This article is going to hurt feelings.
It’s going to make some of you mad at me.
Because you want SO badly to believe that what I am about to say is not true, but deep down you know it is.
A person’s weight is a sensitive subject often times.
I get it. I see it daily.
People get defensive.
But, there is a reason you are still a weight you don’t want to be and if you truly want to change that, it’s time to get rid of the anchor holding you down.
Now, before we go any further, this article is about 3 reasons why many people can’t lose weight. It is not an end all list that will be the answer for every person. It also is not implying that outlying scenarios such as hormone or thyroid issues do not exist, as they absolutely can make weight loss a challenge.
It’s unfortunate I have to add that caveat, but better now than later.
My goal is not to hound overweight individuals who aren’t interested to lose weight.
I have said time and time again that positive change with the body must occur from within. Outside influence such as harassment or hounding, does NOTHING for long term change.
Rather, my goal is to aid those who truly want to lose weight in weeding out the things that may be holding them back.
If you are overweight, would it be wise for you to think seriously about beginning a health and fitness program?
Absolutely, but you need to be ready to go all in and if you aren’t there, frustration and throwing in the towel may follow suit shortly after you begin.
THE 3 REASONS
1. You don’t track your food, but are certain you eat “healthy”.
You saw this coming I presume. The whole tracking/journaling your food thing.
I hope so.
That likely means you are a person who has tried it before, were not consistent with it or didn’t log correctly, saw no results, and gave up. Then you concluded that tracking doesn’t work.
First things first, can you lose weight without tracking?
Eating intuitively after having a firm grasp of what you should be eating and in what amounts can work without question.
However, the vast majority of people are not there. They simply aren’t.
The biggest problem lies with the folks who consider themselves to be great healthy intuitive eaters, but have no idea what “healthy” really means.
Furthermore, the “healthy food” mindset makes people think calories magically do not exist.
For example, the classic avocado delusion.
Where people think “avocado is good for me so I can have as much as I want”.
So in addition to their entire meal they add a cup of avocado which is in the ballpark of 250 calories.
For JUST the avocado, not any of the meal itself.
For many females on a weight loss program this could very well be right around 20% of their allotted calories for the ENTIRE DAY.
From ONE serving of avocado.
This is nothing new.
I would say that nine times out of ten, when a client who is looking to lose weight starts training with me, they say that they eat pretty healthy.
They proceed to rattle off a days worth of food items that in and of themselves may be semi-decent, but the day as a whole is train wreck.
Because like it or not, calories DO matter.
Simply put, if over time, you take in less calories than your body burns on a day to day basis, 98% of the time you will lose weight. This is barring any of the outlying factors I mentioned earlier.
On the flip side, if on a daily basis you take in the same amount or more calories than your body burns, you will NOT lose weight.
I can hear it now. People yelling at me saying “I have tried that and it didn’t work!”
I hate to break it to you, you are not an anomaly.
You simply are not being as accurate and/or as consistent as you think you are. Additionally, I would be willing to bet you gave up far too early.
It is very easy to mess up even when you track.
Two tablespoons of peanut butter is between 160–180 calories depending on brand.
Think about how many people just spoon it out and guess.
So, in your food journal you accounted for two, but in reality it was three.
That’s 80–90 calories.
Not a big deal right?
One occurrence per day, probably not.
But, if you are messing something like that up, it is typically happening across the board.
The serving of almonds you had was bigger than you tracked.
The serving of cottage cheese.
The serving of avocado.
You get the idea.
All of the sudden four 90 calories mistakes turns into 360 calories more than you thought in one single day.
To put that in perspective let’s say a females body burns 1600 calories in a day.
At a 22% calorie deficit for example, she would be aiming to hit 1250 calories per day on a weight loss protocol.
She tracks her entire day.
Logs every last thing, but makes the above mistakes yielding an additional 360 calories.
She has now taken in 1610 calories for the day.
Not only did she COMPLETELY erase the deficit required for her weight loss protocol, but she is actually eating in a surplus by doing this.
Keep in mind, she FULLY believes she tracked perfectly.
She was proud of herself and is pumped that she is doing things right this time around.
But, after one week, two, three, four and seeing ZERO progress, what do you think she is going to do?
