This is a follow up from my blog post about how calorie counting just does not work for 95% of people when it comes to weight management. I meet these people every day as a personal trainer who just cannot understand why their weight doesn’t change despite burning sometimes thousands of calories per day on the treadmill or starving themselves by calorie restriction in various ways, be it fasting or missing breakfast or not eating after 6pm or whatever. You may be wondering well just what does work if I want to lose weight if simply eating less or exercising more doesn’t work?
When I talk to these people in more depth and start asking about their diet, firstly they always tell me that they eat a ‘good diet’. However, their ideas of what constitutes a ‘good diet’ vary enormously and they are often confused by the vast contradiction between government guidelines and current scientific evidence. They tell me they buy low fat products, they avoid red meat, they eat fruit, they eat lots of pasta or brown bread etc. etc. What they usually have in common is that their diet is massively overloaded with sugar in its various forms – fizzy drinks, refined sugars, fruit with a high sugar content, pasta, bread, rice etc. What’s more they don’t realise this and they don’t understand that this what is fuelling their weight gain and it cannot simply be addressed by an extra hour on the treadmill etc. You cannot train your way out of a bad diet simply because it is not about calories in vs calories out.
So what is it about? Mostly it’s about hormones – when hormonal balance breaks down this when we store fat. We are not created to gain fat – other animals don’t get fat unless we change their hormones to fatten them deliberately. We have built in mechanisms to prevent us gaining fat but the modern diet has destroyed the normal balance or homeostasis as it’s also known. How can we rectify this? By eating the right kinds of foods to restore balance and by avoiding the harmful effects of stress on our hormonal balance. It’s about the quality of our nutrition above all – cutting out all the stuff we don’t need and stocking up on all the nutrient dense foods that are actually tastier and keep us satisfied for longer. In this way we can restore hormonal balance and will control our weight even if we didn’t exercise much.
One service that is becoming increasingly popular with my clients is the nutrition plan. Over half of new clients ask for this, usually alongside an exercise programme. It involves them keeping a food diary for a week then me analysing it and making suggestions and recommendations on how to achieve their weight loss goals through not a ‘diet’ but a nutrition plan which involves eating as much as you like of the good stuff – there no calorie restriction involved so you’ll not feel hungry or deprived. This is a sustainable plan for life, not just to lose it then pile it back on again. It may be the best thing you ever do to improve your health and fitness.
Now, for the first time, I’m offering this as a ‘stand alone’ service to everybody – you don’t have to become a personal training client. The cost of your personalised nutrition plan is just £30 for a limited time, so, if you’re stuck with your training and not getting the results you expect, why not give it a try?
Call me on 07504439555 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 thoughts on “So what does work to lose weight?”
Two questions – what defines a food as “nutrient dense”? If the common factor for many people is that “their diet is massively overloaded with sugar in its various forms – fizzy drinks, refined sugars, fruit with a high sugar content, pasta, bread, rice etc” does this not also mean that they are also “overloading” on calories?
Nutrient dense to me means that the food contains a large quantity of micronutrients i.e.. vitamins and minerals relative to its bulk. So natural foods like fruits and vegetables are very nutrient dense and you can eat quite a lot of these before you feel full. Processed foods usually contain fewer of these micronutrients as they have been stripped out and replaced with starches and sugars and other chemicals that are not healthy. It is certainly true that a diet overloaded with sugars in whatever form is likely to be high in calories, but to my mind, this is not the main issue. All calories are not equal and it is better to get energy from nutrient dense foods which satisfy the body’s needs, than to get them from sugars which leave you feeling hungry again within a few hours as the body continues to search for proper nutrition, quite apart from the most important issue in weight management which is the havoc these substances cause to hormonal balance, which is probably the main factor in weight gain.