I hope you don’t hate me for telling you the truth, but you have a far better chance of success on a Unicorn Hunt than you have of finding the perfect fat loss diet. All food diets are based on recycled Myths. Every 20-30 years we go through cycles where the marketers of pills, potions and Magic Elixirs will do their manipulative best to convince you to buy their products and services, because their “High Fat Diet” is the secret to making you look sexy! Then, when the public gets wise to the Myth, they will switch to high Protein… then High Carb… Then maybe some magic combination, until it’s time to recycle the “High Fat Diet” again.
This NEED for dieting began to achieve popularity in the 1960’s. So…what happened in the 60’s to make people so conscious of their weight?
Simple question, very complex answer.
Depending on the subject matter experts you talk to, some will point to Obesity Statistics that show Obesity Rates were less than 5% in most places and then point out key changes to our eating, activity, lifestyle and other habits over time. Starting in the late 1950’s and continuing to accelerate to this day, our changes in eating habits from local home grown, home cooked, real food, has transitioned to fast food restaurants, highly processed foods, artificial/synthetic sweeteners and food and drink additives.
Food science advances have made foods “Taste Great,” but with far, less nutritional and health benefit. Generations of farming the same land has caused nutrient depletion of our soil; toxic substances used in all aspects of life including air, water and soil pollution; toxic household products (cleaning products, our fresheners, etc.) ever increasing stress and much more, can all be linked to “the need for dieting”.
It is also important to mention, high levels of stress, maintained for long periods, leads to weight gain or fat gain.
Which leads to the next question: Why are we so stressed?
Primarily because our WANTs far exceed our NEEDs!
We want designer clothes, a brand-new car, a 4,000 Square foot house with a Master Bedroom Suite bigger than the entire apartment you grew-up in… Not including centered heat and air, 3-Car garage, built in swimming pool with a spill-over spa!!! Plus, we are willing to go into debt to finance our WANTs, which only adds to our stress when our debt rises above our ability to pay for our NEEDs.
We actually NEED very little and living below our means is a great way to reduce stress.
Another key to a weight loss program is to actually take an active role. You achieve this by counting calories. The only true management of your weight is to use the “Calories in vs. Calories out” method.
To lose weight, you will NEED to take in less calories than you consume. The hard way to do this, is to count every calorie you consume and record every calorie you expend. The easy way, though not quite as accurate, is to weigh yourself, the same way, at the same time, every morning.
While it is not perfectly accurate over a 24-hour period, it is accurate enough to steer you toward your goals. Since studies show people under estimate by 40% how many calories they consume and over estimate by 40% how many calories they expend. The scale is the easiest way to educate you on the effect of your daily eating and exercise program.
And YES! You should know by now that you can achieve your weight loss goals much faster by exercising daily.
For those of you who have been told the Myth “Don’t weigh yourself daily because you will become obsessed with the scale!” That is among the dumbest things I ever heard! For you or anyone to begin a Weight Management Program and not use the scale as their primary metric to measure your progress, is just plain stupid!
What gets measured gets managed!
Plus, there is ZERO Scientific evidence of “Scalimia,” (I just made that up), the non-existent-psychological disorder of using a scale to force a Snowflake into becoming anorexic! (All made up to tease the Weigh Management Fairies)! However, there is Scientific Evidence on daily scale metrics.
According to recent research, the group weighing themselves daily, lost more weight in less time, than groups weighing themselves weekly, who lost more, than those weighing themselves monthly.
The evidence is IN! You use a scale… DAILY… as your primary Weight Management tool, to guide you toward your weight loss goals.
I discovered this very useful tool, decades ago, my Rookie-Year in Personal Training. I met many prospects and Personal Training Clients, who had no idea what they weighed when they approached me about their fitness program. It was common sense to me that all my personal training clients needed to know what they weighed, what their immediate, intermediate, and long-term weight goals were and how to measure their progress toward their weight management goals.
Of course, I would execute my personal trainer responsibility to educate them in Body Composition concepts and measure their Body Composition periodically, such as 30, 60, 90 days, dependent on their individual needs and goals, but always relying on the scale to provide daily feedback on their weight management.
Will there be anomalies on the scale?
Of course! For example, if you are a woman of child-bearing age, you can expect to see anomalies in what the scale tells you for a few days every month.
If you are a personal trainer, you should educate your personal training clients on the reasons you weigh them as often as you do. Educating your client is an essential part of personal training.
While the scale is the primary tool for keeping your clients on target, some additional education can always help. If your client is taught there are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat, they should know they need to have a 500 calories deficit/day in order to lose one pound of fat/week (500 x 7 days = 3,500 calories)
With the Calories In-Calories Out Method, this 500 calorie deficit is earned by either consuming 500 calories less than they expend by eating less, or expending 500 calories more than they consume by exercising, or some combination of both.
Obviously, individuals would need to have a daily deficit of 1,000 calories/day to achieve a two pound fat loss/week.
- You should never reduce calorie intake below 1,500 Calories/day without a doctor’s supervision.
- You should never reduce carbohydrate intake below 130 grams/day (520 calories, preferably COMPLEX Carbohydrates/day).
It is difficult for the body to metabolize more than 2 pounds of fat/week unless you are in reasonably fit condition. And without 130 grams of carbohydrates/day, your brain cannot operate efficiently.
Another tip for your clients is to have them add a slice or two of some citrus fruit to the 64 ounces of water everyday (or at least sufficient pure water to keep their urine clear or nearly clear). This can help aid in fat loss.
In my judgment, much of what is considered moody, emotional, irrational, problem behavior, has at it’s root, Biochemical Imbalance (the 12th IFPA component of Fitness), and many poor decisions result from poor diet and lifestyle choices.
If you have been trying for years to lose weight without success or worse, going through the YO-YO Diet Cycle where you are getting heavier and heavier with every try at “High Fat,” “High Protein” and/or “High Carb” Diet… Isn’t it time to get back to basics?
“Calories In-Calories Out” is the only known way to get you to your goal. There are no magic macronutrients. While I agree it takes more calories to digest a protein or complex carbohydrate, the real story is far more complex beyond “healthy nutrient intake” the research on satiety alone negates the efficacy of isolated macronutrients. Efficacy decreases even more when you try the “Food Isolation Diets” such as the: “Grapefruit Diet,” “Celery Diet,” “Onion Diet,” etc.
While the “Calories In-Calories Out” Method requires Personal Responsibility, some effort and focus…it works!
You can keep trying the “Macro Diet” which for the “macro-Marketeers” who will happily sell you their books, programs, supplements, powders, pills, potions and Magic Elixirs. You lose money, but cannot lose weight for more than a few months. Most people who buy-in to their marketing hype weigh MORE…One year after beginning their diets.
If you want success, you need to change your lifestyle.
What have you got to lose… except for the unwanted fat you have been try to lose for years!
Dr. Jim Bell