Well, of course it is, but you can guarantee success with one key…
…telling yourself to Never Give Up.
And in the video below, you’ll see what never giving up looks like.
Sometimes I get discouraged when I think I’m not progressing like I should be. It’s times like that when I like to look back and see how far I’ve come. It’s times like that when I’m reminded to Never Give Up.
You see, I started and stopped P90X more times than I could count. I was really overweight, tired all the time, and really uncomfortable around other people because of how I looked and felt. It wasn’t until I had a goal to lose 30 pounds by my wedding day in 2012 that it finally clicked. I pressed play and that was it right? No looking back? WRONG!
I crushed my initial goal by May of 2012 with P90X2, losing 38 pounds. But, once the honeymoon was over, I slipped right back into my old habits of missing workouts and not tracking what I ate. Over the next 6-7 months, I gained it all back. All 38 pounds. And what’s worse, I didn’t even realize it was happening. It’s a slow fade.
Anyway, 2013 rolled around and I was done being uncomfortable and overweight so in January I picked up P90X2 again and this time it stuck! Sure there’s been bumps in the road, but over the course of the last 3.5 years, I’ve been pretty consistent with working out and tracking what I eat. Check out the video below highlighting my transformation and don’t be like me. Don’t backslide and remember…
We probably all grew up being told to clean our plate. We heard it, our parents heard it, and our grandparents heard it. We were “wasting food”.
This mentality grew out of the depression and wartime. During that time food was scarce and Americans were told to cook only what they needed and clean their plate to conserve and not waste anything. While that was definitely necessary back then and still carries some weight today (pun intended), the problem now is that food is not scarce and is cooked in outlandish proportions.
So we need to ditch the idea of just cleaning our plates and learn to start cooking in the correct portions again. Take this example, you wouldn’t try to fill up your gas tank more than it could hold or it would spill out and you would waste money. Conversely, you wouldn’t fill it up with less than you needed, but more on that later. Believe me, I still struggle just as much as the next guy with leaving food on my plate.
If you happen to make too much food you have two choices:
1) Put it in the waste.
2) Put it on your waist.
Either way you are wasting food!
That’s all there is to it. You can either eat for your goals (lose fat, maintain, gain muscle) or you can clean your plate every time and never reach your goals. If you’re a history buff like me, check out these war era propaganda signs about wasting food!
I hear all the time how hard it is to track macro nutrient intake, weigh food, and so on and while I agree that it can be difficult at first, it is one of the most important things you can do to get the life changing transformation that you want a deserve. And no, I don’t agree with the statement that 80% of fat loss comes from the kitchen and 20% from working out. To me it takes 100% dedication to both to get really amazing results in a fairly short time. You’d be surprised what can be accomplished in as little as 3 months. The first time I did P90X2 I lost 38 pounds in just 90 days! That really shows what 100% dedication to eating right and in the right amounts can do for you. But are there ways you can fine tune what you put into your body to increase the effectiveness of your eating plan? Absolutely. And that’s why I weigh many of the things I eat to maximize my potential. After all, we improve on what we measure which is why I measure what I eat. Am I crazy? Maybe just a tad lol! Is this going overboard? I don’t think so. Check out this quick video on why I weigh my food.
Why I Weigh Food
Are you doing everything you can to maximize your results? It’s time to get after it!
You’ve been hitting it pretty hard for a while and are seeing great results. THEN, all of a sudden…..nothing. It doesn’t matter what you do, you just can’t seem to lose anymore. What’s going on?
Weight Loss Plateau
Well, you may have reached a weight loss plateau. What is a plateau you may ask? Its a period of time when something doesn’t change or advance any further. In this case we will be addressing weight loss, but there are many other fitness plateau such as muscle gains.
