For many girls, weight is a sensitive issue. My goal with this post is not to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but rather to tell you that what you might think about losing weight may be incorrect. The consumer media tells us to eat less, buy low-fat foods, and join all sorts of fad diets to find the miracle solution to weight loss.
Stop following those weight loss fads. They are gimmicks, and your body was designed to eat well, eat healthy, and move throughout the day (without killing yourself in the gym all the time). Brandon’s advice on weight loss may surprise you, but I promise you it’s what you need to hear!
Possibly The Only 2 Things You Need to Do to Lose Weight
Here’s an easy question. How many calories should you be eating if you want to lose weight? From my experience many women seem to all agree that 1200 calories is the right amount. I’m still not sure where this comes from, but it’s consistent regardless of their age, weight, metabolic health or activity level.
Seems silly, right? All of those things (age, weight, etc) matter a whole lot. So a universal 1200 calorie target for all women doesn’t make sense. Indeed, many women need a lot more than that to remain healthy, while also working to achieve their fitness or weight loss goals.
In fact, there is a very real danger to your health by dropping your calories too low for too long. This is especially true for women.Why?
- It damages your metabolic health
- It can interfere with your reproductive system
- You don’t get enough nutrients for strong bone health
- You lose track of the macronutrients you really need and become obsessed with calories!
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not be doing formulas and calculations just so I can figure out if it’s OK to put some butter on my toast. I know there are Apps like MyFitnessPal that will do all the math for you. But from my experience with clients, almost everybody will use it for a few days, then eventually stop it altogether. Because even though the calculations are done for you, it’s still incredibly tedious imputing every single thing you eat and drink into the app.
There is a better way. And it’s so simple, yet almost nobody even gives it a thought when it comes to meal time.
Eat slowly, and stop eating when you’re about 80% full.
For starters, it forces you to pay attention to how you eat. This is important because slow and mindful eating means you will eat less naturally. Without the stress of counting calories. It takes about 20 minutes before your digestive system communicates to your brain that you’ve had enough food and begin to feel full. I don’t know about you but I can eat a lot in 20 minutes. Not quite as much as Joey Chestnut, who holds the record for eating 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes though.
Secondly it gets you in the habit of listening to your body. Most of the time we ignore or are confused about the signals our bodies are telling us. For example, are you really hungry, or are you just thinking about food now because the ice cream in your freezer is calling your name?
The concept is super simple, but the actual follow through can be incredibly challenging.
That’s because almost every one of us are in the habit of mindlessly tearing through our meals as if we’re in some competitive eating contest. Part of this is due to our rushed society. We always have to be somewhere in 10 minutes. Or perhaps we’re distracted by TV, work or a million other things that have our attention as we automatically bring food to mouth, without even barely giving it a glance.
If you train yourself to stop when you’re 80% full, rather than wait till you’re totally full or stuffed, then you have to listen to your body. You have to learn to differentiate between things like real physical hunger and boredom hunger, and the feeling of a satisfied, but not too stuffed tummy.
The cool thing is that once you master these two things, they’ll be habits for life, and it’ll be MUCH easier to maintain your weight without having to jump on every new diet that comes out.
So here’s an exercise you can try yourself. Pick one meal of the day, doesn’t matter which one, and set a timer. First see how long it takes you normally to eat that meal. Then every day see if you can slow down just a little bit, and take a little bit more time to finish. For example, if you normally finish dinner in about 8 minutes, can you try and stretch it out to 9 for the rest of the week? Then next week 10 minutes? And so on.
I’ve attached a worksheet that I use for clients created by Precision Nutrition that may help you. I’m a certified Level 2 Precision Nutrition Coach, and I learned about this tactic from them. Honestly I never would’ve thought about it on my own!
You can learn more about Precision Nutrition, and their best in the business online coaching program here.