You're constantly bombarded with weight loss programs and products, from 30-day squat challenges to coconut oil. Not to say these methods don't work. In fact, they can all help you burn fat and slim your waist. The core issue, however, is not understanding the fundamental drivers of an increased metabolism and fat loss.
Let's break those down here.
First and foremost, let's get the facts out. Weight loss is simple mathematics.
Calories IN - Calories OUT = Weight Gain or Weight Loss
In other words, burn more calories than you are taking in and it will result in weight loss. This is a fundamental truth. Unfortunately, the story doesn't end there. The source of your calories will impact your physical appearance and mood. Let's walk through an example.
Person A is a woman, 5'4" tall, 130lbs, 27 waist. Eats 1000 calories everyday sourced from New York pizza and hamburgers.
Person B is a woman, 5'4" tall, 130lbs, 27 waist. Eats 1000 calories everyday sourced from steamed chicken and broccoli.
In this hypothetical, both Persons A and B will lose weight. The difference in appearance will be noticeable, though.
Person A will likely be "skinny-fat". Slimmer waist but arms and legs will jiggle, won't have as much energy as Person B, and likely moody :(
Person B will likely showcase toned arms and legs, will have much more energy than Person B, exhibit clear skin, and be happier and motivated :)
While a caloric deficit is important, the source of your calories help shape body and mood. The Ensemble can help with that ;)
Have y'all heard the good news?! You don't have to exercise to lose weight!
Yes, this is true but not recommended and here's why:
1. Exercise helps speed up the weight loss process. 3500 calories = 1 pound. If you burn 500 calories daily from exercise, you will lose 1 pound per week. That's on top of the weight loss you will experience from a calorie deficit.
2. Resistance training and HIIT rev your metabolism around the clock, even when you're resting.
3. People who workout are naturally happier. Studies show that exercise boosts self-esteem and lowers depression.
Ok, ok you're doing all of the above and still aren't losing any weight?
Here are 10 reasons why.
1. You may be eating too much. Use a journal or an app like MyFitness Pal to track what you're eating. You'll be surprised with what you find is sneaking its way into your tummy.
2. There's too much on your plate. Each meal should not be more than the size of one or two of your fists (depending on activity level).
3. You aren't exercising enough. Or maybe you are but you go to the gym to read a magazine or chit chat with friends. Stop it! Go to the gym, put on some music to motivate you, and go all in.
4. You've plateaued. This can be due to one of two reasons. The first is that you've lost water weight (fast) and now your body is working on actual fat burn. This takes longer and may not actually be a plateau. You've gotten used to seeing the scale drop at a certain rate and now it isn't moving as fast. Don't worry, fat loss moves slower. The second reason is that your metabolism has changed and you have to recalibrate your caloric intake. Try to cut another 100 or 200 calories per day and see what happens after a week of testing.
5. Muscle weighs more than fat. While you may not be losing weight, you may very well be slimming your waist. As muscle begins replacing fat, the scale won't budge too much. Keep tabs on your results by measuring your waist instead.
6. Not enough fiber in your diet. You should strive for 25 to 35 grams of fiber on a daily basis.
7. Inconsistent. We all live busy lives and it gets in the way of sticking to a program. You may eat healthier and on time some days but not always. That's a problem. Try carrying snacks in your pocket so you can munch on something to hold you over until your next meal. This will ensure you don't overeat during meal time and it'll keep your metabolism burning.
8. Your macros are off. Maybe 60% of your calories come from carbs? That's another problem. Start checking the nutrition panel to understand what your protein/carb/fat ratio is. Protein keeps you full, builds muscle, and increases metabolism. Try to increase your intake of protein and decrease your carbs. Look into creating a 40p/40c/20f ratio. If you want to boost weight loss then decrease carb intake even more for a few weeks.
9. Post workout bingeing. We get it, working out makes you ravenous. That being said, you HAVE to control what you eat after exercising. Try to drink a protein shake that has more than just protein. Swhey's Halo is packed with fair trade cacao, pink Himalayan salt, organic whey, organic sacha inchi, and organic silk brown rice. (for extra nutrients and flavor, add a scoop of Alkamist to the Halo blend)
10. Unrealistic expectations. You may be losing 1-2 pounds per week but you expected to lose much more. 1-2 pounds weekly is an indication that you are doing everything right. That's the rate at which you should be losing weight. Anything above that could be attributable to muscle loss (remember, muscle weighs more than fat). If your argument is that you lost 10 pounds in your first two weeks then that's because it was most likely water weight. 1-2 pounds per week thereafter is ACTUAL FAT LOSS.
What have we learned? Weight loss and slim waists depend on caloric deficits, quality nutrition, exercise, and consistency :)