Weight loss is the leading reason that people seek fitness support. Many of my online and in-person clients are looking for weight loss. It’s a difficult issue for many to resolve. If you follow the Instagram fitness gurus or celebrity “nutrition experts” you need to cut out a food group, take a certain supplement, blah blah blah.
When you strip away the hype and sales pitches, we can break successful weight loss down to the basics. True fitness experts work to provide proper information for clients to successfully lose weight and keep the weight off long-term.
Weight loss is easy. I can get anyone to lose a few pounds very quickly if we are only looking at the number on the scale. Simply messing with water and carbohydrate amounts can easily reduce the number on the scale drastically, but was there any real changes to the body? Not really because as soon as I return back to normal amounts of both, my weight will quickly shift back to the number it was at because the measures we took had little impact on the fat stores in the body in the short-term.
A lot of folks are looking for a quick fix to settle their weight issues, but quick fixes yield no real results because often it is the reasons behind the weight gain that need to be addressed.
Why did you gain the weight?
Why have previous diets resulted in returning right back to the same weight?
A perfect example of this concept that many will be able to relate to due to the ratings(for whatever reasons), would be the Biggest Loser. In a recent article done by the NY Post, it was concluded that all of that amazing short-term weight loss results, which left many people across the country and world stunned by were just short-lived results. Many of the participants gained all of their weight back.
Didn’t they lose a lot of fat? Of course they did, but many of them needed more than just the hard work and effort to lose the fat, they needed the understanding and behavioral changes to keep it off for good. Weight loss is great, but if you need to keep doing different things to get back down to where you want to be, did that program you try work for you?
Were you working towards lifestyle changes or just a temporary fix towards a much bigger issue?
Below are 5 different changes that I focus on with each and every client that I work with, because without understanding these, long-term successful weight loss and maintenance is damn near impossible.
Change #1: Be Honest and Accurate With Yourself When Tracking Calories
I placed this as the first change because I have new clients come to me that have trouble losing weight with no medical history or taking any contraindicated medications. If they are having trouble losing weight no matter what they have tried, normally we find that it tracks back to under-reporting and underestimating how many calories they are taking in day-to-day.
Under-reporting is very typical for many reasons, but the two biggest issues I typically see are:
- Being honest about everything consumed.
- Accurately tracking food consumed.
If I don’t write down the dressing on the salad that I had or the couple Twix I had as a snack from my co-workers drawer, it doesn’t count right? Unfortunately skipping these small foods here and there quickly add up throughout the day. What we are not putting into a tracker can quickly add up to 200-500 calories, which could easily negate an entire workout that you did.
While some people don’t do well with tracking calories, it’s an effective strategy to ensure that weight loss will occur. Just realize that even if this strategy isn’t ideal for you, it’s a great way of being able to see just how much rice is “1/2 cup” or how much 3oz of chicken actually equals out to.
Accurately tracking food consumed is another problem that I commonly see. Too many of us guesstimate how many calories we are taking in, which is a horrible strategy for most people because we suck at tracking our calories consumed.
This is where using a scale and accurately determining how much food you are consuming can be an effective strategy. From there, you can make better guesstimates if you find that the nuances of tracking isn’t for you.
Plenty of literature has shown that are reporting is mediocre, with many subjects in these studies under-reporting calories by about 16%, so out of a 1500 calorie diet, this would be an additional 240 calories per day, or 1680 calories in a week.
Some literature to look at if interested:
- Literature 1: Accuracy of Self-Reported Intake…
- Literature 2: Validity of U.S. Nutritional Surveillance…
- Literature 3: Discrepancy Between Self-Reported and Actual Caloric Intake
- Literature 4: A Comparison of the Accuracy of Self-Reported Intake
When tracking your total caloric you can consume, I don’t care what the macro-nutrient tracker you are using says, please don’t eat more calories to off-set your exercise. We need to create a deficit in calories, so eating more calories because you worked out is going against what we are trying to accomplish.
So if you combine not writing down foods that you feel you shouldn’t have in your diet and the problem that many have with accurately reporting calories (that they do admit to consuming), we are looking at a significant amount of calories that are being consumed daily and could be a major factor in the reason why weight loss isn’t successful.
Change #2: Be Realistic with Goals and Outcomes. Sacrifices Are Okay.
In an age where everything is at our fingertips via the Internet, we are fed a bunch of crap from every person around the world on how you can lose ‘x’ amount of weight in ‘x’ amount of weeks by simply following their nutritional advice. The problem with this is two-fold:
- It sets up unrealistic expectations of what is plausible for weight loss to occur.
- It sets the individual up for ‘failure’ if they don’t reach the unrealistic expectation.
The second part of this is crucial to realize, as setting yourself up for failure is a surefire way to not be successful in losing weight. The worst part is that because of this initial failure, many individuals deem themselves unable to lose weight and just admit defeat. When in reality the few pounds that they most likely lost is still amazing, but it wasn’t the promised amount that was hyped up so much. Back on goes the weight and all the hopes of successfully getting to their end outcome disappear.
It took ‘X’ amount of time to get to the weight you are currently at, it’ll take a little bit of time to shed the pounds. Rather than shooting for a crazy number of pounds lost in a short duration, how about we focus on attainable goals that are reachable, if more than that occurs, awesome.
- If a lot of weight to lose, 2 pounds a week.
- If moderate weight to lose, 1 pound a week.
- If minimal weight to lose, half a pound a week.
What a lot of people don’t look at is the overall picture. In the first example if that individual kept up at that pace, they would lose 104lbs in one year, 52lbs in the second and 26lbs in the last, but many of us don’t. We are too occupied and upset by that fact that the scale only reads 2, 1 or .5lbs, yet every single person would be ecstatic I they lost 104, 52 or 26lbs in a year.
