Chronic dieters! Listen up!
I hear a lot of clients tell me their goal is to LOSE WEIGHT/GET TONED (aka: fat loss).
Let me be clear: you have to earn the right to diet, get lean, and STAY lean.
Just because you want to lose weight doesn’t mean that you should or that it’s best for your body and metabolism.
For those that have a chronic history of dieting, restriction, and calorie deprivation (you know who you are), you are not meant to diet your entire life.
If this resonates with you, your body/metabolism likely needs maintenance calories for support and rebuilding so that at some point you can effectively pursue a deficit/diet/cut. Maintenance or re-feeding is important for things like thyroid and sex hormone regulation and cortisol and adrenal (stress) management.
If you can’t do 1 pull-up I can’t ask you to do 10 pull-ups.
The same goes with dieting.
If you can’t accomplish the foundational changes with ease, you have NOT earned the right to diet. We need to make sure that your body is in a good spot to create an initial deficit. If you are not checking YES to these things regularly, you are probably not a great candidate for cutting calories. Because things like hormones don’t get better in the absence of food. This doesn’t mean that you can’t or won’t get results or see body composition changes. It just means that you have to master these items before we can safely put you in a deficit.
You must master the foundation items first to earn the right to diet:
- Feel amazing. If you don’t feel awesome, it doesn’t make sense to put you in a deficit to feel even worse. So if you feel like dog (or cat) poo to start off with, you probably shouldn’t be dieting.
- Sleep 8-10 hours, good quality sleep. You fall asleep and stay asleep ok. Pretty simple: if you aren’t sleeping, you won’t lose weight.
- Hormones are great and in optimal range (thyroid, sex hormones). This generally means you have good energy, libido, and if you are a female that should be getting a menstrual cycle, it’s regular and with no PMS symptoms. PMS symptoms are not normal and means there are underlying issues. And girl, if you are not getting a monthly period (and are of the age that should), I am absolutely not helping you lose weight.
- Digestion is great. You are pooping every day and have minimal gas/bloating/heartburn.
- Meals and snacks all contain Protein, Fat, Fiber (PFF), + Starch based on Activity.
- Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. If you aren’t easily doing this, restricting calories and tracking food will be a pretty big challenge. Kind of like trying to do those 10 pull-ups when you can’t even do 1.
- Strength Train 2-3 days per week. If done right, this can improve your hormones and stress response and help with fat loss and metabolism.
- Don’t eat poverty calories. Work with a Nutrition Coach to increase your calories if needed. It’s really hard to start a diet if you are only eating 1500 calories to begin with.
- Manage stress and adrenals. Let me tell ya, dieting is a huge mental and physical stress on the body. So if you rate your current stress at a 10+/10, I will have you focus on ways to decrease this before I create more stress thru dieting.
- Aim for 8-10K Steps a day. Health goes beyond kicking your butt for 1-2 hours a day at the gym. You need to have consistent movement thru out the day to support health and metabolism.
- Zero diet history in the past 6 months. You should only diet for 12-16 weeks just 1-2 times a year. Not 365.
So you’re a chronic dieter… what to do now? Start by mastering the foundational changes and getting yourself to feel better. And when you feel good and hormones are optimal, we can chat about a cut.
And if you are crushing the foundations, aren’t eating poverty calories, and have earned the right to diet, let’s chat about your next steps.