Let’s talk weight loss and losing weight.
I speak with so many people that say they want to be healthy, but when I ask them what specific results they’re looking for, they say they want to lose weight.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. You deserve to feel good about your looks. However, the two things are related but different.
Health does not always equate to being at a weight you think you should be at. Weight is certainly an indicator of health. However, an inability to lose weight can also mean other important things.
So…when I talk to people who have tried to lose weight unsuccessfully, I find that there are 2 really common reasons, and I’ll walk you through them here.
The 2 reasons why you aren’t losing weight
1. You’re stressed out
When you are stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol can lower your immune function, lead to weight gain, increased blood pressure, and cardiovascular damage. The existence of cortisol by itself isn’t a problem; we need it to help regulate our energy and help our metabolism. The problem comes when levels of cortisol are elevated all the time due to chronic stress. This makes it very hard to manage your weight, and any weight loss efforts you undertake will be difficult if not unsuccessful.
If you continue to try to push through the stress and diet anyways, you’ll end up with more stress, more cortisol, and dig into a deeper hole.
You’ll save yourself a lot of time and effort and pain if you focus on reducing stress, then losing weight. This may mean some major lifestyle changes, and you may have to give up the idea of losing weight for that wedding/party/holiday right around the corner. In the meantime, focus on these 6 things while you get that chronic stress back into check.
2. You aren’t tracking your performance against a specific measured plan.
What gets measured gets done.
If you don’t follow a specific weight loss plan, your chances of being successful over the long term become slim. Yes, you can lose some weight by making some healthy switches, and if you are coming from a place of extreme over-eating or starting out from a processed food diet, you’ll see weight loss by just switching to real foods.
However, for most of you who are looking to lose 5-10 lbs, you need a plan. I highly recommend the diet templates from Renaissance Periodization (I have no financial stake in them, they just work really, really well). I personally use them along with thousands of other people. The templates are based off legitimate scientific research, and the best part is they make you aware of what exactly your body needs in terms of calories and macronutrients (“macros” for short) to lose weight. Once you understand what your body needs (aka you’re no longer guessing), it’s easy to make adjustments up or down. If you have no idea how many calories or macros you are eating, it’s hard to know whether you need to increase or decrease, and by how much.
I know… I get it. Some of you don’t want to weigh and measure your food. I’m not advocating you do it forever, although you can. I am saying that if you want to lose weight, it’s the best way to stay on track and meet your weight loss goals.
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