When you are not losing weight but seemingly doing everything right:

1) Weigh foods you eat regularly and see if you were accurate with your guesses (if you don‘t weigh things on a daily basis).

2) Report your worst days rather than your best days. There is little point reporting 1,500 calories on a daily basis if this is your absolute lowest intake and you are only eating this much two days out of the week.

3) Make sure to give yourself leeway if you eat out a lot. If you have dinner at a restaurant it is unlikely you will know how many calories you eat.

HOW YOU GAINED 2KG IN A WEEKEND

Have you ever dieted Monday-Friday successfully losing some unwanted fat only to regain it and more after a slightly overindulgent weekend? This article is for you.

Michelle was a personal trainer I once managed. She was lean and toned as you would expect a trainer to be. She was a hard worker, constantly seeking perfection, always trying to improve the shape of her body. During the week, Michelle dieted her little heart out. She reduced the amount of food she was eatiBloated-Wng and particularly focused on consuming less carbohydrate. She was so strict that during the weekdays the majority of her meals consisted of salads and proteins.

Just like clients, all trainers should have goals. As Michelle’s manager, I was also coaching her. By the time it got to Friday, Michelle would hop on the scales to find her hard work had been rewarded. On this particular week, she had lost 1 kg and was now 59kg. We exchanged a 5 and for the remainder of the day, Michelle was high spirited. I even noticed her dancing around the studio when she thought no one was watching.

Monday morning came, as Mondays do. Michelle wasn’t supposed to weigh in until the next Friday, but of course she did. Michelle said she knew that it wasn’t going to be good, because she had overindulged a little. She was right. It was terrible. Michelle was now 61kg. Michelle’s emotions quickly switched to that of frustration and disappointment, the opposite of how she felt on Friday. All her hard work had seemingly been undone.

The real problem with this scenario was that it was a frequent occurrence. Michelle was slowly improving her physique over time; she was also riding a rollercoaster of emotions as her weight dramatically changed during the week.

I don’t like to use numbers, but each 1 kg of weight loss is equivalent to about 7000 calories. Unless you were eating approximately 14,000 calories extra over the weekend, it’s very unlikely you could gain 2kg over a weekend. Let’s put that in context. For those who party it’s about 200 vodka soda limes or for those who love fast food, it’s about 50 cheeseburgers. Knowing Michelle, as I did, that simply did not happen.

Michelle had consumed minimal carbohydrates during the week both because she was eating less food and because she had chosen to reduce them. Over the weekend she went out to dinner with friends and ate a little more liberally. She enjoyed some pasta, a little dessert, and a few glasses of wine. Michelle consumed more carbohydrates in her diet but this could hardly explain an extra 2kg on the scales.

How could this be you may ask?

Various studies attribute the rapid weight loss experienced by individuals on a low-carb diet is mostly due to water loss. In one of these studies subjects lost as an average of 1.7kg of water, with one subject losing 4.3kg. [1]

Even a small change to one’s diet such as dropping calories or changing the types of foods eaten will alter levels of water retention. It’s worth noting that individuals had very different weight loss responses.

In a separate study it was found that re-feeding of carbohydrates after a low carb diet can result in weight gain up to twice normal levels.[2] Theoretically, if the average person lost 1.7kg after reducing carbohydrates they could potentially gain an additional 1.7kg and weigh an extra 3.4kg!

Water retention is a dangerous, often misunderstood psychological trap. Many a person has given up on their weight loss goals after a Monday morning weigh in. It’s the emergence of this weekday dieter just like Michelle which explains why society is becoming more and more ‘carbophobic’.

You haven’t lost or gained 2kg of fat.

It’s just water.

Andrew

[1]Kreitzman, S.N., et al.  Glycogen storage: illusions of easy weight loss, excessive weight regain, and distortions in estimates of body composition.  Am J Clin Nutr.  56:292S-293S, 1992.

[2]Bergström, J., et al.  Diet, muscle glycogen and physical performance.  Acta Physiol Scand.  71(2):140-150, 1967.

LESSONS FROM AN OLDER BROTHER

As I walked inside the front door I was greeted with by a surprisingly large grin. It was my youngest sister; she had recently arrived home from the organic markets and proceeded to tell me about the ‘healthy’ shop she had just completed.I didn’t think too much of it until about an hour later when we crossed paths in the kitchen. I noticed her spreading a very generous dollop of ‘healthy’ organic macadamia butter inside a piece of celery. After investigating the food label I estimated each celery treat to be about 500 calories, which would equate to about one third of her food for the day.Unfortunately I soon found out that this was her third indulgence in a ‘healthy’ celery stick that day.

