose weight. Simple and effortless.

BONUS – Add More MOVEMENT

Just move more. Not more cardio, but just more movement.

How many steps do you get a day? Get 10,000. Seriously – just do it.

 

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Fill Up Your Diet With Filling Foods

Do you track your calories and always struggle to stay within your goals?

Find that you are hitting your max caloric intake too soon and you still feel starving?

You may need to take a look at your food QUALITY and how satiating your current diet is.

Satiation, or fullness, is an important physical factor when it comes to your diet. Two of the most important nutrients when it comes to satiety are:

  • Fiber
  • Protein

Both fiber and protein help tremendously when it comes to adding in quality, filling nutrients – without adding a lot of calories. While processed foods (usually low in fiber and protein) do the opposite.

For example, this Memorial Day, I went golfing with a friend. After the first 9 holes, we were hungry for some lunch. Unfortunately the grill girl decided she wanted to go home early, so no grilled food was available. So what was I left with?

  • 1 Snickers Bar – 4 grams protein, 1 gram fiber – 250 cals
  • 1 bag of BBQ kettle chips – 2 grams protein – 1 gram fiber – 210 cals

So I had 460 calories, with only 6 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber.

Needless to say, I was starving by the time I got home.

Compare this to a leftover filled lunch I had yesterday:

  • 6 oz. Pork Tenderloin – 34 grams protein – 180 calories
  • Mixed Red Potatoes and Carrots – 7 grams of fiber – 150 calories

This meal was ONLY 330 calories, but I was easily satisfied until dinner.

***This is a pretty low cal meal for me, but I had a big breakfast and wanted ice cream after dinner – the beauty of tracking and planning****

So back to the point…

If you struggle with feeling hungry after eating a meal, look at how much protein and fiber was in that meal. If it was a highly processed or a hodge podge meal, it likely was low in both.

Great sources to consider adding, but not limited to are:

Protein

  • Chicken/Turkey
  • Pork Tenderloin
  • Beef tenderloin
  • Fish/Seafood
  • Egg Whites
  • If in a pinch – protein powder
  • Beef Jerky

Fiber

  • Lentils/Beans (also a decent protein source)
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Artichokes
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Avocado (higher in cals from fat – just be aware)
  • Pears
  • Barley
  • Oats

Increasing your protein and fiber intake will only have positive health benefits for you as well, so you should probably just consider doing it no matter what 🙂

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5 MORE Quick Calorie Cuts

For the first article click here: https://mgfitlife.com/2017/02/28/5-quick-calorie-cuts/

Still looking for more tips and tricks to cut back on those calories huh?

Well, just remember that if you aren’t consistent with your day to day intake, these “simple” cuts won’t make much of a dent, but they could help you get started.

1. When eating out, NEVER clean your plate

I stole this from a friend I had dinner with last night who said he has lost about 10 pounds recently by just cutting back on fast food, and by never cleaning his plate when he eats out.

I loved this idea. If you think about it, even if you leave a few french fries and a few bites of a ‘sammich, that could easily be 300 calories. If you eat out daily, this would be cutting out 2100 calories per week!

Not to shabby.

2. Slow DOWN When You Eat

Set a stop watch next time you eat. See how long it took you. Now double that time the next time you eat a meal.

Yes, I know we are all super stressed and crunched for time – but if you aren’t currently measuring your food, and have no clue how much you eat – then eating too quickly can really add up fast.

By taking your time, you are giving your hunger signals more time to tell your brain that you are full.

3. Use a smaller plate at home.

Still load it up with protein and veggies, and then the rest of the space with “other” stuff.

By reducing the volume of food you eat – you will reduce your calories (go figure!)

Plates and serving sizes have actually gotten bigger over the years, and so has your countries average waistline (also, go figure)Image result for portion sizes over the years

4. Set a time frame to eat. Also know as intermittent fasting.

 While this may not work for all, intermittent fasting has is proponents.

Essentially you just set a time window that you eat, and a time window that you don’t. Usually the feeding window is anywhere between 4 and 8 hours.

I would recommend starting with 8 hours. So say you wakeup at 6AM, then as soon as you have your first bite of food, then you start your “8 hour clock” when you can eat. As soon as your 8 hours is up, no more eating.

5. Feel Hungry Before Eating

This is a big one, as many people have never experienced hunger.

It is important to eventually get to the point of intuitive and mindful eating – when you don’t have to track things, and can maintain your progress made.

