Why you can’t always be on a diet… I did a podcast on this about a year ago, but I feel like this has to be revisited and talked about again. So many of you come to me and say, “Oh, if I only had a plan I would be more disciplined, I would lose belly fat, I would lose weight, etc..” But ladies…. you cannot always be on a diet, I repeat… you cannot always be on a diet!
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It is always going to be that you look at yourself in the mirror, you don’t like what you see, you google the shit out of what to do, looking for a diet, thinking you found the solution, then you diet! You don’t get the results you want or it becomes too hard, and you FALL OFF track and you are like oh you need to get back on track and the cycle continues!
How many people fall into this? How many women… I looked this up!! – By age 45, the average women have been on at least 61 different diets! That is for 1 person!!! That is a hell of a lot of diets!! The average age women start to diet or change their bodies is the AGE of 10!!! For 30-something years you have found a way to diet. This is absolutely ridiculous! And, on top of this, 45% of all US women are on a some type of diet at any given time. Here is the question I have to ask you, if we have been on 65 diets, wouldn’t that mean that SOMETHING IS NOT WORKING FOR YOU??? Have you gotten the results and have you kept them? No, you haven’t!
You have to fully consider that it is the constant dieting that is keeping us stuck. It is beating our bodies into submission, and it just isn’t working anymore. As you talk about your metabolism and body, how are you feeling in your body? Are you constantly pulling things – no carbs, no sugar, no joy? Or are you making sure your body is satiated and satisfied?
Let’s talk about low metabolism.
You don’t want a crazy fast metabolism because that kicks off our cravings and hunger. You don’t want a fast metabolism; you want a FLEXIBLE metabolism. And because you have been on so many diets, you have BROKEN your metabolism! In order to create a more flexible metabolism, more stable metabolism, be able to balance out hunger and energy, and cravings, you need to eat a little more. you need to increase our eating. As you go through this diet. I want you to think about what is on the other side. You did this for 12 weeks, 30 days, what is on the other side? What is the long-term lifestyle?
It’s easy to get very short-sided and only think about the short term.. And I am all about what is the long term for you. What is going to be realistic for you on the backside of this? Are you excited about what is happening here? Can you make a plan for this in our life? It is possible for you to get a flexible and efficient metabolism without dieting and by actually feeling sane! This helps us to better manage our long-term weight so it’s not these giant peaks and valleys. If you feel like you are always on this crazy roller coaster ride and if you want off, keep reading!
What is metabolism?
It is the rate at which you burn calories. That is, it! And when it comes to your metabolism, mine is different from yours and everyone else. No 2 are the same.
I recently did a dexa scan and my test came back that I need 1600 calories a day just for my daily acts of living, so just to live! What are your daily total energy expenditures? What do I need to just maintain the current weight that I am at right now? My base level of calories to just get through my life without feeling over-consuming or under consuming is 2200 calories! See the huge gap!?
Now, if I am looking to lose weight, I am not going to immediately say I am dropping down to 1600 calories. At this point, I would be restricting too much food. Then fall off and repeat.
I like to look at dieting as seasons. There are times when I am dieting, but there are times when I am not, and I am working my way back to maintenance and near maintenance. Then there are times I am going to up my food and exercise, as well as other times when I am going to bring those down. And I always tell people that it is based on your schedule! We all have different seasons in our life.
As you go through our life you aren’t always restrict, restrict, restrict so I have those moments of time when I am eating more than eating less. And the thing here is that many of us don’t like to do it. You cannot be in the cycle of constant dieting. It takes a toll on our bodies, and it takes a HUGE toll on our hormones.
So in addition to eating a specific amount of calories, you also need to do strength training for 15-30 minutes 2-3 times a week. Lift what is challenging yet doable. And start it now so it is just what you do by the time you get to your 60s and 70s. Can you make a commitment to 2-3 days, 30 minutes, or less? (NOT 7 days a week!) You want to start to feel like you have control in your life and your life Isn’t about constantly controlling food.
And so, when you start to give yourselves those moments in time when you’re not following a diet, you’re not restricting, you’re not depriving and you’re giving our bodies more food. It’s strategic. You are being strategic in how you’re planning through this. And one of the biggest challenges is that many of us don’t have a plan. You just wake up one day and the emotion takes over. You look at the scale and you are like oh dang…
Here is where you sit back and say let’s look at this over 90 days. Look at it during this diet break or this moment of time when we are not dieting, and you are listening to your body and fueling it properly! You may put on a little more scale weight, but I want you to flip to our non-scale things.
● Do I have less hunger?
● How is my sleep?
● Are my hot flashes decreasing?
● Do I have less joint pain?
● Am I less moody, depressed, or anxious?
● How do I feel at the gym?
As you start to take these diet breaks that is what we are looking for! And as we are doing this, we are slowly adding on the calories. So, I know some of you are not going to like this, but spend just 7 days tracking your food. On paper or cell phone apps. We need to have data. What is going on with us and what am I consuming.
So for example, if my max calories are 2300, I am roughly eating 1900. I am going to start off eating 2000 to 2100 a day. In the first week, I am eating 1900 calories and seeing how I am feeling. I can play with increasing my calories, and use it with data, not emotions. So small increase at a time, a baby step process. What am I eating? Is the focus protein? Writing down portions as well.
You can’t diet forever…
Step 1 – Tell yourself you cannot be on a diet forever. Diets are never always going to be the end all be all to help you get through this. Understand what is going on with me. 7 days (like I said above) eat as a regular person. Assess and gather data.
Step 2 – Now we have data. This is how many calories I am taking in. Keep the plan for 2 weeks. See how you feel! How is sleep, etc. (look over the bulleted questions above)
Step 3 – Analyze and evaluate. I feel good with 2000 and let’s stick with it OR let’s move it up to 2100 calories. Tweak it so our bodies can see where we feel good! So if we ever go back into a diet phase we can be used to adjusting the dial.
There is no black and white, this is very nuanced. This is what I work with my clients on! You don’t have to do this alone. I want to be there to help and support you the best I can. Because this is a process. This is all very strategic. Creating a plan and sticking with a plan.
I always work with my REPS method. I always want you to think about what is realistic at this moment. What am I excited about? What can I make a plan for in my life? And most important, sustainability. This approach right here where we have these diet breaks, and we aren’t always finding a way to restrict constrict and deprive. We are slowly strategically adding in a few more calories so we can have this long-term sustainability.
Do you feel like you are always dieting? Does this sound like you? Let’s have a conversation. I don’t want you to think you have to do this on your own. I want you to feel supported. We are a team. Let’s find your comfort level with the steps and remove the negative talk! How can we tweak what you are doing? We are going to do it in these 6 steps.
1. Collect data.
2. What does data tell us?
3. How can we take data and tweak it?
4. Make some tweaks.
5. See how it works.
6. Evaluate it and follow the loop.
I want you to know that there are always going to be tweaked along the way. WE CAN ALWAYS make changes when we are working together. We are like a radio station dial that can be slowly tuned from one way to the next with small strategic swings!!
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