So I am assuming you have read part 1 with the first 3 reasons why you aren’t lean. If not, start here before you check out reasons 4-6.
And don’t worry, I’m not going to hit you with the “Drink more water!” BS. Yes, most of us aren’t hydrated enough but I am going to at least give you credit for the basics. If you aren’t there yet- go fill up your water bottle and get back to us.
But before I get into the nitty gritty, I figured I would hit you guys with a transformation photo. Why one that isn’t so recent? Well, because when you hit a fitness/ body goal it is much easier to maintain. Changes since then have been significant in other ways, but I feel this is the type of transformation the largest majority of people who have contacted me want for themselves.
BGOD: (Booty Gains Or Die)
Now let’s dive in and see what are likely the biggest obstacles in the way of your weight loss goals- and how to overcome them.
As I mentioned in part 1, successful diets require consistency. And before you soil your britches, check out my article about why everyone needs to stop being afraid of the word diet.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is making exceptions, or what I call “freestyling” their diet. This is particularly common with people following a strict meal plan, likely due to the inherent stress of mandated menus. IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) and “Flexible Dieting” can and have been extremely successful in my experience, but it can also create an abomination of a diet.
Here’s what it looks like. It starts as food substitution. You decide you don’t actually want your avocado for meal #3 so you replace the fats with cheese and a little bit of peanut butter. Ok. Then you decide you will eat a little less of your rice so you can have some blue corn tortilla chips, but just a few. Serving size on the bag says 12 chips, you ate 7 so you put 1/2 serving into MyFitnesspal. Oh but then you are eating hummus out of the container and that was how many tablespoons? 3? 4?
You see what I am saying? The more you snack on random foods, the less precise your tracking will be. Plus, if you are substituting processed foods for whole foods, you are moving towards a diet that is less healthy and less nutritionally dense.
So what do you do to avoid this? Just hunker down and realize that diets don’t have to be and shouldn’t be miserable, but expecting to satisfy all of your cravings and desires will leave you in one of two places: sticking to your calorie deficit but starving because you have to eat small portions of the calorically dense foods you are trying to squeeze in, or simply not meeting your goals.
Make a plan, and stick with it. Meal prep if it helps you. Keep a journal if it helps you. Treat yourself in other ways. You can do this.
There’s a big difference between eating out when you have generally decided you’re going to “eat healthier” vs. eating out when you have concretely declared “I need to hit a 370 calorie deficit today.” The problem with eating out is very simple- if you don’t make your food, you don’t know what is in it.
Bam. That’s it.
I’m not the type of person that feels comfortable going out and ordering a meal with a million modifications. “Oh, and um.. can I have regular onions instead of grilled onions, baked chicken breast instead of fried, can I have the sauce on the side, no bun- lettuce wrapped, oh.. wait…is your chicken baked with any oil? Like, can you not do that?”
As someone who has worked in food service and had to put in those orders, it’s annoying. You’re making your server spend 5 minutes at the computer looking for the millions of buttons to create the simple meal you should have just made in your own kitchen.
While I don’t love going out and watching my friends smash pulled pork sandwiches while I eat chicken breast, I don’t let my diet be a reason to avoid social situations. I eat out unplanned sometimes, and sometimes I make choices that aren’t necessarily indicative of my goals. It is ok to deviate a little, just don’t make it a rule. You really don’t know all of the extra cooking oils, salt, preservatives, etc that you are consuming. You are already going out of your way to try and do better. Don’t undermine your progress out of ignorance.
This ties in with #5. If I am out and about and hungry, I always find the closest grocery store. When eating at home is not an option, your first thought should never be fast food or gas station. I don’t care what you say, you will not find reasonable options at either place. A P3 packet or protein shake is all good and well until you are eating them 3x a week and throwing that sugary kind bar in the mix every other time. That isn’t a meal! But trust me, I ain’t missin no meals. No ma’am. You won’t CATCH me hungry on purpose. So I always have my go-to single meal grocery list. I am relatively picky so it doesn’t vary much-
- Pre-cooked chicken strips (found next to sandwich meat.. taste delicious cold)
- Single serving tuna packet
- Cottage cheese (not with the fruit, ya ding dongs!!)
- Fage greek yogurt
- Vegetable/ Fruit: (I don’t believe in fruits.. jk but seriously I always choose a vegetable first- micronutrients be damned I want abs)
- Orange bell pepper
- Baby carrots
- Rice Cakes
- Banana- clearly a fruit but you can’t ignore those ~28 grams of sugary goodness…
- ^ thats it!
- Avocado- and commit to not devouring it in its entirety
- Almonds – not gonna sit here and pretend like i don’t get the salted ones. ROASTED AND SALTED HUNNY!!
And DON’T EAT ALL THE DAMN NUTS!! If you are logging your food like I told you to in Part 1, you would know why!
Here is an example of an on-the-go single meal purchase:
We can talk about my obsession with kombucha on a later date.
Anyway, I hope you retain at least one tip I mentioned here and use it! These are crucial to people on a diet, but also very good habits to generally apply to your life.