Andrew

WEIGHT LOSS v FAT LOSS

Lucy is a client at CBT. In her first month she followed my nutrition, cardio and weight training program precisely. Unfortunately at the conclusion of our month long program Lucy was not quite happy with her weight loss, she had only lost 700g of scale weight. I asked her how she felt and how her clothes were fitting. Lucy acknowledged that there was a considerable difference in the mirror, she had dropped a dress size and a number of her friends and family had complimented on her change. We compared before photos with current photos to also find a dramatic difference. Upon measurement of Lucy’s body fat percentage we made a few discoveries.Lucy Week 1
Weight: 72.4kg
Lean Body Mass: 44.6
Fat Mass: 27.8
Body Fat Percentage 38.5%Lucy Week 4
Weight: 71.7
Lean Body Mass: 45.7
Fat Mass: 25.9
Body Fat Percentage 36.2%

Lucy lost 1.9kg of fat as well as gaining 1.2kg of muscle, a great achievement. By measuring a loss in fat as opposed to weight we can provide a more accurate measurement of a client’s success. This is critical, particularly when resistance training is used as a tool in programing.

In the next article I’ll discuss the best methods to measure body fat %.

Andrew

WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE LONGER?

Did you know that the number one measurement that dictates your life expectancy is your body composition?Body composition is the ratio of lean mass to fat which can be calculated by performing a simple test that determines one’s body fat %.I’m going to state the obvious here but there is a positive correlation between a higher body fat % and death.

It may be you are motivated by not wanting to die young like your parents, wanting more energy to play with your children, preventing disease, and the development of a lifestyle that is sustainable so you can be the best version of you.

It’s really important to fuel our bodies with quality foods.

It’s even more important to not be obese.

AndrewWe need to manage our calorie intake in combination with eating quality foods.I promise you; just eating ‘healthy’ foods will not cut it.

Maybe you want to look your best.

You may be motivated by a toned beachside bikini body, improving self-confidence, being that dream beautiful bride, the removal of that unwanted body fat around the legs and hips, or truly loving your reflection in the mirror.

Again, I think we can all agree losing a bit of fat and creating some muscle tone is going to provide you the solution.

Regardless of whether you want to live longer or look hotter dropping body fat % is going to get you there.

I’m not going to lie. Making any transformation is challenging, results certainly won’t come overnight. Without the correct exercise/nutrition program, having the ability to stay committed long term and being able to assess what your hormones and metabolism are doing its likely you will struggle.
For the best results hire an experienced coach.

YOUR HEALTHY IS NOT MY HEALTHY

Each day new clients tells me they are eating “healthy.” A client may explain that they eat a lot of fruit, vegetables, lean meats, gluten free, no carbs, you name it. I even get told that my nutritional services won’t be required!I reply by asking my new client why they are overweight, or why they don’t have the toned abs and legs of their dreams.Often my new client doesn’t know how to respond.

The reality is that just because you eat “healthy” it does not mean you will lose weight.

Overriding all, if you eat more calories than you burn you WILL put on weight. Everyone defines healthy eating differently, and it is very easy to overeat on a “healthy” eating plan. To ensure success you need to understand how many calories are in each meal you eat. Just making the change to “healthy” has no magical weight loss properties.

If you aren’t tracking calories you’re fiddling in the dark.

Andrew

IS UNDER-EATING KEEPING YOU FAT? #2

Earlier this week I posted IS UNDER-EATING KEEPING YOU FAT? Please go back and read the article now if you have not already. I received a number of messages from surprised responders asking “is that me?” I thought I would cover a little more information.From my experiences with clients I’ve found the most common under-eaters to be those who have very active jobs such as waitresses, nurses and even teachers. They passively exercise throughout the day and are unaware of the extra food they need to consume.The other population who also struggle to eat are cardio queens. The cardio queen will typically be exercise-obsessed. They frequently use the gym for its treadmills, bikes, and classes. They may spend 2 or more hours slaving away each day. They often have minimal muscle tone and feel unrewarded for their effort.If you are one of these 2 populations, appear to be doing everything right and can’t seem to lose weight, it’s time for a rethink. Just by adding a little more quality food, clients tend to have more energy, start losing weight again and are able to build muscle mass. A great coach who understands nutrition could really change your body. He/she will provide you with an accurate calorie intake and start your journey to those toned thighs and abs you deserve.I’ve provided a meal plan just to give you an idea of what 1500 calories looks like. This program would be for a 70kg sedentary female looking to lose weight and training 3x a week. If you have a very active job and/or train many hours a week you may need to multiply the food on this meal plan by almost 2!Let me know.. is this you?Andrew
meal plan 1

 

 

“SO… I’M NOT EATING CARBS”

