The new year is here and for many of us, that means it’s time for a fresh start! If your New Year’s Resolution involves living a healthier lifestyle and losing weight, you’re not alone! Let’s be honest, there might be a good chance that this was your New Years Resolution for 2017, but the momentum of the new year tapered off, and so did your weight loss results.
It’s very natural for anyone trying to lose weight to want to lose it quickly. Many of the popular fad diets help with rapid fat loss and may work at first, but do these diets really support long-term results?
It’s important to understand the type of “weight” you are losing. Weight loss can happen in three ways: losing muscle, losing water and losing fat:
With a highly restrictive, short-term diet, a severe macronutrient restriction can occur. This can cause some muscle loss. Less muscle means a lower calorie burn throughout your day. In other words, the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn. If you are more focused on calorie restriction and cardio training and ignoring strength training, there’s a good chance you are losing muscle.
Cutting carbs can help many people lose weight rather quickly. Carbohydrates contain three times as much water as any other type of micronutrient. Once you cut back on these, your body doesn’t retain as much water. Simple enough! The problem is that after a few weeks, your muscle tissue adapts and shrinks and can cause metabolic dysfunction and insulin sensitivity. You still need to eat some carbs—at least .5 grams per pound of your body weight for a low-carb diet or .75 to 1.5 grams per pound for a more balanced calorie-restricted diet. This will allow fat loss without losing that intramuscular water.
How do you know if you’re losing fat and not water or muscle weight? While eating a highly restrictive diet or fad diet, many see rapid weight loss weekly. If you drop 10lbs in a week, the majority of that will be water weight and some muscle loss. Evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (approximately 1-2 pounds a week) are more successful at keeping the weight off long-term.
What’s important to remember is that the best diet is not really a diet at all, but a lifestyle change that involves good, wholesome foods, exercise and healthier habits. Focus on a lifestyle change rather than an extreme, quick-fix diet:
Make sure you focus on variety. Your body needs a healthy diet to develop properly. Focus on having the right balance of macros (your protein, carbs and fat).
Focus on portion control. Pay attention to serving sizes!
Eat smaller meals more frequently – try for 5-6 smaller meals and space them out every 3 hours or so.
Clean out that kitchen and toss out those foods that tempt you to overeat!
Try to exercise at least 150 minutes each week. This could even be broken out into short walks throughout the week.
Avoid items with empty calories! Does the food have nutritional value? Steer clear of sugary sodas and fruit drinks.
If you’re struggling with consistent weight loss and motivation, make sure to ask your trainer at Fitness Together for some diet recommendations and rely on them to keep you motivated! That’s what they’re there for! Let’s hit our weight loss goals for GOOD in 2018!
JD Christie, ISSA Certified Personal Trainer
OWNER, FITNESS TOGETHER BELLEAIR
JD is dedicated to living a healthy and rewarding lifestyle. “I enjoy challenging each client to bring out and utilize their full potential so they can live healthier and happier lives.”