The Fad Diet Fallout

OK, so this post may be better suited for Tough Love Tuesday, BUT I feel it is needed.

Let’s dive in head first shall we?

WHAT IS THE DEAL PEOPLE?!?!?!?!?!? Are we SO very desperate for losing a few pounds that we will MINDLESSLY hop on any fad that comes along? By the way, I find it incredibly mind-boggling that we are so very willing to cut out entire food groups JUST TO AVOID DOING THE ACTUAL WORK. Crazy…

Did you know that 2014 already has a compilation of “best diets”? No lie. These are broken down into categories for “commercial”, “weight loss”, “easy-to-follow”, etc. While Weight Watchers, The Biggest Loser and The DASH Diet all top the lists, I see absolutely nothing that really works long-term. Why? Because they are blanket fads making big promises. They basically want you to act as a trained monkey, eating ONLY what they say and then when it doesn’t work it is somehow your fault. I’ll be honest with you: it totally is your fault IF you keep falling for it.

What are the problems with diets anyway?

  • For starters, the word “DIET” is grossly overused. Diet refers to what we take in on a daily basis. It is not a person or a style of eating. Statistically, the average American diet consists of cheap, fast, greasy and sliding out of a window. 6 weeks of your life on some miracle diet will not reverse the majority of your eating habits.
  • Those big promises are NOT regulated or tested in any way and are lies that sound good. How did the serpent tempt Eve in the Garden? Uh, HE LIED TO HER! And now look where we are…
  • Fad diets are not a lifestyle. They are a blip on the blurry screen of your diet-lived life. Meaning? You skip from one promise to the next never really understanding why it doesn’t work. Diets are never designed to work. They are designed to sell.
  • You’re always giving up something. Many diets make big claims like “you’ll never be hungry”, or “it’s easy to stick to”, or ” you’ll lose 10 pounds the first week”. Let me drop a physiological knowledge bomb on you: That 10 pounds you lost in 2 weeks was WATER. Losing water doesn’t count as losing fat. As a matter of fact, once your body has regulated the water after the initial shock it will hold onto more FAT, even if it lets weight go. So, if you’re not losing fat and you’ve lost your water, then what are you losing? MUSCLE. Losing muscle makes you a floppy mess, period.
  • You’re deprived of nutrients. TRUTH: weight loss (I prefer the term fat-loss actually) is a science. It’s not by chance or by finally finding “THE ONE”. It’s science, period. And if you are cutting out nutrients, then SCIENTIFICALLY, you will leave weaker than when you came in. But hey, at least you’ll die skinny right? At the end of the day skinny is what we care about, not healthy…

So, I should just resolve myself to the inevitable…that NOTHING will ever work for poor me?

Did I say that? NO. You should resolve yourself to wise up and stop being the one that falls for the fads. You are no longer a trained monkey because YOU want results that stick. If you are a trained monkey, then by all means head over to the banana bowl and have a blast…the grownups among us have work to do.

What DOES work?

  • Education. Educate yourself on fat loss. Talk to people who know. Perhaps somebody who has had over 600 hours studying the human body, nutrition and fat loss. Know anybody like that? (Hint: you can reach her on this site.)
  • Think more nutrition, not calories. Even in competition diets (again, that refers to what we intake), we focus on the nutrient density of foods as opposed to calories. Why? We’re trying to recover from workouts and the training game, PLUS we need to look our best. Nutrients help with all of that and the same goes for ANY type of goal in which fat loss and/or muscle gain is involved.
  • GET OFF YOUR BUTT. Seriously, you have to move and move a lot. You need to be burning an excess of 500-1000 calories more per day to lose weight. There are simple math problems out there to help you determine what you burn to stay alive and what you need to increase to lose fat. Invest in a device to show the burn (please, not the Nike Fuel band as it is WAY too optimistic, sorry Nike).
  • Your kitchen determines your weight loss, not your workouts. You get fit in the gym, but you lose weight in the kitchen. You cannot out-work a terrible diet. If you’re looking to drop the weight that’s holding you back, stick to your clean eating guns 5 full days per week! Feel free to have 1-2 small treats on the weekend, but don’t overdo it. Far too many clients still “reward” themselves for hard workouts. This contributes nothing to health, fitness or weight loss.
  • Develop some self-control. The #1 problem we face today isn’t diabetes, cancer, or obesity…it’s a simple lack of self-control. We don’t want to wait for results, so we try to hit the EASY button as many times as we can. Fad diets, crazy cleanses and shakes don’t work. You work. That’s it…YOU. Exercise discipline to see results. Who cares if you don’t “feel” like a workout? What does it matter if you don’t “feel” like eating your veggies? You cannot be governed by your “FEELINGS”. If I were governed by my feelings there would be a lot of people walking around headless…self control is key :)

Now, take it and run. You are no anomaly. There is nothing crazy different about you when it comes to weight loss. There are LOADS of people dealing with the same issues you have. You either suck it up, educate yourself and do the work or you are doomed to keep repeating the cycle.

