Burning Fat: Struggle to Success
Struggle in any goal is inevitable and also part of the process. Every time you struggle you get stronger, every time you fail you learn. It is only through getting stronger and smarter that you gain success. Society has you believe that you eat less, move more and you drop weight. Yes this can be true and does happen. Many times though what is actually happening? Majority of the time you are losing lean body mass (muscle: structural muscle like abs or glutes and also organ like the heart and lungs) while maybe or not losing fat at all. You then are actually setting yourself up for a bounce back of weight and many time this is just fat, so you are making yourself in the long term less healthy and harder to burn fat.
One of the first things we start teaching clients is to eating a healthy diet. Everyone knows the difference between an apple and a twinkie or a grass fed steak and a McDonalds cheese burger. We start there and then start adding in even healthier options that are healthy calorie packed and also high level of micro nutrition with vitamins and minerals to get your body to operate at an optimal level. Other things we teach are specified around water intake for proper hydration and proper sugar intake. These several things play huge factors in body composition change and health. Once we have dietary choices to a high level we can start working on how to burn fat properly. We do this with proper exercise, calorie intake and macro nutrition break down. Teaching where your base calorie zone, fat burn zone, maintenance zone, performance zone and weight gain zones are is where you can start seeing changes. Once we have those laid out we can also then change up with other diet strategies that can cause changes quicker for short periods of time. To burn off fat and change your body composition you need to do many things right and that is why we teach this in a several step process. When people first start to get their bodies to burn fat you have little room for not doing certain steps because many clients bodies are so used to storing fat and living off sugar it doesn’t know how to burn fat properly. As clients get their bodies working better the more freedom of adjusting some of these steps and not have it as strict. The main things is if nothing changes, nothing changes. Teaching how to do the math of where you are, what you need and what to do for your goals is so very important.
Many times when clients start with us they want to lose weight and have struggled with it. We often hear “I am eating healthy”. Eating healthy is awesome and it makes teaching our clients what they need to do easier. Healthy to some people is far different than others so we have them track food so we can see what their idea of healthy is. Many times there are some really good choices and some not so good. The other things we see are other aspects from calories, macros, micros, sugar, water that are off and causing things to not change. They have been eating the same way for a while and we need to teach them what to change. If nothing changes, nothing changes.
We teach them how to track their body weight and body fat %. These 2 pieces help to determine many things (energy in and out) and allow us to track how their bodies are changing (fat loss, muscle gain or not). We teach them how to use these numbers to determine why something changed or did not change. When anyone is eating healthy and exercising and not seeing results it can be very frustrating and mentally defeating. This also is heart breaking as their trainers, we want nothing more than to have our clients see the results they want, and why we teach all our clients to eat for health and results.
If you aren’t seeing results you have several choices, eat less, eat more or keep doing what you are doing. Nothing changes , if nothing changes so if you keep doing the same thing you will keep getting the same result. So you have to eat less or eat more. When we teach our clients how to use their body weight and body fat to track changes, this also helps us to determine calorie output so we can alter their intake either up or down. This depends on current intake and current goals plus fitness and results. This is the biggest struggle we have with most people. They learn what they need to do, see what they need to do but many times stay within their comfort zone or go back to old habits. Old habits are hard to change. Getting your body adjusted to a change is also hard. But neither are impossible.
The biggest factor once a client knows their base metabolism is to make the dietary changes to see the best results. Every time you eat of drink something there is a chemical reaction that causes that food to be broken down and used inside the body. This can be used for many things but to understand the simple aspect is that it either causes fat storage or body fuel inside the muscles and organs. You want to obviously have the reaction to be, turn to fuel and not fat. Then if your goal is to burn fat you need to understand that your body doesn’t burn fat unless it is hormonally told too. You need to eat inside your fat burn zone (not under or over) to have your body do this. Many times people are over but even more so many people are under. This can be really hard mentally because it goes against eat less to lose weight. If a person told me they eat 1 egg for breakfast, 3 ounces of chicken for lunch and 3 cups of veggies for dinner it is obvious that they are starving themselves and not eating enough. If a person tells me they eat a 2 chocolate muffins for breakfast, 2 Big Macs for lunch and 1 large frozen pizza for dinner it is obvious they are over eating. The client that is eating to much we can easily change things and see results because they are obviously over eating but also the choices are horrible. The person who is eating healthy foods but under eating and starving themselves can be more of a challenge. There are sometimes mental blocks that people have to eating food and fueling the body instead of the “eat less, exercise more” starving yourself plan. It can take some getting used to learning to eating more on a physical and mental aspect. The biggest thing is in either case is if nothing changes, nothing changes.
