Okay the first thing I am going to ask my client is why do you need to lose weight ? In a world consumed by photoshopped images and beautiful models (Mostly under 20!) we have this unrealistic pressure to feel like we have to lose weight. There are only two reasons I would support my clients losing weight. 1. You have a medical or health condition and have received advice from a doctor or qualified nutritionist to lose weight. 2. You feel that your current weight is inhibiting your ability to do activities that you want to participate in.
If perhaps your answer is because you don’t like yourself at your current weight then the first thing you need to work on is Why? Is it because you are self-conscious or want to conform to societies biased views of what weight you should be. Noting of course, depending on the year we are in that could range from voluptuous and curvy, fit and athletic, lean and skinny or the current trend of a larger than average bottom. Ultimately your weight is not a precise indicator of your health or your fitness; as these factors are also influenced by stress, sleep, hormones, attitude, genetics, nutrition and exercise. So the first thing to understand is why you want to lose weight and then what would be a realistic and sustainable weight to maintain on a long term basis.
On a very basic level, understanding your calorie intake and what is required to be in calorie deficit for you on a personal goals is the very first step in weight loss. Getting a bioscan that gives you full body composition is something I would totally recommend as fat, muscle and water all need to be considered when looking at weight loss. There are no health benefits of losing 5kg if it’s all muscle and water and your fat weight remains that same. Without going into specifics, the macro’s of your food in relation to protein, carbs and fats along with the type of exercise you do are going to influence how you lose the fat. Again it is important to also understand that calorie deficit is a way to sustain weight loss however it is not an indicator of health and well-being so choosing mostly nutritionally dense and whole foods is always going to be optimum. That certainly doesn’t mean giving up chocolate !!
Should you therefore count calories ?? At the beginning of any health journey it is important to be informed and have knowledge. As such many people will need to track their calories at the start of their weight loss journey to fully understand where their calories are coming from. Did you know most people underestimate their calorie intake by up to 40% ? However, my disclaimer to this on a long term basis is the importance of having a healthy and positive relationship with food. If you are going to spend every meal worrying and counting calories you are making yourself susceptible to disordered eating. So once you get a good understanding of what foods contain both on a calorie and a nutritional level, use that knowledge to make healthy choices in the future without obsessing over it.
Talking about obsessions, I would like to briefly touch on the myriad of marketing about which diet is best for losing weight. When being convinced by a celebrity or influencer that the only way to lose weight is cut carbs, follow keto or drink endless shakes and juices just remember that everyone has a different genetic makeup and we all process food differently. So just because someone lost 20kg in 3 wks on a juice cleanse doesn’t mean you will and it certainly doesn’t mean they are healthy or won’t continue of a yo-yo weight loss/gain cycle.
In order to keep weight off you need to enjoy the eating process and if that includes eating your favorite foods then that is what you should do. Your main goal in losing weight is being able to keep it off and unfortunately that doesn’t usually occur when you try a fad diet or starve yourself to lose it quickly. If you are serious about losing weight then do your research and find someone you trust to keep you accountable while always having your health and well-being as the bigger goal in relation to losing weight.
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