What happens when you are on a diet for 365 days in a year?
Have you come across that person that is constantly on fat loss mode? Always trying the latest diet because the last one just “didn’t work for her”.
First, she was afraid of eating any carbs or sugar. Second, she started counting calories for flexible dieting. Next it was low-carb instead of no carbs. Then it was low-calories. Perhaps now she’s gone Paleo and taken up cross fit 7 days a week with Rock Tape all over her body.
I’ll admit, I’ve tried quite a few of these diets and I’m glad I went through all those phases. I’ve personally tested diets and workout regiments to know what works and what doesn’t for me. I also know first hand what my clients go through physically, mentally and emotionally.
See, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with these diets if implemented properly. The thing is, many women are constantly in the mindset of fat/weight loss. 365 days a year focusing on how much weight they have to lose. Continuing this process for long periods of time can be detrimental not just physically, but mentally too.
“I’m eating so little but my waist just keeps growing”
This is something I hear very often from women that have given up trying to figure things out on their own. They have starved their bodies so much that their metabolism has been wrecked. Thinking is hazy, stress is high, sleep is horrible, and the gut just seems to keep growing.
Many times, when these women start working with me they expect me to get them to eat even less and get their butt in the gym. Sorry ladies, I don’t believe in starving yourself or spending hours in the gym anymore. There are much more enjoyable ways to go about getting a healthy body that don’t feel like torture.
Ever since I cut back my training to 30-60 min trainings 3-4 days a week in the gym and dropped the “diet” mindset, my health overall has been on an all time high!
Physically my body is under less stress since I’m not depriving it of good nutritious food while beating it up in the gym. I’m spending less time in the gym while keeping my body consistent and actually becoming leaner without a focus on it.
I wake up on my workout days with a privilege of getting to hit the gym instead of having to do another workout that is a chore. Since training more efficiently, I have more energy and more time to do other things I love. It’s great being more productive on so many levels!
I also trust myself more in social settings to not overdo any foods that aren’t the best for my body. I dare to put myself in a situation where I’m surrounded by desserts or alcohol and not freak out because “I’m being tempted”.
My personal approach was to drop the whole “diet” game, mainly because I am at a physical state that is healthy to me and do not need to be in a state of fat loss. If I do get leaner, great, but it isn’t necessary.
I understand that some of you may be in a physical state that does need some improvement and it’s great that you are putting so much effort into that. However, when it comes to fat loss diets (fat loss, not weight loss, should be your focus), it’s healthy to take a break at least every couple of months.
Set a goal to be on your diet for a certain number of weeks and then stop and relax to celebrate your discipline and achievements. Don’t go crazy and binge eat of course, but spend some time at maintenance with a break from dieting.
Practice maintenance in between your dieting seasons because it is just as important as reaching your fat loss goals and is often over looked. You will find that having time off and time on leads to a much more sustainable approach to achieving fat loss results that stick. Think about competitive and professional athletes that have different training regiments on and off-season.
Attacking your fat loss in “seasons” will help you avoid the physical and mental burnout. Getting burnt out is where we lose most if not all of our progress and can often lead to us starting in a worse position than we were prior.
As usual, enjoy the process and celebrate every success along the way. Find a balance that works for you and brings you joy. Don’t compare your progress and journey to everyone else’s because we each have our own unique metabolism and challenges. More importantly love yourself and your body even though it’s “under construction”. It has been there for you through many good and bad times of your life so appreciate it and treat well through keeping it healthy and happy!
With so much love,
Author: Cari Li