With the release of my latest 14 Day Sexy Spring Challenge (SSC) I felt an overwhelming need to shed light on some strategies to avoid when it comes to fat loss. Yes, this 14 Day challenge is a quickie program, but not one you should think will be the end all solution. Let it act as the first step in your journey or re-igniting your desire to get back to the swing of things.
Over the past decade (or longer) I’ve fallen victim to many diet fads and gimmicks. At the time, I felt like an absolute failure once I couldn’t stick to them.
What I now realize is that these experiences led me to where I am now. I’ve since sorted through the noise of many nutritional gimmicks and today I’m going to shed some light on those.
Let’s talk about what hasn’t worked as a realistic approach for myself or the women I’ve worked with over the years.
I still remember my first diet plan. It was 1,100 calories of pure hell. As hard as I tried, I just could NOT stick to it.
I was about 6 weeks post partum with my 3rd baby, and my sister and I signed up for a bootcamp at a local gym in town.
Although I wasn’t new to exercising when we started, I felt I’d be better off leaving my accountability to a coach. At the time, I was breastfeeding my son so my trips to the gym needed to be fast, furious and no nonsense. I became instantly addicted to the challenge and short duration of bootcamp style classes which in turn make up a big part of the workouts in the 14 Day SSC.
My sister and I were each given a meal plan according to our “goal weight” and were sent off. Easy enough right?
I remember feeling completely lost and confused. Then when it came to restaurant dining, forget about it! I would get in a complete panic because, at that time, nutrition facts didn’t exist when you’d go to your local Crapplebee’s (AKA Applebee’s 🙂
Eventually, I just gave up. Honestly, that 1,100 calorie plan probably lasted all of a few days for me. I could exercise like a champ, but dieting? I couldn’t grasp it. Hint: It’s because diets suck. Long term habits are where it’s at.
For example, below is a food journal from one of my calorie counting stints. You’ll also note I was purely using the scale as my measure of success (see where I noted my weight in the corner of journal). I’ve kept this journal and still laugh at it to this day.
No wonder I was HANGRY (hungry + angry = HANGRY). You can see on the left I ate a whopping 1/2 piece of bread with some tuna. I was completely clueless as to how to eat to fuel my body. That’s ok though, because it taught me so much!
I was either “on a diet” or “off my diet”. There really was NO in-between. When I was “on” my diet I’d get so frustrated because I was limited to that damn number…1,100 measly calories.
I wasn’t raised in a household where nutrition was a primary focus. Tuna helper and Portuguese food were plentiful. No fault of my parents as that is all that they knew, but fresh veggies were almost obsolete.
So, because I had no real understanding about the value of the food that I was eating (like corn dogs, Lite Beer and York Peppermint Patties), I was trying to cram empty calories into a 1,100 calories allotment and… it. wasn’t. working.
Bottom Line: Restrictive calorie counting is tough and frustrating. It’s hard to sustain an active lifestyle on low calories. The idea that you are going to count calories for the rest of your life makes it a mind numbing task. Yes, you do need some caloric restriction to lose fat but there’s a better way!
Of course I’m not advocating to eat tons of calories mindlessly. With time, you can implement a strategy that is effortless and won’t wreck your metabolism. And no, this doesn’t mean boring diet food either!
Point systems and calculators
Prior to the days of 1,100 calories, I was following a very popular point counting system. You know the one, where each food you consume is a special point (and no, the more points that you collect does not make you a winner 🙂
I was working at a doctor’s office and my co-worker wanted me to join up with her. I was so overwhelmed with the booklets that I had to carry around to figure out how many points each food was (iPhones didn’t exist back then!). Then, what about foods with multiple ingredients? Arrggghhhh
Now, I know this absurd system (IMO) of tracking works for some people, and that’s great, but how do we think that’s going to work long term? Is that something you can see yourself doing forever?
What if you are without access to your fancy app or calculator that tells you how many points you have left to eat? What do you do?? Eyeball it? Freak out! Say ‘eff it and restart your points tomorrow?
Bottom Line: Ultimately this system was too time consuming to keep up with and I quit. And I ate my points, thanks byeee. But seriously, this program is right up there with the calorie counting. Not sustainable. Do you see yourself doing this for the rest of your life? If not, then it’s probably not the way to go.
Juice Cleanses and Detoxes
Before I start my rant here, let me clarify how much I LOVE SMOOTHIES & GREEN JUICE. Almost as much as I love brownies, ok, just kidding. Brownies for the win.
Green juice, smoothies and detoxes serve their purpose in a healthy lifestyle. But, they are not the answer to your fat loss goals. I’ve had so many women come to me and say “I’m going on such-and-such 21-Day Juice/Cleanse/Detox/AKA-Waste of Money to see if I can drop some weight”.
Smoothies are amazing when made with the right ingredients and will keep you full for hours. When you use plenty of vibrant green veggies you are doing your body a HUGE favor with a jolt of fiber and nutrients. I love including a protein packed smoothie in my daily fuel.
I also love green juice and I have it at any chance that I get. But, it’s not for fat loss reasons, it’s for the huge nutrient boost, energy and amazing health benefits it offers me. Plus it’s delicious 🙂
The notion of quick fixes make me a little bit crazy. Some people find it easier to just completely eliminate a certain food group or detox off of sugar rather than have it in moderation. It’s more of an all or nothing approach. Frankly, that’s just not for me, or the majority of women I’ve coached.
I’ve found while working with my clients that it’s more likely that binges will occur when being restricted from certain “forbidden” foods. I’m sorry but when you tell me that I can’t ever have a donut again because sugar is the devil, well, now I want a donut 🙂
Bottom Line: Smoothies and green juice can have amazing health benefits and are a FANTASTIC way to get your greens in (add in a scoop of protein to keep lean sexy muscle).
Plus, when you are in a hurry a smoothie is PERFECT to blend up and go. I strongly advise against using these as purely weight loss strategies.
You’ll notice tremendous health benefits that possibly could lead to eventual fat loss with this path implemented as part of your Goddess Lifestyle, but don’t drink smoothies all day just to drop a dress size.
Detoxes are typically unnecessary if you start including in lots of fresh fruits and veggies in your diet. Why? Because when you start eating more whole foods, you will naturally crowd out processed foods and sugar which will naturally rejuvenate and detox your body.
You don’t need fancy potions, pills or supplements to detox. If someone tells you that you do, run the other way.
In summary: The above common diets pitfalls will likely have you eating a million calories every night due to over restriction. There are so many shiny new diets always popping up right and left. It would be impossible for me to dissect every one in this blog post (it’s already long enough!).
However, there comes a point in time when what you’ve done before doesn’t work, it’s not because YOU are broken. It’s likely the method is broken. Remember that!
Patience is never the exciting route to take but it yields the best results over time. When your eating becomes part of your lifestyle and not just another “diet”, it’s actually pretty freaking empowering. I’ll be sharing more tips and strategies over the next couple weeks that you won’t want to miss.
If you know it’s time to start on your journey towards feeling stronger, sexier and having more energy make sure to join our 14 Day Sexy Spring Challenge that starts on Monday, March 13th.
Let this be the first domino that you tip over to start the lifestyle that you deserve. Join us HERE.