We all have stress in our lives
That stress can come from a variety of sources – work, family, relationships, finance, health etc
Some of the sources can be considered good stress such as exercise.
But stress is still stress on you.
Now when it comes to stress, some of it is outside of your control.
And some of it, you can work on controlling.
Once you can start to control some of the stress in your life, you’d be amazed at how much better you’ll feel in yourself.
I explained it to a client this way:
Think of a jar that is full to the top with your stress levels.
When anything else happens to increase your stress levels, it will spill over and get messy.
However, once you deal with stress you can control, that level decreases and you now have more capacity to deal with any extra stress that comes in your life.
Here’s what you can do:
1) Think about all the sources of stress in your life – if you’re not sure, google can help for ideas. Some you might not even realise.
2) List them all out.
3) Mark next to each one if you can control it or you cannot control it
4) The ones you can’t control, put them to one side. You can’t do anything with them.
5) The ones you can control, look at ways you can either reduce, eliminate or deal with them in some way.
There’s too many scenarios to go into specific details in this post. Google again would be a good start point again “How to deal with… “.
You’ll find identifying a few areas you can control and dealing with them will greatly help your stress levels which will positively impact your health.
This is a genuine question I’ve seen in a group recently. I’ve paraphrased it slightly so it fits on the image better.
In short, the person has their fitness in place but their nutrition sucks. They were thinking about doing an “egg fast” or some type of juice for 3 days.
Rather than outright answer it for the person “No, they suck balls. Just. Don’t.” I wanted to give them something more substantial to think about because there is a very common pitfall with this type of thinking.
This was my response:
“Jump starts can work in the short term as a motivation boost. The problem is they can be very short lived because they quickly become miserable.
You also have to think beyond some sort of fast or juice. If you do that for 3 days and your nutrition still sucks, what is your plan for after that?
Many people either don't have an idea of what to do so revert back to sucky eating or think a fast / juice / diet is the end game and once done can go back to eating how they were..... then wonder why they are back at square one.
If your nutrition sucks, be more specific - why does it suck? Is it your knowledge around what to eat and how much? Cooking skills? Knowing what you want to eat but can't stick with it? Once you know why it sucks, you can ask more specific questions and get better answers.
Really, nutrition is never going away, it's kinda a for-life type of deal when you think about it. Your best bet is to take some time to properly learn about nutrition now as you can then use that for life.”
In sharing my answer with you here, I hope that if you’re considering something similar or have a similar mindset, it will put a few things in perspective about taking the time to properly sort your eating out so you don’t even need to think about crap like fasts and juices.
This phrase makes me chuckle when I see it.
And it’s always a good reminder.
For many people who want to lose weight, especially quite a bit of weight, you have to remember it took years and years for you to reach this point.
You’re not going to undo all of that in a few days or a few short weeks.
It will take months and in some cases years to get to where you want to be.
And I say that for two important reasons:
1) Part of my job as a coach is to manage your expectations and be honest with you about it. I’m not going to b.s. you with lies and magical promises so I can unethically take your money (see below).
2) Once you know it will take time and effort, my hope is you will be more wary and skeptical about the next shiny fad diet or exercise (equipment, workout etc) that comes along, promising super-human results. Don’t let their clever marketing tactics take you money!
Just remember – even if your goals do seem a long way off, stick at it and keep chipping away. You’ll be amazed at the progress you can make with consistency and effort over time.
Oh... this is such a common trap that I see people easily falling into.
Then getting really frustrated with the lack of results
So I want to help you out here:
- Apart from water, green teas etc & black coffee, pretty much everything you eat or drink contains calories
- Even food you know to be healthy... still has calories
- Some of the healthy foods have ALOT of calories
- Some companies are lying scrotums and market a food as "healthy" but is loaded with calories and only "healthy" by the flimsiest, narrowest of margins
It takes me back to a conversation I had with a guy a few years ago who was struggling to lose weight.
He told me he was eating healthy and drinking lots of water. He had porridge for breakfast. Lunch might be a sandwich, fruit and packet of crisps (a small treat which is ok). Veg and lean meats for dinner, cooked with spray oil so not over doing it or grilled. Have some healthy-fat nuts for a snack.
You read that and you might also think "yep, that sounds pretty healthy to me."
