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Why are you not losing weight?

I’m going to be giving you the explicit truth on this one – why you are not losing weight!

My clients have usually tried everything else before they come to me. They will usually have spent a fortune on every diet, lotion, potion, and slimming club – but to no avail.

I hear all the laments, “Tara, it’s my hormones”, or “Tara, it’s my medication that’s preventing me from losing weight”, or “my metabolism has slowed down” or the worst one, “I’m eating too little, so my body is storing body fat in case there is a famine”. Sweet Lord above, I’ve heard them all!

I’m not one to mince my words, I believe that people deserve to hear the truth. I am happy to dole out my common sense approach and years of nutritional knowledge to let you know exactly why you are piling on the pounds and not losing them.

Fasten your seat-belts, here goes:

You are still eating too many calories.

It’s a fact, when you eat less calories than your body needs, you will lose weight. Yup, that’s it. Eat less calories. End of.

Usually when clients decide to eat more healthily they end up making the mistake of still eating portion sizes that are too large – excess calories.

Eating high calorie “healthy foods” like avocado and buckets of coconut oil – excess calories.

Overeating on fruit – excess calories.

Make sure you understand what your maintenance calories are (the calories needed to maintain your current weight) and just deduct 500 less per day to lose approx 1lb of fat per week. Type maintenance calorie calculator into google and get a grip with your maintenance calories first. This is probably the main reason why you are not losing weight.

Your calories are coming from a high carb diet.

A common complaint I hear from clients is that “I don’t eat very much so I don’t understand why I’m putting weight on”. That might be the case, but what they tend to be eating is calorie dense, low volume, not filling and can be inhaled in a heartbeat, e.g. chocolate biscuits!

Highly palatable junk foods like biscuits, sweets and crisps will usually be high calorie and easily digested, leaving you craving more and they can also be addictive. More importantly, they are devoid of nutrients i.e. they offer us nothing good in return for those high calories.

Carbohydrates are a macro-nutrient that is not an essential one for the body unless you are an athlete (in which case it is the preferred source of fuel for energy). However, for the standard sedentary Joe, it’s not really needed, yet most of our calories come from this macro. Prioritise proteins and make sure to eat healthy fats in the correct portions. Add stacks of veggies and nutritious salads to your diet – but not shop bought potato salad & coleslaw!

Overestimating calorie burn through exercise.

Calorie entitlement given to oneself because you just did an exercise class is a classic one. We are experts at validating the consumption of food because we trained twice this week. Sound familiar? I know this because I did it myself. I used to run marathons, and I would run 60-70 miles per week then scoff takeaways, chocolate bars and wine like they were going out of fashion. But then I wondered why I wasn’t like the other skinny marathon runners! What I didn’t realise was that my 6 mile run didn’t even burn off the calories in my 3 generous glasses of wine. Or that it would take running an entire half marathon to burn off the calories in my beloved fish supper out of the chippy.

Get cute with your calorie burn – you’d be amazed at the amount of physical activity required to burn off the calories in your favourite indulgences. It is also worth noting that the more trained you are, the more efficient your body can complete the workout, hence there will be less calories burned. So, you need to make sure you are constantly challenging yourself to increase that calorie burn.

Using My Fitness Pal incorrectly.

90% of the time when I send clients to use My Fitness Pal or any app to work out their calories they either input it incorrectly by failing to weigh the actual food product or they get fed up and do a half ass job of it. Let’s get real, there are not too many of us that sit in a restaurant and pull out the phone and say, “hold on folks, I have to input the calories into My Fitness Pal of my prawn cocktail starter, steak and chips, and ice cream”. It doesn’t happen. It of course works some of the time, but it is usually not successful for the “normal person”.

How do I get on the right track?

Taking all this into account and by looking at the law of thermodynamics and energy balance, the bottom line is – calories are king. We under report and over eat. We aren’t training hard enough or often enough. It is important to eat more protein and get 80% of your calories from nutritious, whole foods while still having the flexibility to have your favourite indulgences in moderation (20% = moderation). Unfortunately, you can’t have your cake and eat it.

You can still lose weight by eating lots of good food and not going hungry. My 10 Day Kickstart Program is a fat loss reboot, so to speak. There is no room for error on this one. Everything is done for you. You select the right calorie program based on your current starting weight. It’s a low cost online program (it is only £14) that has you eating 3 meals a day plus a snack if you are hungry. Clients are shocked that they lose so much weight when they eat lots and never feel hungry. I lay it out very simply (simple always works best) by providing lots of delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas that you can mix and match. It contains all the food groups including carbs, but nutritious ones. Average weight loss on the program is 7lbs. I also provide an optional workout program with it. That’s it folks – good luck!

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