Reasons Why Your Nutrition Program Isn’t Working
7. You’re Too Damn Extreme
Most people believe that weight loss is only about calories in vs. calories out.Hormones also play a role. Your metabolism is regulated by your thyroid, which produces thyroid hormones. If you produce less thyroid hormone, due to stress or extreme nutritional practices, you will burn as many calories as someone that has healthy thyroid hormone levels. This comes into play because most people are too extreme when they cut calories to lose weight. If they maintain their weight on 3000 calories/day, they think that they can speed things up by reducing calories to 1500 calories/day or less, because weight loss is only about calories. 2500 calories would have brought about 1 lb. week of weight loss, but cutting it from 3000 to 1500 calories/day will make your body think that it’s being starved, and it will slow down your metabolism so you’ll burn less calories, and weight loss will be more difficult.If you have a decent amount of weight to lose, this will put you in a corner quickly,because you’ll only be able to drop calories so low. You can lose weight by either increasing the amount of exercise, or decreasing calories. A lot of people will take the extreme route and do both, which again will put you in a corner real quick, and force you to do extreme things to keep the ball rolling. You want to delay going to the extremes as long as possible, because you’ll usually pay for it in one way or another .I’ve worked with a few bikini competitors that had coaches who used this approach,eventually they had adapted to maintaining their body weight on really low calories.One maintained a weight of 138 lbs. with 28% body fat (remember 33% is obese) on less than 1100 calories/day. After her last show, they failed to slowly introduce slightly more calories back into her diet, so that she could work her way backup to a higher calorie intake. So as a result she gained weight on a calorie intake that would normally make people lose weight fast. With this in mind, I know that there’s two ways to lose weight, decrease food intake, or increase activity. So to help her metabolism get healthy again, I decreased her exercise, and slowly increased her calorie intake. Then I’d add more work in when as I increased her calorie intake, and surprisingly enough, she started losing weight.
6. You Think You Can Work Everything Off!
Let’s say it’s Taco Tuesday, or you decide to have brunch with a friend. You figure that you can have a few margaritas, or even have a large dessert because you can just work it off in the gym. Well the average 10 oz. margarita has about 550 calories,and a lot of places have margaritas as large as 30 ounces (Do the math). Whether you run, or walk a mile it burns the same amount of calories, which is 100 calories/mile travelled. Resistance training at a vigorous intensity may burn 432 calories/hour, but very few people can workout at that level of intensity.The average is a little closer to 266 provided that you don’t avoid struggling with the weight. A better strategy might be to work harder in the gym, and slightly reduce your calories for the next 3 days. But this still might not fully make up for the splurging if you have them too often.
Some people have cheat meals that are too big, or they have them too frequently .They can have to get leaner before that happens
5. Your body fat is too high too carb cycle.
People tend to use popular strategies that they aren’t ready for.For example, carb cycling was originally used with bodybuilders to help them break their fat loss plateaus. They would carb up, after so many days of eating low carbs, which would give the thyroid a boost, and have it run more efficiently. This would not allow you to burn more calories, but it might also help with their cravings for carbs .The difference between those guys using this strategy, and the average person wanting to try it, is that the average competitive bodybuilder or physique competitor, is leaner, or has a lower body fat. When your body fat is higher, you do not tolerate carbs as well as you do when you have low body fat. Those with levels of high body fat are more likely to store carbohydrates as fat. This is also why most people fail when trying to “Dirty Bulk” like Arnold did. Arnold even during his offseason was much leaner than the average person. And let’s forget the fact that Arnold wasn’t drug-free. So these people eat everything under the sun, and gain much more fat than they did muscle, for the very same reason why carb cycling could be a great strategy, used at the wrong time for a lot of people.
4. You need to fix your sleep.
This tip can also be applied to workouts, because sleep is so important to all areas of health and fitness. People usually tell me things like “I only need 4-5 hours, or even that they go to bed at a certain time…” but what they never talk about what really matters. Sleep quality, is at least as important as the quantity. So if you go to bed at 11 and wake up 3-4 times (this includes tossing and turning) before you get out of bed at 7, this might be an area that you’ll want to fix, because it’ll be much more difficult to get into deep sleep. Remember, most of your body’s repair processes,which include the hormones the body uses that also burn fat, build muscle, and rejuvenate the nervous system (which tells the muscles to contract) are released during the REM phase (deep sleep) of your sleep. If you low sleep quality, you will also produce more cortisol, and if you have elevated cortisol levels for too long, it can also slow down your metabolism. A lack of sleep, or poor sleep quality also affects your ability to handle carbohydrates, without storing them as fat.If you’re interested in finding out how well you sleep, there’s an app called Sleep Cycle that you can download on your smart phone. It uses a microphone to help monitor how much you toss and turn while you sleep, then it gives you a graph of the times when your awake, sleeping, or in deep sleep, and informs of the you of the amount and quality of your sleep during that time. It also has an alarm clock, and it stops my phone from buzzing or ringing when this app is activated, so it doesn’t wake me up before I need to be waked up.
3. You go both low carb and low fat when you ketogenic diet.
Ketogenic diets are starting to become popular again. The funny thing that I find with this is that people that don’t really understand ketogenic dieting will think that fats are bad, and try to eliminate fats from their diet, as well as eliminate the carbs also. Which leaves you with a high protein diet. When you try a ketogenic diet, you need to use fats as energy so that ketones get created. A general rule of thumb is that when you lower fat, you also increase carbs. When you increase fat, you decrease carbs. Also if you raise your protein intake too high, your body will break it down,and turn it into glucose (think carbs), to use for energy. This will keep you from reaping the benefits of ketogenic dieting.
2. You Don’t Eat Enough Protein.
The need for protein for people that exercise are is substantially greater than it is for sedentary people. I remember an old study that’s stuck in my brain about protein intake. They took people who didn’t exercise, and put them on the RDA’s for protein (.8 grams/kg of body weight), and everything was OK. But when they took these people and got them exercising, they started to eat up their muscle tissue for the amino acids (it’s called negative nitrogen balance). The researchers then started to increase the protein intake of the participants until they stopped eating up their muscle tissue, or until the left that negative nitrogen balance. These people stayed in that negative nitrogen balance until their protein intake was at about 1 gram of protein/lb. of body weight, which means that they didn’t stop breaking down their muscle tissue for energy until they ate this much protein. Of course that particular study is old, but the research done since then pretty much agree with that amount.Differences might exist based on how lean the people studied are. If they have high body fat, using their lean body mass might be smarter than having them eat their body weight in grams of protein. Which might be 200 grams of protein/day for someone that weighs 200 lbs. with lower body fat (12% for men, 20% for women),or for example a male with 20% body fat taking in 160 grams/day, or a woman at 140 grams/day if that 200 lbs. person was a woman with 30% body fat. And of course these numbers could change based on their goals, or activity levels. Some people use higher protein intakes when attempt to get really lean because the protein isn’t a good energy source, but will allow people to eat more without halting fat loss, because protein calories are wasted while being converted to energy.
Unfortunately you can’t execute your nutrition plan for only 1 week, or even 1 month, you’ll more than likely have to stick to it for a while in order to see any progress. Even in cases where people have to manage their compliance, and they’re aiming for an 80, or 90% rate of compliance, you’ll still have to turn down that dessert at least 23 times per week, and still keep the portion sizes of that treat, in moderation. Every time you go overboard, you push back the your timeline for progress.