And on the face of it, it is.
However, I probed a little deeper to find out how much he was eating:
- Usually 2 - 3 bowls of porridge in the morning, with some added extras
- Lunch was fine
- Plenty of water during the day
- Maybe snack on 1 or 2 handfuls of nuts daily
- Dinner was a plate full of veg and meat, often heaped
So from my point of view it was very easy to see that he was just eating too much food.
Because all that food, even the healthy stuff, has calories.
So whilst he was eating healthy food
He was eating way too much of it.
Eating way too many calories.
So if you're struggling to make progress right now and you're convinced you're eating all healthy food then start to look at how many calories are in those foods.
Then keep track somewhere and see how much you're really eating.
Are you eating the rough amount of calories you thought you were or are you surprised how much you're actually eating right now?
Fat burning supplements WON’T help you lose weight.
This is a question that I see and have been asked a lot over the years:
“What fat burners can I take to lose weight?”
The brutal answer is none.
And this is for two reasons:
1) Fat Burners just don’t work. I know you want quick results and these supplements and teas seem like a quick fix magic bullet.
But that is how those dodgy companies prey on you.
They know what you want and they offer something too-good-to-be-true…. And it’s easy to fall for their cleverly crafted words and adverts.
At best, fat burners will empty your wallet and give you some expensive pee.
So please, don’t buy into those crappy pills and potions.
2) You need to get your diet and lifestyle in order to begin with.
If your sleeping is shit and you’re feeling run down. Your eating is a mess and all over the place. You’re not drinking water. You’re not consistently being active.
You know, doing the basics to help create a calorie deficit.
If you’re not doing those and not making progress (measurements decreasing, weight decreasing, feeling better in yourself) then stop for a moment and honestly ask yourself what benefit do you think a fat burner would add to this?
There’s no benefit to you at all.
What you will also find is that if you start to work on the basics of what you need to do, you won’t even need to entertain the idea of buying fat burners because you’ll start to see results anyway.
When any of us start a weight loss journey, we set out with high expectations of what we're going to achieve.
But often times, along the way, things don't always go according to plan.
You find yourself giving up.
Probably heading back to square one.
Feeling frustrated and annoyed.... waiting for the next shiny diet to come along with big promises.
The weight loss goals can fail for a number of reasons. Here are 5 possible causes for you to consider.
I see it a lot in fitness groups where it's so common to be told something like "cut out all carbs".
There is such a misconception around carbs. They're not evil at all.
And this goes for any food groups like fats, protein and even alcohol.
I know that the media, diet culture and clueless celebrity “trainers” have done a bang up job of trying to make a particular food group the enemy.
Yes, it can be easy to eat too many carbs. But it can also be easy to eat too many fats or too much protein and drink too much alcohol.
Once you start to demonise a food group you build up a level of avoidance and guilt when you are so much as left in the same room as a plate of pasta.
Which isn’t a healthy way to be with food.
So here’s the flip side of trying to demonise food groups and trying to eliminate them…
Why cut them out completely when you can instead learn things like:
- dealing with cravings around them
- remove the stigma you have with those foods
I say this because food groups like carbs are never going away and it's very, very, very likely that if you've cut them all out... that you will go back to eating them at some point.
And when you do, you’ll feel all kinds of guilt because you associate them with being “banned” or “bad foods”. BTW – nothing is banned or bad (unless there’s an intolerance or allergy), it can all have its place in your eating.
If you take time to learn how to eat them and how much of them to eat you become educated and empowered when you want them in a meal or snack.
You'll soon find that they're not scary, they're not to be feared, they're just a food group and that's it.
Wouldn't you rather learn to eat them in a way which can still work for you and your goals?
It is true that to lose weight you do need to be in a calorie deficit - this is where your body and your daily activities burns more calories than you consume through all the foods and drinks.
Going on a very low calorie crash diet may work in the very short term as you see some results and motivation will be high.
However, sticking to a very low calorie diet will also quickly wear you out. You'll soon feel run down and like shit.
When you get to that stage, everything becomes harder such as going to the gym, going for a walk, moving around and dealing with the hunger pains.
And that is how you start to let things slip and gradually return to your old ways and your old weight. Leaving you more miserable than before.
