Trying to control your diet but not seeing the results?
Here are 4 common misconceptions / problems I often hear from my own clients and a few tips for how you can fix your diet and finally start making progress!
1) Weight is not a valid measure of progress
Weight is our relationship between gravity and the earth. It has little to do with our body composition.
So what can weight tell us about our progress in the gym?
... Almost nothing.
If you hold a lot of fat mass, then you should see a gradual decrease in weight up to a certain point, however don't get hung up on weight and do not let it affect your motivation if the scales are not moving as fast as you would like. It does not mean your hard work is going to waste.
Instead, try to focus on other measures of progression, such as; body fat %, strength and performance, measurements, clothing, pictures etc.
2) Calories over Carbs
You've cut out bread, pasta and crisps for two-weeks and the scales haven't moved? WTF!
Calories dictate energy balance, not carbs.
As long as you are in a calorie deficit, you could eat pizza all day and you would lose weight (although you would feel terrible).
Cutting carbs is not magic and it does not directly cause you to lose weight. Cutting carbs restricts a giant food group and as a result may cause you to eat less, and therefore create a calorie deficit.
However wouldn't it be nicer if we could lose weight and not have to restrict our food choices?
3) Restraint over Restriction
Restricting food groups may be a viable strategy for weight loss, however it's a hard strategy to maintain for long periods of time / not sustainable.
Focus on eating a balanced diet of carbs, fats and protein and control your portions to create a calorie deficit. That way we can enjoy meals out with friends, the odd takeaway or a few cheeky red's without feeling guilty and falling off the wagon.
4) Progress over Perfection
Perfection is hard to maintain and usually ends in binge, guilt and de motivation.
Focus on a balanced, sustainable lifestyle and aim for 'little wins' which enable us to gather momentum, rather than diving in head first after your long term goal and becoming deflated when results do not come fast enough.
Here are a few key stones to get you started;
1. Track calories to sustain am energy deficit and do not restrict food groups (carbs and fats) - as long as they fit your daily calorie target (portion control).
2. Do not restrict the foods you love and crave (take aways, alcohol etc), however master 'moderation' and aim for a balanced diet of 80% healthy food > 20% naughties.
3. Enjoy a variety of food, however do not over-indulge!
4. Workout for 30-60 minutes 2-3x per week (beginner) or 3-4x per week (intermediate).
5. Try to increase your daily energy expenditure by keeping track of steps and making more active lifestyle choices (walking to work, walking the dog more frequently, taking the stairs etc).
6. Focus on monthly goals which are attainable in order to gather momentum.