The first thing to look at is your food intake. If you aren’t properly tracking your nutrition and hitting correct macros it’s really easy to get stuck in a plateau or to even move backwards. When you first started your weight loss journey, you set a specific calorie goal and hopefully macro-nutrient goals. If you haven’t done either see HERE and HERE. To borrow a Tony Horton phrase, “How do you know what to do if you don’t know what you did!” Same goes fro tracking. How can you know how many calories you are eating if you aren’t keeping track of it? Seems pretty simple right? So if you’ve hit a plateau and aren’t tracking, use the calculator to set a caloric goal with a deficit and TRACK. I know it seems like I am a broken record, but tracking is paramount to success in both weight loss and muscle gain. And you can’t just say, “well I’m eating pretty clean so I don’t need to track.” You can still out eat your exercise with way too much “clean” food and gain weight. While we’re at it, you also can’t out-exercise a bad diet. So CLEAN IT UP and TRACK!
But what if you are tracking and hitting your macros everyday and still not getting anywhere? What changes can you make to break through that pesky plateau? Well as you have lost weight, your metabolic rate has decreased also, so you may require less calories. This means that the caloric goal and deficit you first started at may be causing you to plateau or even gain weight back. So you need to re-evaluate your caloric goals and deficit. It could be as easy as eating a few hundred less calories in a day. Set a new goal and try it out for a few weeks.
Another thing to consider is that you may have been running too high of a deficit. This may have caused you metabolism to slow down by a significant amount. I’ve seen this happen with myself. For over a year I was running a significant deficit, even as low as 1500 cals/day when I did a round of T25 last summer. Well shortly afterwards, I hit a plateau. Weight loss had almost completely stalled. I went back up to 1900 cals/day and the weight loss resumed. Recently, I ran into the same problem of plateauing. I took the advice of a fellow Beachbody Coach and upped my calories to 2400/day and what do you know…the weight loss is happening again! Making the decision to add more calories to my diet was a hard mental block to get through since I am an easy gainer. Also note that I actually gained a little weight the first week because the change in calories was a shock to my body which is why I say to stick with your new goals for at least 3 weeks.
Break that Plateau
It can be pretty difficult to figure out how to break through a weight loss plateau. Just take a step back and evaluate where you’ve been and where you want to go and TRACK everything. After all, we improve what we track. Try some of the small changes that I’ve explained above and let’s see if we can crush that plateau! Remember, once you’ve change your caloric goals, stick with it for at least 3 weeks and then re-evaluate. If you’re still having trouble determining what your caloric goals need to be, you may want to see a dietitian to get expert advice. Keep at it guys!
We all grow up hearing that we should eat more fruits and vegetables. After all, fruits come directly from nature and people have been eating them for thousands of years. They are convenient and require little to no preparation. They are the real FAST FOOD! However, can we have too much fruit in our diet?
What about sugar?
Some people reason that since we put so much emphasis on staying away from added sugars such as processed table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, that the same applies to fruits. Added sugars have many detrimental effects including:
No essential nutrients
Overloading the liver and forcing fructose into fat
Insulin resistance (metabolic syndrome and diabetes)
Worsen type II diabetes
Not as fulfilling (leads to overeating)
However, this does not apply to fruits because it is almost impossible to eat enough whole fruit to overeat fructose.
Benefits of Fruit
Raw fruits are actually really good if taken in the correct portions. Fruits are chock full of antioxidants, vitamins, water, and fiber. This makes digestion slower, which means slower conversion of fructose in the liver. When compared to other snacks such as soda and candy, there is no comparison. Fruits are also incredibly fulfilling, leaving you satisfied with as little as one apple. Fruits are also high in vitamins such as Vitamin C and Potassium. Several studies have shown that eating fruit helps protect against many diseases including heart disease and Type II diabetes. In addition, eating fruit can help you lose weight because fruits have high satiety. This mean that they help keep you full which tends to make you eat less other foods. However, consuming fruits in large quantities need to be avoided to stick to your daily limit of sugars (carbs) (The limit of calories coming from carbs is determined by your current weight loss goals: Here). However, stay away large quantities of fruit juices and smoothies because they can contain a ton of calories, and sugar. Even if you are drinking 100% real fruit juice, you aren’t getting the contribution of fiber making sugar hit the liver in large amounts over a short period of time. Overall fruit is very good for you, especially when you eat whole fruits.