Feeling physical hunger before eating is a big step towards mindful eating.

So, give it a try – no matter what time it is, if you don’t feel hungry – then don’t eat. Wait until you FEEL physical hunger.

*PHYSICAL HUNGER comes on slowly, feels like a dull stomach ache, then leads to a little headache, and eventually dizziness. (don’t get to THIS point – but when you start feeling it in your stomach, wait about 30 minutes – then eat)

*STRESS HUNGER comes on quickly, and often comes back quickly after eating, because food doesn’t fix your problems.Image result for physical hunger

Hopefully one of these might give you the extra push you need – or some ideas to try.

However, if you are already trying one tactic (say tracking macros) don’t think you need to jump to a different strategy right away. Things like fat loss and muscle gainz take time – and consistency (AGAIN WITH THAT WORD!)

Make sure whatever strategy you are trying works best for YOU, and you do it with consistency and to completion.

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What is Carb Cycling?

The skinny on carbs.

Carbs are everywhere. We hear about them being bad, we hear about them causing all of our problems. But do they really?

The truth is, they are not inherently bad. In America we tend to eat more of the processed, junk carbs than anywhere else in the world – and on average we do eat too much of them.

However, carbs are important for fueling out intense workouts and giving us the energy we need. Think of carbs as your gasoline for your car. If you are following a super low carb diet, your body cannot perform optimally and can eventually burn out. You need them as fuel to power through workouts with the right level of intensity.

Who could try carb cycling?

If you have been very consistent (including weekends) with your food intake and have been making solid progress for some time. Or if you are you are numbers person and you have your macros and calories in the right ballpark and have been doing well with counting and tracking, you may want to add a little bit of an advanced technique to your eating known as carb cycling.

Essentially, on your high activity days (workout days) you need more carbs.

***High activity days meaning tough workouts, around 60 minutes, at a hard intensity***

On your less active days, you don’t need as many carbs. This also means less calories on these days.

***This would be rest days, recovery days, or light workout days***

Carb cycling works very well for anyone looking to lose fat, and minimize muscle loss – or even gain muscle and minimize fat gain (all dependent on your calorie levels).

It also helps to control your insulin sensitivity, which is great for your internal health – especially if you have some weight to lose.

So how many carbs do I eat on workout days?

This is variable based on goals, body fat levels, gender, and even ethnicity (yes, genetics plays a role in how your body handles carbs). If you know your calorie level, then start around 40% of your calories from carbs.

For myself this would be 310 grams of carbs. Remember, this is an intense workout day. Lifting heavy, minimal rest, over 30 sets of strength training for over an hour.

No clue where to start? Email me.

Carb Cycling on Non-Lifting Days

Remove 50-75% of your starchy carbs on non-lifting days.

I recommend removing your starchy carbs from whatever meal(s) is easiest for you.

Example: I workout at 11AM on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays

 Normally I have 50 grams at breakfast with my eggs. Cut those.

 My lunches usually contain a sandwich with fruit or rice on my lifting days. By turning this into a huge salad with tons of veggies, protein, and a little healthy fat, I am cutting out another 80 grams of carbs. 

 This equals 130 grams of carbs, so I will usually eat about half the amount I would normally have at dinner to get my total intake as low as possible.

So this would mean that I cut out 155-232 grams of carbs (and also 620-930 calories).

On a low carb day, I will also get a higher percentage of calories from fat – BUT will not eat more grams.

This will still keep me in a 500-800ish caloric deficit for the day, which is right where I want to be when on maintenance.

So why not go low carb all the time?

Because you NEED the carbs for fuel, and to keep your metabolism running and healthy.

Yes, I know there are people who go full low carb all the time and run on ketones, but that isn’t most people.

Realize, me needing 310 grams per day is not just a random number, and I have literally worked up to it.

If you are a small female, looking to lose 10 pounds of fat, your HIGH carb days might only be 125-150 grams of carbs per day, and your low carb days might be 30-40 grams (pretty much your veggies and a piece of fruit).

So be consistent with your food for a while, and then if you want, give carb cycling a try!

Key takeaways:

  1. Before trying carb cycling, make sure you have been good with your tracking and following plan.
  2. Cut back your carbs from starchy foods on non-workout days.
  3. This definitely applies to weekends, especially if you have big plans for the night!

What If You KNOW You Are Barely Eating, and STILL Not Losing Weight?

 

While this scenario is VERY rare, it does happen.

