I did a survey and a Q&A session on social media recently looking feedback on your greatest fat loss struggles and challenges.
In order for me to provide results for my online and onsite customers my business thrives on solving the “real” struggles and challenges that face women in Ireland today.
The influx of questions about struggles and frustrations was something similar to Hurricane Ophelia – we were literally blown away!
However, there was a similar pattern and common themes recognised from women from every county in Ireland.
This blog post is dedicated to all you ladies who feel the challenges of carrying extra weight, know all the things you should be doing, follow all the fitness and nutrition bloggers, but never actually follow through on any of the advice. Brace yourself!
Here are the top 5 challenges:
‘Don’t have time to prep food and cook healthy meals every day’
“I don’t have the time” is the grown-up version of “the dog ate my homework”. You might not like my direct approach, however, I have to conclude that everyone should make it a priority to prep and cook real food from scratch most of the time.
That said, it’s not practical that every meal of the week be home cooked. Allowing for weekend takeaways is fine but always remember that to lose body fat, your adherence to good nutrition should apply 80% of the time.
For instance, if you are eating 3 meals a day, 7 days a week you will still make progress if 2-3 of those meals aren’t considered optimal, provided you are in a calorie deficit.
Furthermore, keep it simple! You don’t have to be a Michelin star chef. Try to cook wholesome family meals that everyone will eat, and the more you do it the better you will get at it.
Choose a few key breakfasts, lunches and dinners you all like, as most people tend to eat the same 5-10 meals most of the time anyway.
My online program doesn’t overwhelm clients with having to count calories, macros etc and is based on simple portion control. It allows for your favourite takeaway or indulgence and a few drinks every week. This is a sustainable and simple method to drop body fat, gets results and is easy to follow forever.
‘Cup of Tea & Biscuit’
Cravings for something sweet can be the ruination of your good intentions. It’s totally normal that when in a calorie deficit you may have some hunger, but don’t get to the point where you feel faint.
I have lost count of the number of people who say they always have a biscuit with a cup of tea, especially after dinner or after the kids go to bed and you sit down to watch your latest Netflix show.
Firstly, check in with your body: are you really hungry or is this just a habit? If you are hungry make sure you are eating a meal that includes a palm size of protein which will increase your satiety and help down regulate hunger hormones.
Include a load of veggies and salads in your diet to help eliminate hunger. If cravings still exist eat some low sugar fruits like strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries. Lastly, don’t buy the foods you crave; if it’s not there you can’t eat it.
It’s Friday evening at 5pm and that weekend switch is now flicked “ON”.
How many of you eat well during the work week and relax your eating regime at the weekend by overeating on calories on Friday, Saturday and Sunday?
It’s important that you incorporate a little flexibility into your diet mid-week and avoid slashing calories to overindulge in on the weekend.
It’s a feeling of entitlement that we have worked hard all week and reward ourselves at the weekend with food and alcohol. Find a new reward.
It’s perfectly fine to have a few meals at the weekend that aren’t optimally healthy but just don’t make it a full blown junk fest!
Is food your only pleasure? It’s proven that sugar and fats release opioids which are also active ingredients in cocaine, heroin and other drugs.
So that nice, warm fuzzy feeling when you eat chocolate or ice cream is real.
Do not eat your emotions. I know it sounds crazy when I say let yourself experience these emotions, whether it be sadness, anger, guilt or rejection.
It may not change the source of the problem but it will prevent you from shutting off your feelings with behaviours you’d like to stop – like eating!
Emotional eating does not discriminate. It’s a legal, powerful and effective way to find temporary solace in the challenges of life. If it didn’t work so well, no one would do it.
Make a commitment to reach deep inside and ask yourself some hard questions and hopefully these reminders will help you in your journey.
Like the ladies who responded to my survey, the greatest problem my clients have is consistency.
Most ladies are either on or off the diet. They commit fully for a few weeks, realise it’s hard work and then quit or become disheartened when they haven’t lost 7lbs in 2 weeks!
I constantly hear people say, “I’ll start my diet when the kids go back to school” or “when the holidays are over”, and so on.
It’s important to get real; commencing your healthy regime when you get a clear path in your social life is not realistic or practical.
There will always be nights out, parties, holidays, weddings in our calendar.
It’s a matter of navigating our way around it, enjoying a few indulgences and drinks but getting back on track the next day. That is key.
Get into the habit of not letting a few overindulgences make us feel guilty. This is normal life, ladies, this is reality, nobody is perfect 100% of the time.
I advise moderation and balance, which is training 2-3 times a week, every week.
It’s a common occurrence that people overwhelm themselves with an extreme training regime of 5 times a week and an extreme nutrition plan, then end up quitting as it’s too much, too soon and something they will never sustain long term.
Creating the habit of being consistently good, not inconsistently perfect is the secret.