What am I doing wrong?
#1: I Eat Healthy, But Can’t Lose Weight
- 2 Poptarts – 420 Calories
- McDouble and Small Fries – 610 Calories
- Frappucino – 230 Calories
- Ramen – 400 Calories per pack
Kenzie’s Total: 1660 Calories
- Avocado Toast w/ Eggs: 500 Calories
- McDonalds Salad: 690 Calories
- Smoothie: 350 Calories
- Whole Wheat Spaghetti & Meatballs: 600 Calories
Bo’s Total: 2040 Calories
#2: I Eat The Same as my Friend but her Metabolism is Faster
Two, no one’s fitness journey is going to look the same. We all have different goals, different obstacles, and different techniques for getting there. Once Faith has gotten her TDEE and figures out her calorie goals, she may want to look to the internet to find the best way to stick stick to it. Other people may have tips and suggestions on the “best” way, but ultimately the best way is the way Faith can hit her targets consistently.
#3 I’m Working Out But Still not Losing Weight.
Leland was a pretty fit guy in college, but ever since he graduated and got a job the pounds started piling on. He decides he is going to start going to the gym after work every day. After a few weeks, he does not see any change on the scale. What is going on?
The culprit may be in his mindset. Now that Leland is going to the gym every day, he is eating his dinner later. So, on his way to the gym he puts a scoop of protein powder and milk into his shaker bottle. Little does he know the 200 calories in that bottle is about equal to the 200 calories he’s burning at the gym.
Also, he has started having a “cheat” meal on the weekend that he wasn’t having before because he feels like he’s earned it with his new workout routine.
Leland has a lesson he needs to learn. You can’t outrun your fork.
It can take anywhere from an hour of walking, to 45 minutes of a cardio dance class, to 30 minutes of running to burn 250 calories.
It takes two minutes to eat a 250 calorie candy bar.
When it comes to fat loss, it is more efficient to control how many calories you take in than try to increase your TDEE. Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body. It increases strength and bone density, improves your cardiovascular system, decreases symptoms of depression, and protects against various cancers. It just might not be the solution to fat loss.
#4 – I Need to Detox or Cleanse my Body to Fix my Metabolism.
Linda from my office did a three-day juice cleanse and lost 15 lbs. Should I try it?
No. Linda temporarily lost water weight that will come back when she goes back to her old eating habits.
In the end, Linda isn’t going to accomplish much. She got short term results for short term work. However, she hasn’t acknowledged the reasons she gained weight in the first place (spoiler alert: she’s consuming more energy than she actually needs.)
This lesson is a short and sweet one. Unless you have problems with your kidney and liver, you do not need to detox or cleanse anything in your body. The only thing you will lose will be money and joy. Your metabolism is not some magical engine that can break or need to be restarted. Which brings us to our last point.
#5 – Dieting Damaged my Metabolism.
It is the total energy used in the chemical reactions in your body – breathing, digesting, pumping your blood, activating your muscles, growing new skin cells. In fact, we mentioned it by another name earlier. Your “metabolism” is your Total Daily Energy Expenditure.
Jayne is taller and weighs more than Simon, they are equally physically active. Jayne is going to have higher energy needs than Simon.
As Jayne loses fat, he’ll have less mass and his energy needs will decrease. Colloquially, we call that a slower metabolism, but nothing is broken. If Jayne lost 20 lbs, that is 20 lbs worth of cells his body no longer needs to feed every day.
Granted, everyone is unique. An individual may burn 100 calories more or less than someone else with the same stats. Much like body temperature, you’d expect someone to clock in around 98.3 F or 99.0 F as their typical body temperature, but not 102 F or 93 F.
Jayne’s lesson is this: recalculate his TDEE after every 10-15 pound loss and adjust his goals accordingly. He should also be mindful about the calorie creep! Sometimes he finds himself getting comfortable with his weight loss process and gets a little lax with checking his portion sizes or letting himself have an extra treat. He needs to keep himself accountable and honest.
The pill that lets you lose fat while eating whatever you want. The detox that kickstarts your metabolism. The workout program that blasts fat even in your sleep! You know the kind of promises that fitstagrammers are hyping trying to sell that new diet tea or detox wrap.
As a fitness instagrammer myself, I can tell you these people aren’t hitting their goals with these products. They’re hitting their fitness goals through consistent exercise and energy balance. That is what is going to get you to your goals, too.
- Don’t fall for the health halo
- Don’t compare your journey to others
- Don’t try to out exercise a bad diet
- Don’t try for quick fixes
- Don’t forget to reassess and reevaluate
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