I've been helping people lose weight for around 20 years now. I've still NEVER met someone that, given time and appropriate actions, can't lose weight.
That's a big statement right there. I have no doubt that these genetic outliers do exist - people who actually CANNOT lose weight, I just haven't met one yet. Again, reasonably big call.
What I have seen is a far more complex process than what I thought it would be. Initially, I thought, as did my whole industry, that weight loss was simply a mathematical equation. Calories in versus calories out, and if that wasn't working, you are being sneaky and not telling me the whole truth....
HOW WRONG! Okay, I am not saying that I or any other dietitian or health professional would actually accuse people of being a bit flexible with the truth around their food intake and exercise - but there were times where it was pretty hard to see why things weren't happening.
There is a VERY HIGH possibility that YOU have been one of those people, who in my experience are usually busy females, who are doing all the right things and not getting the results they expect OR the results are not coming in a linear fashion.
Weight Loss - Fat Loss - simply is not linear! This is one of the truths that I know from 20 years in this game. You can do everything perfect for a week, lose 2cm from your waist measurement, and then the next week eat and train in exactly the same fashion, and NOTHING HAPPENS.
Frustrating? Heck yeah!
Is this you? Highly likely.
What I know after helping many people lose body fat and keep it off, is simply that almost nobody will lose weight in a linear way and that's that. Accept it. It's the truth.
I'm telling you this because I come up against this concern every single week of my professional life. It's not frustrating at all, it's something that is confusing and people need to talk through with people like me.
Human biology is weird and wonderful. I can explain some of why weight loss is not linear, and there are aspects that are so complex that I leave alone, because they don't really matter, all I want to do is get people to have faith in their advice and keep doing the work, rather than freaking out about it and causing themselves to become stressed, which in itself will elevate cortisol levels, a stress hormone that basically shuts off your fat burning processes.
Which of course leads me in to the X FACTOR that has become the crux for so many of my clients.
That X factor is hormones. I believe that our hormonal interaction with our metabolism explains so much of our non-linear fat loss. When I work with clients now I work through a huge checklist that encompasses 3 major areas - Nutrition, Training, Hormones.
In my opinion, and the opinion of many of my colleagues that I regularly communicate with, all with over 20 years in the game, hormonal interactions in the body are a good chunk of the reason for this topic we are discussing now.
You'll see tools like My Fitness Pal, which I use for many clients and absolutely love, give out these predictions of weight loss based on your calorie deficit. Nice try! It's almost never going to happen like that. The interplay between your hormones and your metabolic rate changes due to things like age, temperature, body composition, body temperature, stress, sleep level and quality, gut bacteria types, exercise type and duration. Almost every single aspect of your lifestyle will affect your metabolic rate. Keep that in mind.
Hormones are real things. Take 2 slices of bread with equal calories, one being white bread that is quickly absorbed one being a thick grainy bread that has equal calories but is absorbed much more slowly. Same calories, vastly different impact on blood sugar level. The slowly absorbed bread has a much slower impact on blood sugar levels, therefore far less insulin is released into the blood. Insulin is a hormone that helps store sugars and fats away. Simply changing your type of bread has a large difference in hormonal responses to your food.
Likewise other lifestyle factors. Stress at work can result in poor sleep resulting in elevated cortisol levels, totally switching off fat burning processes.
Why am I telling you this stuff? Because I want to show you that so many factors can impact on what your body does with respect to hormones, which changes your metabolic rate, which then changes your bodies fat burning ability, DESPITE your training and calorie intake being the same.
I know for a fact after 20 years helping people lose weight, that fat loss is not linear.
It's bloody frustrating, and hard to accept, but sometimes you can be doing everything right and the answer is NOT to change diet or training, it's just persist and try to eliminate anything that might be playing with your hormone levels.
Training + Nutrition + Hormones. These are all equally important for fat loss and you simply cannot ignore any of those topics.
I'll often see people doing too much cardio training, not enough strength training, and actually hammering their cardio training too hard for too long.
YOU can lose body fat. You are not a genetic freak.
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