Everybody wants a plan. They want to know what to eat, what to avoid, when to exercise and how. They want approved food lists and meal plans. But what if that’s actually not the best way to reach your goals? Here’s a hint: it’s not. In this episode we talk about how that approach might be holding you back and how you can actually accelerate your progress to your fat loss goals by creating your OWN plan. But how do you do it? How do you know where to start? Just how do create your unique fat loss formula? We’ll tell you!!
The Challenge: We always in a frantic search to find the “right” plan. We read blogs, diet books and news stories about the latest fads, always hoping to find the miracle answer to our weight loss. The thing is that no one is capable of designing a fat loss lifestyle for anyone other than themself. Everyone comes at fat loss from a different angle. Sure, there are basic fat loss principles that can be broadly applied but at the end of the day, the specifics of a fat loss lifestyle are absolutely unique to each individual. We have different emotional needs, hormonal needs, physical needs – we have different food preferences, family situations, budgets, degrees of motivation – you name it. There is no one size fits all when it comes to fat loss.
The Solution: You have to start paying attention to your own unique response to food and lifestyle factors. Instead of asking “can I eat fruit and lose fat”, expecting an answer from an “expert” – turn the question around and ask it of yourself!! Decide that you’re going to keep all other factors the same for a week but add in fruit once or twice a day. Monitor your fat loss progress as well as your hunger, energy, cravings, stress, mood & sleep. Were you able to make fat loss progress? How did you feel? Did it negatively impact your hunger, cravings, mood, stress or sleep? No? Fantastic!! Keep going! On the flip side, did you notice that you had more sugar cravings? Or did your fat loss progress slow down? Were you more hungry? Those answers will tell you everything you need to know. To be successful in achieving fat loss that you effortlessly maintain for life, you need to pay attention. YOU need to chart the course. As you get further and further into your journey, it needs to become increasingly customized to what works for you. Look to find the answers to the following questions:
- What foods satisfy my cravings?
- What foods send me into a downward bingeing spiral?
- What foods keep me fullest, longest?
- What foods give me the most energy?
- What foods do I look forward to eating?
- What are the most manageable foods to prepare?
- What are the most convenient and satisfying snacks?
- What can I maintain for the rest of my life?
- Where MY point of balance between eating healthy, being satisfied, getting results and being happy with my plan?
If we polled 100 people who have lost 50 lbs or more, I bet they’d all have different answers to those questions and guess what – none of them are wrong!
Practical Implementation: Keep a food journal. Spend 2-5 minutes each day writing down everything you eat and what type of exercise you do. At several points throughout the day assess your hunger, mood, cravings, energy and stress levels. Monitor your fat loss progress on a weekly basis via your body weight, measurements or how your clothes are fitting. Look for patterns. When you’re struggling with cravings is it because of the types of meals you’re eating? Maybe it has more to do with your stress level or sleep patterns? When you start to experience great fat loss results look for patterns in your diet and your body’s feedback.
If I were to try to map out your entire fat loss formula, I’d be doing you a major disservice in the long term. The better you know your body and your individual response to food, stress and exercise, the more effective you will be at achieving your fat loss goals and maintaining them for life. Dig in, do the work, pay attention to your body and find those answers for yourself.