Peace out! I’m packing up my soap box and heading to the gym.

Stay focused, stay in control,

Michelle

WORK

Benefits of Proper Training: Knowing HOW TO Reach Your Goals

“Why do you train?”

It’s a common, yet confusing question. Each of us have slightly different goals when it comes to training. This is why we must approach training (and choosing a trainer) with a glass slipper approach: one size most definitely does NOT fit all….

COMMON TRAINING QUESTIONS:

What’s more important, cardio or weights? Honestly, there is a scientific theory based on how the body works and then there is one’s own knowledge of how their own body works. The muscles of the body are particularly designed to move the skeleton of the body. If the muscles atrophy and are no longer used, we can no longer move, period. While some of us may think the muscles are designed to help us look good in bikinis or fill out our jeans….they actually serve a more functional purpose. In order to gain strength (I’m not talking size at this point) we must place a certain amount of pressure upon the muscles in order to force them to adapt. The absolute GREATEST thing about being human is that we have been created to adapt. In order to create the needed pressure for the aforementioned adaptation we need some resistance training. Here is where it can go haywire for some: resistance training and body building are NOT the same thing. Training for muscle growth is vastly different (in both training and nutrition) from training for fitness, overall health and better strength. What would I consider resistance training for our purposes?

  • Weight training (obviously)
  • Resistance Bands
  • Exercise ball
  • Body weight exercise
  • TRX/suspension training
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Barre
  • Dance
  • Kickboxing
  • Boxing
  • Martial Arts

Honestly, I’m sure there is more but these examples will suffice for our purposes. These activities all help to build lean muscle and therefore allow the body to burn at a more efficient rate, meaning you’ll have a higher metabolism. Various workouts, such as kickboxing, dancing, body weight, etc. can actually help with cardiovascular health as well as maintaining and building lean muscle and are favored among those strapped for time and seeking more efficient workouts. So, where does all the confusion come in? In my opinion, it’s due to far too many opinions being thrown out there…..

One thing that is always remarked upon is weight training and women. I hope at some point we will get over this, but alas, we have not. Weight training will not make you BULKY. Women lack the needed testosterone to get super big. As a matter of fact, the women who compete in body building (the huge muscles) have to work far harder at gaining and maintaining muscle growth of that capacity. Nutrition and supplementation have to be spot on 24/7 and these athletes devote their lives to growth. Which is why people like me tend to lean towards bikini comps :) Case in point:

flat abs before                      weight training abs

So, the pic on top was taken at the tail end of a cardio rush, where I was simply doing cardio (running, kbox, etc) with no weights. The pics on bottom were 4 weeks later(2 weeks and 2 more weeks) after I picked up heavy weights again. See the point? Now, here’s the rub: weight work brilliant FOR ME. They happen to be my go-to and when I’m prepping for pictures, a show or even just the water park, I stick to weights and have minimal cardio. This is my gig nad by challenging and listening to my body I have found what truly works. It’s backed by the exercise science and my routines are pretty old school. I don’t throw in all this super crazy stuff….I lift things up and put them down LOL!

THE WEIGHT LOSS FIX:

What I always try to remind my clients is that our goals are not the same. My goal at times is to put on muscle and drastically cut fat. Theirs can be that the doctor told them they have to lose 50 pounds stat! These are 2 very different goals and should be approached differently. When you are just beginning a weight loss journey consider this: just move it. I really don’t care the type of cardio weight loss clients choose, it just has to be done consistently. I know Fitness Magazine had an article about how HIIT training can cut body fat faster, but I also know from experience that jumping repeatedly with over 200 pounds on your frame is not an activity you will keep up with! So, when you’re at the very beginning, JUST MOVE! Now, once you start to get your footing and you’re very focused on nutrition (water and greens will get you anywhere you want to go), start adding resistance training in order to bump up the metabolism and keep the skin tight.

MOTIVATION:

Here’s the deal with the M word…it is short-lived, but necessary. Where do I find motivation? EVERYWHERE! I can find it in past pictures (I mean, if my body did it once it can do it again!), old pics (AH!, I don’t want to go back THERE!), YouTube videos, magazine articles, movies, etc. I also keep plenty of fit friends in my circle and all up on my social media. When I decided competing would be in my future, I started gaining friends who were already doing what I wanted to do. That’s a key component to constant motivation right there. So think of your life a little different. I may not get paid big bucks to keep my booty in shape for a movie, BUT I train like I do…..so I’m ready when the call comes ;) Change your perception and make good choices on who you surround yourself with on a daily basis.

Now we’re moving forward, but I warn you not to get distracted and lose momentum! Think like a freight train, not a kitty cat….

Much fit love,

Michelle

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