After joining us on our Weight Loss Retreat many retreaters choose to take up our 4 Week At Home Support Programme. This programme include meal plans, recipes and a personalised work out schedule. Central to the success of the the programme is the weekly catch up call. Most retreaters choose to have the call by skype as its also nice to have a face to face chat.
You Can’t Out Train A Bad Diet
Just this week during a catch up call with Catherine I was struck by the old fitness industry adage “You can’t out train a bad diet”, which means that no amount of exercise can overcome a bad diet. This saying is usually in reference to weight loss, but is generally a good rule to live by anyway. Good eating is a cornerstone of health and fitness.
Since our last catch up call Catherine had put on 2lbs… shock, disappointment and disbelief. I could literally see the horror on her face, because Catherine felt she’d had a good week, she had followed my exercise plan to the letter, she had even added in an extra couple of walks.
So we went into more detail about her diet this week. Experience and research shows us that when weight loss stops and you actually start to gain weight then its likely that one of two things are happening 1. You are eating too much or 2. You are eating the wrong things at the wrong time.
What Gets Measured Gets Managed
Firstly, Catherine confessed that she hadn’t been using her food diary, feeling that she would review each day on its own. I know it can be a pain to write down what you are eating, it feels like another job to add to what is already a busy full day. But it really does make a difference in those early weeks while your new habits are settling in. Part of the 4 Week At Home Plan is to make a commitment to yourself to make the time to embed the new habits..when you consider that its only 4 weeks out of the rest of our life and it will have a major positive impact on your results.
Several studies have shown that people who keep food journals are much more likely to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off. Keeping a food diary instantly increases your awareness of what, how much, and also why you are eating. This means that you can take action immediately if you have over eaten or are not eating enough healthy variety.
Catherine told me that she had been having smaller portions, and no carbs for supper, but after a little more digging Catherine remembered ice cream and strawberries, hot chocolate and shortbread, finishing the kids takeaway to name but a few “treats” this week.
This is not uncommon. Clients very often fall into this trap at the beginning of their weight loss journey and start to think that because they have increased their activity levels that they can or should be able to treat themselves.
Don’t You Deserve A Treat?
Does that sound familiar? When you have really been working hard to be able to enjoy the occasional treat ..otherwise what is the point.
Of course you should!!
Research has shown that total abstinence or restrictive diets fail time and time again. Once you remove a food completely you can start to develop a contrary desire for it, sometimes this feels more like a compulsion and you can find yourself binging out on the removed food and then feeling guilty and ashamed of yourself. This spiral of denial, guilt and shame is not productive and only sets you up for failure in the long term.
But, there is a but here…… in the early days of your weight loss journey you do need to exercise caution around when you include certain foods because you cant out train a bad diet.
Stable Blood Sugar Is Key
The key to long term weight management and good health is stabilising your blood sugar.
Eating three main meals and one small protein rich snack is important. This stops you from feeling “hungry” so you are less likely to make bad choices while keeping your metabolism high. Secondly, remember a treat is exactly that a treat… not a regular occurrence, so a daily treat is not a treat, that’s becoming part of your regular diet.
If you want to reward yourself for your increased activity you need to find a non food way to do that so that you don’t undo your good work.
If you are serious about shedding the weight you feel is unnecessary for you then right now begin to keep a food diary for around 4 weeks. This will give you total clarity on exactly what, when and why you are eating and allow you to make considered conscious choices that help you to achieve your goal. As you grow in confidence and motivation as the lbs/Kgs start to come off and your new shape reveals itself you will find it easier to make healthy choices, but for now you need to practice and treats should become just that “occasional treats”.