That promising “fat-burning” workout, drink or special diet is kind of BS. Don't get me wrong, these "systems" can be helpful. Some people have great success with them. But the problem is that there is no 1-size fits all weight loss solution.
Everybody and every body is different. And what works this month may not work as well the next month as you change. Your health is a journey of ups and down, discovery, and constantly changing variables (stress, age, injury, etc...).
So following a fad, or system, may work for you, but likely it won't.
The real question still stands then, "How do you burn fat and keep it off?"
The first thing to understand is that fat cells never disappear or go away. Fat cells store 𝐟𝐚𝐭. The only thing we can do is shrink them (burn fat) or expand them (store fat).
What does that mean?
Said another way, fat cells can shrink from dieting efforts, and fill back up during weight regain. However, fat cells never disappear; they die and then are replaced by new cells.
This makes permanent fat loss hard work to achieve, and easy to regain fat after we are done dieting. I guess this explains why so many of us yo-yo every time we go off our diet!
Here are some of the most common reasons we regain all the weight we lose from dieting after we are done:
- We abandon all of our healthy efforts (diet and exercise) efforts and go right back to our "old ways."
- We do not properly reverse dieting by slowing increasing calories back up from a deficit.
- Continuous yo-yo dieting and not taking time off from each diet
- Too aggressive (or too low) of a calorie deficit - starvation mode!
- We do to much cardio and not enough weight/strength training.
The body is a complex environment. Every one is different and starting from a different place. No two paths will be the same - so stop comparing yourself to other people. Compare yourself today to yourself from your past and ask yourself this question, "Am I making progress for me?"
One example I love to share with people is a very common situation. The conversation usually starts with, "I hit 30 (or 40, or 50) and my metabolism fell off a cliff! I gain weight just looking at a brownie."
One thing is true, your metabolism is not what it used to be...but it didn't just fall off a cliff. It has been eroding for years and maybe even decades in some cases. Every time you cut your calories (diet) and do loads of cardio you are seeing the scale go down. Say it goes down by 10 lbs - 5 lbs is fat loss and 5 lbs is muscle loss. So the scales goes down to what you want to see, but then you go back to your old ways and you gain the 10 lbs back, but this time you gain 7 lbs of fat and 3 lbs of muscle. So you have a net loss of 2 lbs of muscle from where you started. Do this diet and cardo plan 10 times over 5 years and you have lost 20 lbs of muscle...not what you intended to do!
This is why strength training is so important. Muscle and lean tissue is your metabolic engine and gaining muscle becomes harder and harder as you age. So build the muscle now and maintain it at all cost...because once you lose it it becomes ever harder to get it back.
So what is the solution?
The first step is to have a plan that is right for you. It is important to consult with people you trust and that have experience in what you are looking to achieve. The second step is to get to work, and the third step is to stay accountable and disciplined. And don't rush the process. Building health and a resilient body takes time.
Here are a couple of tips to get you started.
- Strength train 1-3 times per week
- 30-45 minutes of light cardio 1-2 times per week
- Limit processed sugars and carbs
- Limit seed oils and fried foods
- Eat lots of veggies
- Eat lots of lean protein (plant or animal based works)
- Sleep 7-8 hours per night
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By: Catarina Lee
If you need help with this, Catty Lee Fitness works with women struggling with failed diets and that is our #1 specialty is reversing women’s health to become fit and fueled with food to not sacrifice health, happiness or hormones! Apply to work with one of our coaches at https://cattyleellc.typeform.com/to/xjuQAh.