I’m choosing my words carefully here because I want to be clear and I know people have a habit of only reading the parts they want – I know these diets can work for people for a short time period but I’m not advocating or promoting them at all. It’s something that is best done under medical supervision if you’re going to do it. Plus, in my experience people want to hold onto doing them way longer than they should do and it’s not sustainable due to the earlier reasons given.
If you’re going to do it anyway, regardless of what I say, there are two options for you:
1) Do the diet for a short period of time and once you start to feel rubbish, switch to a more moderate calorie deficit rather than giving up and eating how you were before.
2) Use a more moderate calorie deficit approach.... yes the weight will come off slower.... but you'll be able to sustain that weight loss for a longer period of time.
Ultimately, looking at playing the long game will produce better results for you.
First off, I’m not saying cardio is bad or that it shouldn’t be done. I often like to go for walks, bike rides, use the rower and do some circuits – all of which are cardio.
However, another common weight loss strategy is to do more and more and more and more and more and more cardio as a means to burning calories for weight loss.
Cardio does burn a lot of calories. However, similar to a crash diet, you'll start to overdo it and not know when to pull back until it’s too late.
If you keep doing too much you’ll either feel burned out and start to give up or you start to do too much and pick up a few nagging injuries here and there which then put you off.
Speaking of crash diets. It's also really common to see someone go on a crash diet AND go overboard on the cardio.
This is a bad idea.
Anything beyond the very, very short term - you'll feel really shit really quickly and not be able to sustain this. It is a recipe for disaster.
Cardio is a useful tool to help with weight loss but:
- it shouldn't be your only tool
- should be kept in check so it's not over done. i.e. mix up low intensity with high intensity with very low intensity
- you shouldn’t neglect your eating to help support your goals as well
You've set yourself a goal to lose the weight and get in shape....
-crickets are chirping-
It's great you want to lose weight or want to improve how you feel, but you need to set up a plan on how to achieve this.
It doesn't have to be some super detailed plan… unless that works for you
You just need to have some sort of plan or idea of how you’re going to do it.
Because unless you actually DO something to move yourself towards your goals, it won't happen by magic.
You need something that helps you to figure out how you will get from where you are now, today. To where you want to get to, what you want to achieve.
It would be like waking up one morning and deciding you want to travel to ….. somewhere.
You don’t know where the place is.
What it’s like.
Or how you’re even going to get there.
But you decide you are going there and so you set off.
As you can imagine it would be one big hap-hazard journey and full of frustrations.
Compare that to waking up and knowing where you are. The place you want to get to. Then mapping out a general plan of how to get there.
For weight loss clients, I like to use my 4 pillars approach to figuring this out - 1) Working out & being active; 2) Nutrition & Eating Skills; 3) Mindset & Accountability; 4) Rest, Recovery & Lifestyle
Map out a general plan of how those 4 areas can help my clients to reach their goals and work that plan.
Have a think about those 4 areas and what you could do to move towards your goal.
Then write the ideas down and make a commitment to following them.
You've worked hard, stuck to your plan and achieved your goals!
That is incredible work and you should be super proud of what you have done!
And now what?
Will you go back to your old lifestyle?
Will you continue to maintain doing what you're doing?
This is an important and often over-looked area.
So many times I've seen something along the lines of "I did the XYZ diet and lost 20 lbs. Then I stopped and it all came back."
There is this idea that if you work super hard to achieve your goal you can then stop and just go back to doing what you were doing before.
Often times, this is because you’ve forced yourself to follow a diet or training plan you didn’t like and couldn’t wait to finish. Rather than focus on sustainable habits and eating.
As you get close to achieving your goal, think about how you will work on sustaining all that progress, hard work and effort.
Don't do yourself an injustice by stopping everything you've done to reach that point and going back to what you were doing.
If you do just go back to your old lifestyle, old habits, old way of doing things, I promise you that you will likely gain it all back, maybe more and I would truly hate that to happen for you.
That's 5 signs which could strongly indicate that your weight loss goal will fail.
If any of these resonated with you and you want to learn how to break that cycle and how to deal with each of these areas then get in touch today and I'll see if I can help you.
Go to this link, fill out the form and book in your free consult call
This is my, mostly, Personal Trainer musings and information which I hope you'll find helpful!