Many people believe if they restrict daily calorie intake to a ridiculously low amount they will lose weight or fat. This is a common misconception so don’t fall victim to this myth. During the beginning of weight loss our body is typically eliminating water and unfortunately breaking down muscle. Unfortunately people believe if they cut calories excessively they will lose weight; sadly this is untrue. Instead the body becomes a fat storing machine. Why? I’ve talked about this many times but it is our natural safety mechanism. Extreme calorie restriction often known as Anorexia Nervosa causes major health problems and bone density is decreased. An overweight person has an increased risk of bone density decreasing. This decreased bone density increases the risk of stress fractures or complete fractures in bones. Excessive weight loss decreases muscle mass. Muscle is very important to our body because muscles help us move. Bones are the foundation of the body but the muscles attached to the bones are what helps us move. As we begin to age, as early as our twenties we begin to lose a small percentage of muscle mass each year. This percentage of muscle mass is increased for sedentary people or excessive calorie cutters with poor diets. Think about your grandparents or great parents; were they physically active throughout their senior lives? Were your grandparents frail and unable to walk without shuffling or struggle to do daily tasks? It’s important that we maintain our independence as long as possible.
How to start the path of eating healthy and exercising daily? It must start with you. It can’t be a doctor using scare tactics or family members teasing. The want to change must happen within or it won’t happen. Are you ready to make a commitment to change? Why do you want to make a change? Are you doing this for yourself or someone else?
Here is a thought, what if instead of focusing on calories we focused on servings of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and good fats. In addition to focusing on fats, vegetables, fruits, lean proteins include food timing, and emotions. When you sit down to eat write down how you feel. Are you sad, angry, tired, nervous or happy? How much water have you drank? Did you exercise? Exercise will increase the need for more foods to be consumed to help repair the body and promote good immunity. When the body becomes worn down from lack of sleep or hard workouts the risk of colds and illnesses increases. Does counting calories drive you crazy? Losing weight is as simple as being aware of the foods we put into our mouth. If you eat lunch and dinner out every evening that’s a poor eating habit. Think of how much weight you could lose if you cooked meals at home. Eating breakfast every morning can decrease the chances of excessive eating at lunch. Adding a snack around 2:30 -3:00 can also decrease the likelihood of overeating at dinner. These are simple tasks that will go a long way when trying to reach a weight loss or health goal. Don’t drive yourself crazy counting calories; if you eat wholesome foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, Greek yogurts, and lean proteins you will lose weight. Try to set a goal to eliminate the amount of foods you eat from packages. Here are some goals that might help.
1. I will eat 2 servings of fruits and 6 -8 servings of vegetables a day. (TRACK IT)
2. I will take my lunch to work every day.
3. I will set a timer for every 2.5-3 hours to eat very small meals/snacks
4. I will eliminate pops or bad beverages; mochas, Frappuccino’s etc.
5. I will eat a protein, fat and carbohydrate at each meal.
6. I will eat breakfast each morning.
1. I will lose one pound per week by eating a nutritious diet that consists of proteins, carbs and fats at each meal. I will resistance train two days per week and complete 30 minutes of cardiorespiratory exercises for the first two weeks. After two weeks I will increase my duration or intensity by 10 percent.
These are small goals that can be easily achieved. Focus on one goal each week instead of trying to do everything at once. Set SMART goals and mark your calendar! You can do it!! For one on one coaching contact me.