This is such a common dilemma and a question I see time and time again on Facebook groups and Instagram - why am I not losing weight - I am being so good, what is going on? So when I saw my friend Bev, a certified health coach, nutritionist and behaviour change coach, had written about weight loss on her page I asked her if I could share her tips on my blog as her advice is so simple and so honest.
And a note about my own ongoing journey. I did The SSS Plan from The Body Coach, stuck to it and lost the weight I had slowly allowed to creep on. Being small it isn't much but I felt much fitter and much better. I then had a few hormonal issues (understatement there - full on perimenopause) anyway mostly now I concentre on calories in (what I eat) and calories out (how much I move - I try to do two weight bearing workouts a week) and having educated myself over the last few years this works. See what Bev has to say - simple habit changes really are the best approach.
Bev says ...
So I've got my nutrition coach head on to try and clear up a few misconceptions around losing weight and hopefully give a few useful pointers.
Here's the hard truth. Whilst there are emotional and psychological reasons why losing weight can be difficult, the bottom line is that in order to lose weight you HAVE to be in a consistent calorie deficit.
This means consistently eating fewer calories than you are burning through day to day activities.
IF YOU'RE NOT LOSING WEIGHT, YOU'RE NOT IN A CALORIE DEFICIT.
It sounds simple, but almost always we underestimate how many calories we eat and over estimate how much we move about.
If you're on a diet and not losing weight, the most likely reason is because you're not maintaining a consistent calorie deficit.
Very occasionally there may be medical factors at play, such as a sluggish thyroid, but in reality this is rarely the case.
Think of this. When your computer locks and stalls, the first advice we're usually given is to turn it off and back on again. To check the basics. This is because it needs to reset its system and 9 out of 10 times it works.
If you're not losing weight, you need to start with the basics. Just like rebooting your computer you need to reboot yourself.
Ask yourself some questions and be BRUTALLY honest with your answers.
Are you keeping a food diary (or using an app) and weighing and measuring the foods you put in your mouth?
Everything, even the foods you pick at while you're cooking, the handful of nuts you forgot you had, the couple of glasses of wine at the weekend?
Under-reporting of food is the NUMBER ONE reason we don't lose weight. We habitually eat without thinking about it and all those little additions can put us in a calorie surplus rather than a deficit.
Are you being good all week and then having a day or two off at the weekend?
It is incredibly easy to undo all the hard work you've done in the week with one or two 'I've been so good all week I deserve this' treats at the weekend.
And if you're severely restricting your calories all week this is even more pronounced because you're having to combat your body screaming at you for enough calories.
Are you spending too much time sitting still?
Going to the gym or doing an exercise class may feel like you're helping your diet, but often we move less and therefore burn fewer calories after a workout. This is because our body may be tired and therefore we simply move less.
There is also a tendency to justify eating more because we've done a workout.
General movement throughout the day burns far more calories than an hour in the gym. So whilst I'm not suggesting we don't do any planned exercise activity, we need to be careful that our non-exercise activity doesn't drop as a result.
Are you obsessing about all the foods you can't have?
If your diet is made up of tons of foods you're not allowed, you're going to feel resentful and very likely to have a binge when your willpower gives out.
Unless you have a particular trigger food that you have no ability to moderate, no foods should be off the menu. Calories are calories and so long as you're consistently maintaining a small deficit you will lose weight. The body doesn't care if your 200 calories come from a bar of chocolate or a banana smoothie in terms of the daily energy it gets from them.
That said, the body does handle different foodstuffs in different ways and the more whole and natural a food is the more full you will stay for longer. Therefore getting the bulk of your food from whole, unrefined foods will help with combating hunger pangs. But for sanity and adherence there is nothing wrong with including a few of your favourite foods into your calorie allowance.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Here's a blog post I wrote a good while ago that might help too - Has your weight loss hit a plateau?
I know I am not honest enough. I know I don't always want to log my food. And I know I don't always drink enough water. And if I want to lose a few more pounds then I know I will have to be a bit more honest with myself.
Bev Thorogood runs Floresco Training and Coaching and works with businesses and organisations to offer menopause in the workplace training and policy support.
Other blogs you may have missed and find useful:
Beautiful autumn styles and colours from Asquith - sustainable activewear
September and empty nesting
Nutrition for Menopause with Evie Nutrition
I link up with:
Is This Mutton
Not Dressed as Lamb
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog celebrating women. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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