As a professional in the fitness industry, it seems quite apparent that most people want to make a change in their life; most people hit the gym with some type of physique, strength or fat loss goal in mind.
As a regular 20-something girl, it seems that everyone and their mother wants to lose five pounds, am I right?
As a professional, this phenomena is quite bothersome for a few reasons…..
a) people talk about it until they are blue in the face, share sub-par tips, try paleo lifestyles, whole 30 diets, low-carb diets, ketogenic diets etc, never giving any of their strategies a full blown attempts and then they claim “it” doesn’t work
b) because everyone wants to lose it, tomorrow; and people buy into fat loss pills and gimmicks.
c) Referring to “a” they don’t ever stick with nay their strategies and “it” doesnt work for them because the “diets”they tried in the first place provide unsustainable tactics
I’ve been entirely frustrated over our culture’s obsession for so long, that I actually wrote an article called The Five Pound Fuss last spring.
As a 20-something girl and a fit-pro, I want to simply help everyone understand that “diets’ or lifestyle changes do work, and once you find lifestyle that suits you, you wont fuss over five pounds ever again because you’ll enjoy your nutrition and training routine.
Today I’m here to talk to you, (and all my potential future clients) about whether or not you are “ready” to diet. I hope this article helps you understand the commitment you should be willing and able to put forth and also the science behind why you should come from a certain physical and psychological state before you begin a fat loss program.
Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions at all!
Are you ready to diet?
Short story example of a new client:
New Client Sally: Hi Garrett! I am so excited to begin the #Daretoeat program, however, I have a work trip coming up, followed by a bachelorette weekend, so I think it’s best that I start in June. Thanks!
Coach Garrett: Hi Sally! I am so glad you are excited! However, as your coach it’s my job to tell you that there’s never a “perfect” time to start a diet. If this were a strength training program and you were going to be traveling to France without access to a gym then I’d say, “Absolutely, let’s hold off until June.” However, as a human being, you must eat every day in order to exist and you have 100% control over what you eat. I am of the opinion that you can start ASAP, if you want to dive in!
Sally: You are right, I’ll start Monday!
The thing is, there truly is never s perfect time to begin a program, however with the #Daretoeat Program and any fat loss program in general, you should have a few things squared away before you start.
For this article’s purposes we will define “diet” as: committing set amount of time dedicated to tracking total caloric intake in hopes of losing fat over said time.
Before you begin a diet, it’s important to cover a few things emotionally. First off, are you dealing with anything in your life that is tough enough that you’re turning to food as a coping method? Has anything rocked your personal boat enough to throw you off of your normal work/life routine? If so, committing to an intense regime (which demands some significant lifestyle changes) may not be best at the moment, if it will be seen as a stressor to your current emotional state.
Beyond the heavy stuff, with regards to exercise, does it control you? Do your workouts make or break your day? Do you get nervous if you cannot exercise?
I ask questions like these in order to understand my clients relationship with exercise before beginning the program. This is crucial because if New Client Sally is reliant upon her 90 minutes of cardio daily, then:
- I have to factor that into creating the calorie deficit
- I have to help coach her out of that 90 minute cardio habit/addiction (unless she’s an olympic athlete in training), because it’s not necessary for fat loss, long term
- Sally’s reliance on cardio may reveal some issues she has with a disordered eating past, or unhealthy relationship with nutrition and exercise.
It is crucial for coach and client to be very open with each other. In a fat loss program, you have to introduce a change or new stressor to the body to affect fat loss. Which brings me to the next section….
If I take Couch Potato Joe and have him stop drinking 200 calories of soda every day in Week 1, and suggest he start taking the stairs at work in Week 2, he will lose weight in two weeks, no problem. But, on the other hand, if New Client Sally has been meticulously tracking 1200 calories for 15 day periods, doing 60-90 minutes of cardio a day and binging out on brownies 2 to 5 times a month, I need to know this because she might weigh 135, want to lose that pesky 5 pounds but feel stuck, given what her body is used to…. and if that’s what she’s used to, how do we change it? What do we change? Should she be doing 120 minutes a day?! Heck no! Nobody’s got time for that!
In order to consider if a calorie deficit is for you, it’s important to look at what you’re currently doing, and if you can actually make a sustainable change to affect fat loss. And, let’s back up for a second, in order to be able to “look at what you’re currently doing” it’s important to track it…. Refer to tip #1 in this article for more help.
The bottomline is that before fat loss, you want to be in a place when you’re letting hunger be your guide, enjoying your meals, and not really tracking too much. This way when you start cutting back something, you have the ability to cut back those extra cocktails on Friday night, cut out the few cookies you had in the office pantry just “because” and omit the late night snacking you don’t think about every day…. which leads me to the next part.
Are you ready to actually change your habits?
As noted, everyone wants to lose five pounds, tomorrow. But I’d argue tat less than 50% of people are actually willing to make the commitment to the change required to lose the weight.
***(I will blame pop culture for marketing bad, unsustainable “fat loss tips” because if I thought I had to do 60 minutes of cardio and eat only 1200 calories of kale and chicken a day, I’d be halfway committed too!)
You have to ask yourself….
Are you ready to change some things in your daily routine?
Are you ready to plan your meals ahead and/or track your food?
Are you ready to say “no” to the fatty, fried chicken wings at the bar, or the nacho appetizer your friend orders? Or plan a day of eating higher protein meals with veggies so that you can enjoy pizza later on that night?
Are you ready to have vodka soda’s instead of rum and coke cocktails? Are you willing to skip out on dessert more frequently than usual?
Above all, are you ready to make fat loss as a Top 3 Priority every. single. day?
I tell my clients this often because it’s crucial! If you do not want to put fat loss as a top three priority, it’s going to be a tough road. You have to be ready to be mindful of what you are eating and truly want to put in the effort.
Check out this article I wrote about how you must actually change your habits for fat loss– you may be surprised on how difficult (or not!) it will be!
Being “ready” to diet means being ready to commit to something; whether it’s being ready to open your mind to learning about how to change the macros you eat, opening your mind to focusing on giving your body rest and then eating less, or opening your mind to some more nutritious food options en lieu of fast food…. the mind MUST be ready.
You have to want to make the change for YOU and nobody else.
If you aren’t “ready” for these things, don’t beat yourself up about your weight/body. Love your body and your health and when you’re ready to fuss about it, you’ll be ready to do something about it.
Let me know if you have any questions, at all! Email me! firstname.lastname@example.org