It took me years to figure out a way to lose weight and keep it off. During the holidays or if I was on vacation I would gain even more weight.
I would go on “lifestyle changes” only to gain the weight back plus some. Usually, you hear females complaining about this. But I think many males suffer in secret from this problem.
The thing is that I was only in my 20’s when I was at my highest weight. I was stressed and depressed. Food was my comfort blanket each night after a hard day.
Finally, I was so sick that I took control of my life and started to see a holistic health doctor. In the past four years, I've learned a ton about weight loss. I even became a certified health coach because my weight loss journey has been so powerful.
Conventional wisdom won't help you keep weight off. Most diets and products are designed for you to fail so you can keep consuming.
Weight Loss Isn't About Calories In Versus Calories Out
In my experience ( and those who I've talked to) worrying about how many calories you have coming in and out won’t help with long-term weight loss.
In fact, its useless in your weight loss journey. Yes, knowing how many calories are in certain foods is good to know. But daily counting may cause you to turn to disordered eating.
Unless you are a fitness model or in a high-level sport, counting calories will cause more harm than good.
According to the study, Reducing Calorie Intake May Not Help You Lose Body Weight, concluded that reducing calories is an over simplistic solution to a multifaceted complex problem.
The study cites that:
- Due to the widespread availability of highly caloric foods, weight loss efforts have been concentrated on the reduction of energy intake.
- Small meals and portion control only work in the short term. Meal size varies widely from person to person. Social and psychological influences make this possible.
- “Diet-induced weight loss results in long-term changes in appetite gut hormones, postulated to favor increased appetite and weight regain” (Lean & Malkova, 2016, p. 622)
- Low-calorie diets found that between one-third and two-thirds of dieters regained more weight than they lost initially. Yo-yo dieting is a direct cause of increased weight gain over time.
When you start (or continue) your weight loss journey forget about counting calories.
Focus on consuming minimally processed whole foods. Whole foods tend to be low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals.
Whole foods make you feel full longer resulting in fewer blood sugar spikes.
TRF (Time-Restricted Feeding) Is Your Biggest Ally
For over two years I've fasted intermittently. This alone has allowed me to maintain a healthy weight.
I've also learned that while intermittent fasting is a great weight loss solution, it's not for everyone.
Instead of fasting TRF is a great way to facilitate some of the wonderful benefits of fasting. TRF allows you to have a shorter fasting window.
If you abstain eating 3-6 meals a day, you allow for TRF.
The old adage that tells us to eat many meals a day to spike our metabolism is out-dated and wrong.
Your body is designed for sporadic eating. Constantly eating spikes your blood sugar causes you to be more insulin resistant. This makes you more hungry.
Give your body a break from digestion and allow it to use its fat stores for energy.
The article on Diet Doctor, Time-Restricted Eating-A Detailed Intermittent Fasting Guide, goes over some of the benefits of allowing your body to be in a fasted state longer.
These benefits include:
- Insulin sensitivity (which I mentioned)
- Lower blood pressure
- Weight loss
- A cure to obesity
- A treatment for metabolic syndrome (metabolic syndrome is a combination of conditions like high blood pressure, high body fat levels, and high blood sugar)
If fasting for more than 12 hours doesn't appeal to you try skipping breakfast or a late dinner.
Break the three or more meals a day rule.
Watch your excess weight fall off.
Going to parties will be a lot less stressful if you condition yourself to eat whole foods and practice TRF or fasting.
When you eat sweets once in a while it won't derail your weight loss efforts. What you eat most of the time matters more than what you eat on occasion.
Stop Counting Steps
With the advent of digital pedometers (Fitbit) counting steps for weight loss has become an obsession for people.
10,000 steps a day or more is a goal that step fanatics use.
I always don’t know what to say when someone comes running up to me saying, “ Jerome! I did 16,000 steps today!”
I usually awkwardly congratulate them.
The truth is counting steps won't help you lose weight. You can do all the steps in the world but if your overall lifestyle is unhealthy it won't make much of a difference.
According to the study, A Meta-Analysis of Pedometer-Based Walking Interventions and Weight Loss concluded that participants lost a very modest amount of weight.
- Had 307 participants who were 73% women and 27% men.
- The study had a mean duration of 16 for the participants.
- The average amount of weight loss in the study was 3.1 pounds.
You could probably lose 3.1 pounds in two days instead of 16 weeks.
Instead of counting, steps incorporate more movement in all parts of your life.
Include walks in nature along with other forms of exercise like:
- Fitness classes
- Weight Lifting
- HITT(high-intensity interval training) at home
The key is to have an active lifestyle as much as possible.
If you have a 9-5 job that requires lots of sitting, make sure you are getting up and walking around frequently.
Reject common knowledge and make weight loss work for you.
Break these three rules and mealtimes during vacation won’t be as stressful.