I hear this a lot in the fitness community. Most of my clients have said those exact words to me at some point.
That's why I want to squash this no matter what BUT also provide you a solution to your issue.
So you find yourself eating salads, avoiding processed foods and avoiding beer but for some reason,
you can't pull off those love handles.
If you can subtract the potential diagnosed medical issues that may be the culprit to for your troubles with losing weight. You should continue reading, but if you feel that you are excessively tired and it is hard for you to breathe regularly, it is best first to seek medical assistance and understand what is happening internally. I would suggest everyone who is genuinely interested in becoming healthier first to see a physician and gain a better understanding of their health before they hit the gym.
So let's continue here, my first tips for any client looking to lose weight is to kill three things from their diet:
Avoid Soda, Smoothies & Juice
Despite what some may say, smoothies and juice are not beneficial for your goals. Here's why generally a smoothie not personally made by yourself contains added sugars & subtract fiber for easier processing. Juice is the sugar without the fiber of a fruit.
When you remove the fiber from fruit, you force your body to process all of the sugar and carbohydrates within the drink you are consuming. Fruit in itself as a whole food is not unhealthy because the fruit is very fibrous; I suggest to my clients to eat fruits as a snack instead of juice and smoothies.
If you're looking for something to fill your stomach and get a few calories, I would suggest slim fast as a good alternative. Shakeology or similar products tend to be nutrient dense and are fairly affordable compared to a smoothie.
What about Soda?
Don't drink soda. It's relatively simple, it's just carbonated sugar water, even if it were in a fancy can and called skinny. One widespread tactic of drink companies is to change the serving size of their drinks. They do this to convince you that they only contain a little sugar.
If a can of soda is 2.5 servings and the sugar is 8g per serving, you find yourself drinking 20g of sugar (half the Daily Value for men and 80% for Women).
What about diet soda?
I do suggest certain diet sodas for many of my obese clients. I don't believe quitting cold turkey is ever a great idea for people with an addiction to food. If you don't have a habit of consuming soda or sweets, I wouldn't suggest drinking diet soda, stick to water.
Stop eating "diet, low calorie, skinny" food
A popular trend in the west is diet food, as I've mentioned above, these same companies bet on you either eating the whole package of xx servings of cookies, or they lie to you about the calorie content.
A habit that every person should build when trying to become fit is to look for whole food plant-based options in their diet first and understand that being "hungry" does not always meet you should eat until "full." Eating low calorie or diet processed snacks with little to no fiber or micronutrient contents will only promote excess eating habits in your daily life.
Starving yourself will kill your metabolism
If you follow Instagram models online, you may have seen some advertising "skinny pops." That's just a symptom of the public is uneducated about how and why eating too few calories causes your body to retain more fat.
Let's go back a few million years before humans cultivated farms and shopped at Whole Foods. We were hunter-gatherers, foraging the woods and killing small prey. Because of the fact, food was minimal when the human body has the chance to store energy in the body (in the form of fat) it takes any chance it can get. When the human body feels starved (like natural intermittent fasting), it activates those primal triggers that tell it to make all opportunities to store fat.
As well as gaining fat when you starve your body, you also lose muscle mass which can in hand make you appear more overweight.
What about your fitness programme?
If you got your fitness plan from an Instagram model, theirs a 90% chance it's bull. Sorry.
Theirs, a ton of fitness plans that are a computer, generated programs that have no thought placed in them; unfortunately, people with good physiques are tricking much of the populace into buying their 10 dollar plans in bulk.
If you're genuinely interested in getting a fitness plan that fits your goals and where you currently stand, I suggest looking for an IFBB trainer or reaching out to a certified personal trainer at your local gym. Certified trainers spend most of their studies determining the best ways to educate and plan for the fitness goals of their clients. It will cost you much more than 10 dollars but isn't your health worth more than a large coffee?
Let's wrap this up, what I want you to take away from this is that a whole foods, excess sugar free diet combined with a professionally designed diet is what most people need to see progress. If that is failing you, that's sign that you may have medical issues restricting you.
I would suggest checking out the 3 week diet for those looking for a quick way to get started on their goals. If you're looking to actually gain muscle, we have a mass gainer guide as well. Anyway, hope this has helped you gain some motivation to reach your goals. Check out our other posts at ASCVS!