Change #3: Be Okay with Not Being Perfect.
Many people come into a diet thinking that it has to be perfect every single day, that there can be no messing up. What a load of crap! We are all human and we all make mistakes, show me a single person who doesn’t make a mistake, I’ll show you a liar.
The problem here is thinking that a mistake defines who you are. We all make mistakes, hell, I make a lot of them daily, even when trying to lose weight.
- I drank a couple of beers over the weekend.
- I had a stressful day at work and had some candy.
- I had a couple pieces of pizza with friends.
- I went over my calorie total for the day by 300 calories.
- I didn’t get enough protein.
- I ate too many starchy carbs.
Honestly, I don’t care about a single one of these. None of these define you. None of these are the reason you are not successful with your weight loss goal. Thinking they are and letting it derail you are the reasons you are not successful.
“Well I had a few beers, I suck, time to go have a few more. I’m not cut out for this. I can’t be perfect.”
Honestly, while being perfect is ideal, it is far from feasible for many people to be flawless with their nutrition and that’s okay. You can still be incredibly successful and lose weight, while still enjoying a desert here and a couple beers there.
If you’re on point with exercising 4-5 times a week here are your options for success:
- 95-100% nutrition compliance – Rapid Weight Loss.
- 90-95% nutrition compliance – Great Weight Loss.
- 80-89% nutrition compliance – Moderate Weight Loss.
Staying on point 80% of the time or more is where the sweet spot lies.
Change #4: Stop Making Excuses.
Excuses are a dime a dozen. You can come up with an excuse for just about anything and make it sound like it’s actually important in order to justify your lack of compliance towards your own goal.
I’m not saying that change #3 still can’t occur, by all means, it can. The problem lies with people trying to justify beyond that wiggle room of 80% compliance with their nutrition.
- I don’t need to work out today because I did a lot of lifting at work today.
- I deserve to party hard this weekend after this week from hell at work.
- Blah blah blah.
If you keep coming up with excuses, you need to sit down and have an honest talk with yourself, is the goal that you have set for yourself something you actually want to accomplish?
If you can answer that yes it is a goal you really want to accomplish, then you just need to realize that making a lot of changes far from your norm is not easy at first. You’ll want to fall into your comfort zone which unfortunately is what has caused most of the issues especially if weight loss is your main goal.
It takes at least 4 weeks for a new action to become a habit, you’ll have far less issues with staying on track once you get into a routine. Once in a routine and the habit is formed, you won’t even look back.
Change #5: Stop Trying to Be Successful Alone. It’s Okay to Ask For Help.
I’d like to consider myself a relatively successful trainer, I get results and have an incredibly high success rate with clients reaching their goals, yet I have my own strength coach, running coach, and business coach. Is this because I don’t know what I am doing? Not at all, but because it is easily to stay on track and not worry about the little details here and there – leave that up to someone else to worry about.
My job is to focus on my clients and my business. It’s easier to do that when I can easily focus on what needs to be focused on.
The same goes for weight loss from two fronts:
- Partner weight loss buddy.
On both fronts I have someone else on board to help make sure that I stay accountable. Most of my clients who have seen the most success, have had a combination of both me as their trainer and had a friend or significant other that they followed a nutritional strategy with together – it’s another facet of successful weight loss.
From a coaching stand-point there is a lot of crazy information out there, most of which is completely different than the person you just last read from, this can easily confuse the hell out of you on how you can be successful, where do I even start?!?!
Having someone on your side can make all the difference in the world. A good coach knows what information is correct and what needs to be done to help you reach your goal.
Lose Fat, Gain Confidence and Get a Bikini Body for Summer Now
Below is my client, Rosalba, as you will see in the testimonial attached, she has been working out for years and has always been in great shape. She approached me about making sure she was ready for summer, in just 12 weeks, this is what she has accomplished. Through proper nutrition, rest and recovery, and an exercise routine designed specifically for her, she has reached her goal far ahead of time.
No special secret.
No magic pill.
No special diets or exercise fads.
She worked hard and accomplished her goal, but she followed a plan geared towards her needs.
I have 3 spots opening up for 1v1 clients for this summer. Shoot an email to email@example.com with the subject “Summer Body” and I’ll help you get your summer body!
“I have been lifting since I was 15. And in my 20s took it up more seriously, designing my own workouts and making it part of my life. During the course of my 30s and early 40s, I continued and encountered a plateau. For those that know me, they will tell you that I am pretty passionate about the sport for a balanced life style not for looks. I had something in mind that I felt I was not achieving. I wanted a strong body to match my strong and bold character. I wasn’t going for looks or size or weight. And at the same time, wasn’t sure if I was asking for something unattainable.
Everything changed when I partnered up with Brandon at LaVack Fitness. And I say partnered because no matter what you do, you have your part to fulfill if you want to achieve your vision of success. Brandon listened very carefully and said, that although demanding, what I wanted to do, was definitely achievable, as long as I committed to it and stayed on course.
He devised a 16 week program, which I am still on, and the results are truly amazing. I have never in my entire life of lifting been able to accomplish my vision of striving for a better me, body = mind. And approaching the end of 12 weeks into my program, I lost 13lbs. At 47, I am more shredded, toned – and have that strength I dreamed of to match the strength of my mind – than at any point in my 20s and 30s.
If you have any doubt of what you can achieve, you are hindering yourself if you don’t consider training with someone, like Brandon LaVack, who can truly deliver results. And I am one hard person to convince, or please!
If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask. I am a real person, not a body builder and I don’t do crazy diets. I have a demanding job and yet Brandon found the workout that fit in my schedule.
Strive for your vision of you with Brandon. I promise, you won’t regret it!”
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