Updated: Dec 1, 2021
Ok, we have all been there. It's Thursday evening and you are at home, probably bored and scrolling through social media. You have eaten what you perceive to be 'clean and healthy' and that boredom binge kicks in.
You eat a little chocolate to start, and that's not terrible, but you then eat the rest of the family sized bar and you remember that ice cream you have at the back of the freezer! You feel like 'you might as well because you have ruined the whole diet now'. You continue to eat and then feel very guilty. At this point you think, 'well I may as well start again Monday because this week is ruined'. Sound
When do we want Results?
As humans we are programmed to want results for weight loss or other performance goals, like YESTERDAY! It can be really tough to see how long-term changes will have the biggest overall and sustainable impact on our amazing body. Hell, even I have been here, for so many years as a teenager and well into my twenties.
This is really more common than you think. It is the stride for perfectionism and the need to be a clean eating person, that all or nothing mindset. It is tough to navigate sometimes and understand the best way for you. Firstly, we need to understand the difference between weight loss and fat loss. This can help to understand the huge difference between fad diets, cleanses and so on, and actual lifestyle changes.
Difference between Fat loss and Weight Loss
Weight loss is what happens when we try a fad diet. Suddenly we are replacing meals with shakes or juices and eating only a small meal in the evening. For every 1g of carbohydrate we store around 3-4g of water weight. So if we lose 3kg in one week, 2kg maybe water weight, 0.5kg maybe muscle mass and only 0.5kg will be fat loss. This is not the result we want because muscle mass is essential for sustaining a higher calorie consumption. We want to keep that muscle and just lose that 0.5kg of fat.
Fat loss is what happens when we eat a good number of calories (and that is not 1000 or 1200kcal), depending on your body shape and size. Yes, we need to be in a calorie deficit, but we can do that in a realistic sustainable way. By managing our food intake and being mindful of how we eat, this can be from tracking calories, managing plate size and portions, increasing vegetables or protein to feel fuller, we can decrease our energy intake and still eat the foods we love and bring us joy. Fat loss is slow, but we can do it because it is more realistic and sustainable.
Long Term Weight Loss
Here are some really helpful ways to try to reconsider how we can readjust how we go about becoming healthier versions of ourselves and having a more positive and long term mindset.
Try to move away from the scales, as the can be daily fluctuations from salt and hormones. Use other forms to track progress such as energy levels, better sleep, progress photos, clothes fitting better, being able to lift more shopping or walking up many flights of stairs.
Understand the difference between fat loss and weight loss and make sure you understand the benefits.
Each week we eat so many meals, if we eat all that highly calorific food one evening, do not let it reflect the rest of the week. You have many other meals that week to make exciting choices.
Focus on one aspect first. Nutrition can help you lose weight/bodyfat, without any exercise. So maybe just do that! You do not need to exercise as well! Of course, exercise has many great benefits for fat loss as well as mental wellbeing, cardiovascular health, extra calorie consumption, social aspects and more.
Be kind to yourself. Do not feel you have to change every element to succeed. One step at a time.