That’s interesting.What were the factors that lead to this decision (In my most serious consulting voice? So you read ‘Celebrity Goss Magazine’s’ article on Kim Kardashian losing 10kg by removing them from her diet? Clients and I frequently visit this conversation. No. Not Miss Kardashian, but low carbohydrate diets. You may expect it grow old, rather I anticipate and look forward to these conversations. I’m a real believer that education provides the empowerment needed for change. You’re probably beginning to understand that I hold little love for low carbing. Let me explain. For reference I consider a low carbohydrate diet to be less than 20% of ones ratio of foods. Carbohydrates are our primary source of energy. When they removed from our diet we are forced to use dietary fat as fuel. Common side effects of carb restriction may include muscle loss, dehydration causing scale weight fluctuations, feeling slow or foggy and lethargy. Some people even develop a strange body-odor. Remember that kid at school who brought boiled egg sandwiches and stunk out your entire classroom? In some cases if carbs are severely reduced we can even miss out on essential nutrients.Not eating carbs is a real inconvenience. Try ordering low carb at an Italian restaurant for your friends’ birthday. Snacking can be difficult when you no longer have the option of grabbing a sandwich or piece of fruit on the run.

Both fluff media and low carbohydrate proponents will have us believe there is an advantage to the low carbohydrate diet. There may be a very small advantage, but not to the extent or for the reasons we are often lead to believe. We are told about a ‘metabolic’ advantage, a positive effect on insulin management, and other glorious magic. I’ll be discussing some of these claims, although they are topics in future articles.

My clients get amazing results eating carbohydrates. In my experience results come at exactly the same rate as its low carb counterpart. I’ve tried and tested low carbs. Please don’t cull a food group. I mean, you can if you want, but it’s a real lifestyle sacrifice and completely unnecessary.

Andrew

IS UNDER-EATING KEEPING YOU FAT?

I often get asked who I enjoy training more, males or females.I’m not one to ever shy away from a challenge, so my answer, females.

You’re going to have to forgive the stereotype so early in our communications,
Let me explain.
People fit into 2 categories, over-eaters and under-eaters. Both have trouble losing weight equally. Believe it or not, I actually spend more time asking clients to increase the quantity of their foods rather than decreasing.That’s absurd right?

Back to my stereotype, women tend to have an underlying belief that eating less will result in losing more weight, men are more commonly overeaters. Women generally hold greater obsession with weight often resulting in drastic and dramatic ways of losing. Unfortunately a lot of methods only result in short term success. In many cases various low calorie diets similar in nature are followed for years. The scary thing is that these diets probably never even worked. They certainly didn’t get them any closer to that toned bikini body in their dreams. It makes it very easy to understand why people give up so easily.

Can you imagine the reaction when I ask one of my new under-eating clients to eat more? Thing is, it’s over 50% of my females. I love my job. One reason being the watching of a light bulb moment as client education becomes new hope.

For years this person may have been starving themselves at 1200 calories a day. I’ve even had clients tell me they’re eating as little as 500 calories a day. I may be looking to bump them up over 1700 depending on exercise and lifestyle factors.

It hurts. For years you may have been working your butt off wondering why it’s not working.

When limiting yourself to such extremes you’re starving yourself excessively. The body is very smart and begins to make efficiency cuts. This process is a subconscious decrease in physical activity and results in slowing of the metabolism. You won’t notice, but you will move less conserving much needed energy. Running optimally you may burn 1700 calories a day at rest, after years of dieting you may burn only 1300. What this means is that if you want to continue losing weight you have to cut more and more calories.

We need to fix that!

A study was completed on Biggest Loser contestants in which they calculated the average metabolic slowdown was about 800 calories post competition. If we are to avoid this metabolic slowdown it is necessary to lose weight slowly.

I see this mistake made every single day. I attribute a lot of my coaching success to the addition of just a little quality food.

If you are an under-eater you’ll be getting more information in future posts.

Andrew

WHY CAN’T I LOSE WEIGHT?

A question I get asked on a daily basis. Over the coming weeks I’m going to explain exactly that. Doing so, I’ll simplistically discuss the latest science and draw on my experiences behind successful weight loss and body transformation.

You’re probably not aware of this, but the reason you have been unable to make your desired change can be discovered in 1 of 4 categories.

Programming
Compliance
Metabolism
Hormones

When first consulting a client we partake an investigation into the past and present, providing solutions for the future. Together, by categorising your problems/mistakes we break down step by step why you don’t have the health and body of your dreams. It may surprise you that frequently all 4 categories are flagged. Unfortunately, we somehow manage to get everything wrong.

I wish to provide you the best, most up to date and accurate advice, explained in your language.

I want to hear from you. Please feel free to post or message me any questions. If I don’t know the answer I’ll do the research for you. I’ll possibly even make it the topic of an article.

Andrew