This is where a person typically concludes that tracking does not work.
The fact is, it does work.
And no, calories are NOT the only thing that should be worried about.
A proper breakdown of protein, carbohydrates, and fats must make up those calories, but that is beyond the scope of this article.
Do you have to track forever?
But, when a person tracks properly for a period of time, it teaches them a lot.
You will learn how things add up, and become very in tune with how to go about a day of eating without logging all your food.
When you need to get particular, it makes sense to begin tracking again since intuitive eating is merely educated guessing.
Put it this way, the periods in my life where I have been my leanest, I was always tracking.
2. You Justify Food.
You are out with the family enjoying a nice round of miniature golf on a Friday evening.
Afterwards, the kids ask to go to the ice cream shop.
They have been good, its hot out, and that sounds like fun to you. So, onward you go.
You know you are on a weight loss nutrition program, you have been tracking your food, and you know this is not going to fit into your day.
But, you justify it.
You say to yourself: “I should be able to have ice cream with my kids”.
For some reason, because your kids are there it means that it’s okay and the “experience” makes it acceptable.
You know what?
If it is truly worth it to you to throw a day’s progress out the window, fine.
But DO NOT complain about not losing weight if you are this person.
Perhaps you go to the apple orchard on a beautiful fall Saturday afternoon. At the end the kids want to get a pumpkin doughnut and cider.
Again, you tell yourself: “I should be able to enjoy this with me kids”.
Yet again, yes, you can! But stop whining about not making progress.
A weight loss nutrition program is not necessarily easy, and justifying food throughout it is a sure fire way to fail.
The worst part is, not partaking in either of those scenarios does not take ANYTHING away from your kids.
So you take them to get ice cream and you don’t get any. They could care less as they are stuffing their face with their own treat.
Or, you don’t get a doughnut and cider. They don’t care!
The blessing for the kids is you spending time with them, not what food they see you eat.
As you can imagine, food justification can occur in many forms.
Your work got a cake for you on your birthday.
You had a bad day at work so you want to go on a food binge at night.
Your business meetings would be “weird” if you didn’t consume multiple drinks.
And so on.
The only person you are “hurting” is yourself. This is on you.
A person will justify eating just about anything when they are trying to lose weight.
None of it has any validity.
Furthermore, if you have properly planned your day of eating, there is no reason you can’t make the low calorie frozen yogurt or a couple vodka sodas work into your daily calories periodically.
I am not a perfect eating zealot who thinks your life must be compromised completely to lose weight.
However, it’s on YOU to make it work and not complain about why you can’t do it.
3. You think exercise is going to fix your crap diet.
Just as I tell all my clients, let your nutrition control your weight and your workouts control your shape.
First things first, working out does NOT burn all that many calories.
The calorie counting devices many people have nowadays are VERY inaccurate and greatly overestimate what a person actually burns. This especially becomes problematic when a person thinks they can eat that number of calories after their exercise.
An hour of strength training only burns 200–300 calories.
That wouldn’t even make up for the accidental tracking overages in our example from earlier.
Even running for an hour only burns in the 400–500 calorie range.
This is simply NOT a long term solution to weight loss.
Let’s go back to our example again where the female burns 1600 calories per day. If you recall, she was trying to take in 1250 on her weight loss program.
First, if she is overweight she likely has been eating in a surplus for quite some time. She has not been eating 1600 calories. Her normal intake has probably been around 2000.
Without any dietary intervention, she would need to burn 750 calories via exercise every day to get to the calories that she is working towards via her weight loss program.
Attempting to burn 750 calories a day by way of exercise would not only be mentally exhausting, it would only be sustainable for a short period of time, as well as very taxing on the body.
With that said, you can see how in large part, calories must be arrived at by way of your diet.
Your workouts can smooth over a couple small screw ups throughout your day, but should not be the sole driver of losing weight.
Weight loss is multifaceted.
There are many components to it, but more often than not, the basics WILL prevail in providing success.
If you are a person who is fully committed to losing weight, I challenge you to go all in on the above guidelines.
If you need any help, I would be happy to lend a hand.
Email me right now at: JwaltersPT@gmail.com
And to learn more, go to my website at: www.JonWalters.CO