We are excited to share this special guest post from Rebecca the Dietitian! We recognize how much the way you fuel your body influences your exercise results, and are excited to be able to bring you Rebecca’s sound eating advice to help you optimize your health, enjoy eating and get the most out of your workouts. We hope you will check out her post below and look forward to learning more from her. If you are in need of more guidance when it comes to nutrition, her comprehensive course, “Nourished & Fit” teaches you everything you need to know in order to lose weight, increase your energy, and balance your hormones (while enjoying delicious food of course)! Along with the course you will be invited to monthly group calls and a private Facebook community of amazing, supportive women. Please check out this link here to learn more (be sure to use the code ‘JSTV’ for a 30% discount).
Imagine this scenario: you run into someone you haven’t seen in a while, and they’ve obviously lost a good amount of weight. What happens in your brain? Do you wonder how they did it? Do you ask them their secret? Are you tempted to take notes and do everything exactly as they did?
In 20+ years working in healthcare, I’ve seen many weight loss trends come and go. Some plans help people slim down, and some don’t. Some are based on sound advice, and some are completely absurd. The truth is that no matter what seems to be in fashion, the basic scientific facts about weight loss remain consistent. I do my best to keep an open mind when a seemingly new idea rolls around, but it’s usually an old idea wrapped up in a shiny new package (book, podcast, celebrity interview, etc.). We have to be careful where we are getting our advice, especially in a world where anyone can post any advice publicly without consequences.
Here are the top 2 mistakes I see people make when they want to lose weight:
Mistake #1: Jumping on fad diet trends
Weight loss fads are as common and as fleeting as fashion trends. The current “Keto” fad is another version of using ketosis for rapid weight loss reminiscent of the Atkin’s diet in the ’70s and “Sugar Busters” in the ’90s. Those plans came in hot, helped people lose weight fast, and eventually fell out of fashion as everyone gained all of the weight back.
If you cut your carbs or your calories too low, you will end up losing weight quickly (mostly water weight initially), and if you keep going on a ketosis-promoting plan, it results in losing healthy tissue like muscle along with the fat and as a result, your metabolism takes a big hit.
Then when you eventually decide that you don’t want to live the rest of your life without carbs (especially the ones that give you energy, vitamins, and minerals), you gain the weight back plus extra because your metabolism isn’t burning as many calories at rest.
The same thing happens with very low-calorie diets (I’m looking at you, 1200-calorie plans) or any trend that results in ultra-rapid weight loss.
It takes a while (with healthy eating and exercise) to get your metabolism back to where it was before you started, and sometimes it doesn’t ever recover after extreme dieting, as we’ve seen in long-term results from the Biggest Loser contestants. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/lessons-from-the-biggest-loser
The only scientifically proven method for lasting weight loss is to figure out a way to eat fewer calories and/or burn more calories than you currently do and keep that change up for good. For Jessica, that started with learning to love fitness and then became a desire to eat healthier foods. For me, it started with finding a way to eat delicious foods with fewer calories without feeling deprived. How do you think you could cut or burn some extra calories in a way that will last?
Mistake #2: Giving up on a healthy plan you’re happy with just because you’re not seeing fast results.
It makes sense that since we’ve been inundated with these fad-diet results when we set out to lose weight, we hope for fast change. In reality, you likely didn’t gain that weight quickly. Most of our weight gain creeps on over time. As we learned earlier, ultra-rapid weight loss isn’t sustainable; it decreases muscle mass and negatively impacts your metabolism.
The good news is that when you make reasonable, sustainable healthy changes and stick with them over time, you will see results. I always say, “when you eat (and move) like a fit, healthy person, you’ll become a fit, healthy person.” It works every time. But you may need to be patient.
When you find yourself getting frustrated with a healthy plan, think about if you were actively gaining weight when you started the new weight loss plan. We often don’t consider that if you were gaining 2 pounds per month, then technically, if you lose 2 pounds in a month, your net progress is 4 pounds down.
Also, if you have recently tried a fad or extreme diet, you have to heal your metabolism before you’ll see great results.
It’s frustrating to see ladies who are doing great give up simply because they “only” lost 2 pounds in 2 weeks. They often tell me that they love how they feel and how they’re eating, but it is easier to go back to old habits… so when they don’t see the super fast results, they stop trying. Then 3 months later, instead of being 12 pounds down, they end up heavier than ever and so frustrated they feel like giving up for good.
If you figure out a healthy plan that you enjoy, find some things to focus on that aren’t centered around the numbers on the scale. Do you have more energy? Are you sleeping better? Are you having less reflux or aches and pains? Is your G-I tract working more smoothly? Did you eat more fruits, veggies, or whole grains that provide vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy? Actively celebrate every bit of progress you make. Find support from like-minded people like the ones in our community. Don’t give up – you can do this, and we are here to help!