When we teach clients the science and math of their numbers, we then teach them where their diet needs to be able to reach their goal.
If their goal is fat loss. They need to be in the fat burn zone
If their goal is to increase muscle. They need to in a surplus/growth zone
If their goal is performance. They need to be in the performance zone.
It comes down to math /science. Then when we track weight and body fat weekly we can see the changes that need to be tweaked and learning to be more precise and on target with diet.
You can’t get around the math.
2+2 will never equal 5
Putting a match to fuel will start a fire. Putting a match in enough water will extinguish the flame.
You can’t get around science.
Putting a match in water will never start a fire. If nothing changes, Nothing changes.
If you are struggling look at the math, look at the science. Then you have 3 choices, eat less, eat more or stay the same. Then you have to stay consistent. Eat great for 2 days out of the week won;t get you the results you want. You need to stay dedicated to the goal and also the process. This again is just math and science that has been proven to cause the results you just need to stay in your zone and stay in it consistently and as long as the goal requires.
One of the biggest things we struggle with when working with clients is self sabotage and mental defeat. Some of the things we see are frustrations over not seeing results even if they are exercising and eating healthy food options. As we talked about earlier that won’t always cause fat loss so tracking becomes important so each week we can learn from our mistake and progress forward. We also see many times where someone makes 1 mistake in a day and then eat like crap for a week. That is like getting a flat tire and getting out and slashing the other 3. Learning isn’t always the key….taking the action is. If you don’t do the math, follow the science and adjust to get in the zone of the desired goal it won’t happen. Goals are dreams until we take action. So if we aren’t getting a desired results we need to change the direction. That direction isn’t always easy and sometimes doesn’t even make sense but you have 3 options eat less, eat more or stay the same. One of the biggest self sabotages is that you are very frustrated that you aren’t seeing results doing what you are doing and then make a change. The hard part is you only see a small change and not some 8 pounds in 1 week change so you go back to what you were doing. You are saying I am frustrated and wanted to quit because I am not seeing a change. Then you see a change and you say I am frustrated and want to quit because it wasn’t good enough. What kind of logic is that? Damned if you do and Damned if you don’t is not a way to live! Strength comes in all shapes, sizes and ways. Mental strength is one of the biggest parts of health and fitness. Are you strong strong enough to look in the mirror and be happy with the out comes of your actions and effort? If nothing changes, nothing changes so be happy when nothing changes. If something changes and nothing changes, be happy that you are learning to perfect what you need to do. If something changes and something changes be happy with the change no matter how big or how “small” you think the change is!!!!
I wish I could tell you that eating perfect for 3 days would get you to drop 5 pounds of fat. I wish I could tell you that you will be perfect everyday. I wish I could tell you that it will be easy. I wish I could tell you that you won’t fall down. I wish I could tell you that there is a magic pill or secret that changes everything over night. I can’t tell you any of those things but I can tell you that you can not fail! You can’t fail if you try. You can’t fail if you learn. You can’t fail unless you give up because a goal is just a dream unless there is action.
The days that aren’t easy, that you do fall down, that aren’t perfect and you just want to give up. I say give up!! Give up and let it out! Go ahead and cry, punch a pillow or yell at the top of your lungs!! Let that emotion out, let the emotional weight go it does no good to carry it around anyway. After you Give up and let it out count to 5 and then go look in the mirror, pick yourself back up and remember why you started, why you are doing this, why you can’t fail. Now go hit your goals!!!