In todays world of 1200 calories being some kind of magic number for women to eat to lose weight (it’s not), there are a few scenarios in which women eat less and less and still don’t lose weight.

tiny meal consisting of one shrimp, a tiny potato, and a single short asparagus stalk

So how do you combat this? Because we cannot, and should not keep eating less and less.

1) Track your food, drinks, and everything in between.

I mean EVERYTHING. If you don’t know where you are currently at, how will you know what you need to do to get there?

People most often underestimate their intakes, and over estimate their caloric burn from exercise. If you are not eating in a deficit, you will not lose weight.

How do you figure out how many calories to eat? I like to start with this simple calculator:

http://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html

For example: a 52 year old woman, 5’6″ weighing 160 pounds and working out 3 days per week it tells you that you need 1860 cals to maintain, and 1360 to lose a pound per week.

So I would recommend starting at right around 1400 calories per day to lose weight.

So what if you know you are eating WAY LESS, say 800 calories per day, and STILL NOT LOSING?

2) Your body may have become too efficient at conserving calories.

This is often the case in chronic dieters, who have done years and years of strict and unhealthy restricting. You diet down, down and down. And your body adjusts. You become a Toyota Prius, using barely any fuel to power a long distance.

To lose fat, and continue losing fat, you need to try and become a Hummer, burning tons of fuel to go a short distance.

So how does one do this without putting on a ton of weight? Essentially eating MORE to LOSE…it is possible, but takes time to reverse.

Before going any further, I must reiterate – this scenario is rare, so make sure that you are tracking very accurately, and being consistent in your caloric intake day after day. Even if you are in a deficit for 5 days, 2 days of binging can put you in an overall surplus.

ALSO: this is not something that happens overnight, or even over weeks or months. Plateaus happen and are normal. This case extreme of a case would only be relevant after months or years of under eating and over-exercising.

If you have stopped losing weight, but only for a week or so, give it time, make sure your nutrition is dialed in, and maybe cut back on the intense workouts (cardio definitely) for a little bit. Always continue to strength train. 

3) So you have tracked accurately, and know with 100% certainty that you are eating (insert super low number) calories per day, and still not losing.

Go back to that first number for weight loss – 1360. This is the number that you need to get your calories up to. Slowly.

The first area I usually address is protein. If you are only eating, say, 800 calories per day, how many grams of protein are you eating? If you have read my blog you know that I recommend getting close to 1 gram/pound of body weight.

Say you only get 50 grams of protein per day (200 calories). We need to slowly increase that first. Start with trying to get 60 grams per day, consistently for a week or two. You have now added 40 calories per day. Your weight will unlikely go up.

high-protein-foods

Continue to add 10 grams of protein per day until you get close to our body weight in grams.

In this case, this alone could take 11 weeks. That is fine. This is a slow, but important process to “re-setting” your metabolism.

Once you are at close to body weight (for this example we will say 6 weeks down the road, and you are at 110 grams of protein per day) you have added 50 grams of protein, and 200 more calories to your diet. This would put you at 1000 calories. See how your weight has changed.

4) Slowly add in carbs and fats – VERY SLOWLY.

So now you are at 1000 calories, 110 grams of protein (440 calories) and the remaining 560 from carbs and fats.

If you are more active, start adding carbs. Same process, 10 grams per day, for a week or two. Another approach is to one week add 10 grams of carbs, and the following week add 5 grams of fat, and continue this process until you get close to that original (1360 cals) mark.

This whole process could easily take 24 weeks alone. But if done slowly, and managed carefully, you could actually lose weight in the process, or maintain.

If you maintain your weight, this is not a bad thing. You are now eating 560 MORE calories than before, and staying at the same weight! This is awesome.

From here, you could continue to reverse diet, by slowly adding in – or just focus on maintaining that intake for a while as long as your weight doesn’t move.

IF your weight does start to creep up – stop the process – and maintain current intakes until your weight stabilizes.

5) Once you maintain, and reach your caloric goal, or even go past it without gaining weight – NOW you can slowly start going in the opposite direction.

Start the same way you finished. Remove 10 grams of carbs per day, 5 grams of fat. Don’t change your protein.

See what happens after a week, and go from there. If you lose, stay with your current intake until you stop losing, then maintain for a little while. It’s okay.

While this isn’t the case for many (most of us just over eat and aren’t aware of it), it could be for you – and if you truly think that this is you, please contact me and let me help you. This is only a summary of the process, and a basic guide.

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Stay healthy my friends,