Fat-loss truths, myths, misinformation and what to do instead
We've all heard it and most of us have done it. We want to shed fat, so we eat a little less and move around a little more. Sure this might get you some great initial results, but what happens in the long-term? We are all aware how quickly the body gets used to and adapts, so where exactly does eating less and moving more actually end?!
Before we go any further, as I am aware of the vast amount of information AND misinformation available to us these days on what's the best way to lose fat/what to eat/how to exercise, the last thing I wish to do is confuse you even further! So this article is merely to shed light on a couple of, what I believe are very important factors to bear in mind if you are looking to lose fat permanently. These have got both me and my personal training clients results and are based on my own research and subjective interpretation.
Of course if an individual is eating way more than they need to and extremely sedentary, then watching one's portion control and moving around more is a great starting point. I've worked with quite a few personal training clients, who when they first contacted me, had ended up eating so little throughout the day and doing so much exercise, their bodies had started to go into shock and 'storage' from eating almost nothing, out of the fear of regaining the weight they'd previously lost!
Think about the amount of incredible functions our bodies perform each moment of every day, and throughout the night while we sleep. We are not even aware of the majority of these functions, but each and every single one of them requires calories in order to operate properly!
Excessive exercise, just like not eating enough will have the opposite effect. If you're looking to lose fat, a common mistake so many of us make (yes I have done this too) is to over-train. Doing too much cardio without enough recovery will flood your body with the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol affects insulin response, and therefore your body's ability to break down sugar. And if you want that flab gone, the last thing you want is your body holding on to it!
So what should I be doing instead?
My approach does not focus on weight loss or even size loss. What does it matter how many stones or sizes a person loses if they've had to starve themselves to get there?! And will they still be living this way in one, two or ten years time? You only need to look at a few high-profile weight-loss stories a few years down the line to get your answer.
When you shift your focus to lifestyle changed, with a healthy, balanced and relaxed approach to nutrition and finding activity that you enjoy, as well as seeking opportunities to move around throughout the day, something wonderful begins to happen.
Your body will have no reason to store or be in shock, as it will be getting enough fuel and thriving with the benefits of the correct activity that you enjoy! It is not about the amount you eat, but the quality of what you're eating. Not all calories are created equally (more about this here) and food is something that should be celebrated and enjoyed as valuable nutrients the body needs - not sins/points/good or bad labels!
It still saddens me that we live in a society where many fear eating things like fruit, yet will eat processed sugar-laden cereal bars or anything that is on an 'allowed' list!
So rather than eating less and moving more, start thinking about eating right and moving right. And if you're unsure about where to get started, just give me a call 😉