Me: “What’s your goal?”
Everyone: “I just want to “tone,” ya know?”
I say “tone” in quotations because I really don’t like using the word. But it’s how most define losing fat and retaining/building a little muscle to create a slimmer, more defined look. So I’m running with it.
Real quick, I want to show you how Brittney, a current client, has done just that in a quick amount of time. We’ve been able to take 12 lbs of fat off her body and create the “toned” look I’ve been referring to in just 6 weeks:
Let me explain:
Brittany came to me a few months back wanting to get leaner.
She already understood the basics of dieting, calories, macros, exercise, etc (as most do), but wasn’t clear on:
-what foods to eat
-how many calories to start on
-how much cardio to incorporate
-how many training sessions she needed per week
-and what foods she should stay away from and what foods to incorporate the most of
All that is definitely important and things we’ve focused on, but more importantly…
Something most people miss because it’s not generally talked about by other coaches is the importance of a strong metabolism before starting an aggressive fat loss approach.
If you’ve been trying to diet for the last 3-12 months, chances are your metabolism has been slowed down because of it. In my experience, females run into this problem the most.
To keep it simple… Your body adapts to the amount of food you’re eating overtime. It doesn’t WANT to lose weight so it finds ways to adapt to whatever consistency it’s given.
Most, but not all, females tend to stick to low calorie diets year round in hopes of weight loss.
This becomes an issue for many reasons, but to point out the biggest problem:
It slows the metabolism way down forcing you to diet on way too low of calories to see results – makeing consistency and adherence much harder.
Before Brittney and I started into a caloric deficit 6 weeks ago we took some time before hand and did a “reverse diet.” Reverse dieting is when calories are slowly added over time to increase the amount of calories your metabolism can handle without gaining excess fat.
We were able to push her calories all the way up to 2300 with very little fat gain in the process. How much did she gain? Over 2 months of strategically adding calories, she gained around 3 lbs.
The majority of that was just extra water and glycogen being stored in the body from the added food and carbs. The plus side of this?
She’s able to lose fat on a higher amount of calories once we start the actual diet – making consistency and adherence much easier. A week into the dieting phase we had that 3 lbs gone like it was never there (plus another 9 in the next 5 weeks).
The point of this email is to explain to you that “dieting” for months and months on end isn’t always the answer. Yes, you must eat in a calorie deficit to lose fat like Brittney has, but understand sometimes taking a break from fat loss is the best thing you can do to promote future fat loss.
Sounds like an oxy-moron, but your body is smart.
Sometimes you have to give it what it needs before it will give you what you want.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to make an educated assessment of the current state of your metabolism:
-Have you currently been trying to diet for 4 months or longer without consistent breaks?
-Are you eating in a calorie deficit, but not losing weight consistently?
-Are you always hungry and having uncontrollable cravings?
If you answered yes to at least 2/3 of the questions, there’s a decent chance your metabolism needs a break.
Chaz is the co-founder/owner and head coach at Lost & Lifting. He also owns his own gym - Fit Factory, located in Preston, Idaho (his hometown). Chaz works with clients all over the world to take control of their body composition through evidence based and sustainable strategies. His passion has turned from building his own body, to educating and helping others do the same through his online coaching platform.
Lost & Lifting Talk
L&L Talk (hosted by Chaz), is the Lost & Lifting podcast where we dive deep into nutriton, training, and lifestyle to help you become more educated inside your journey to produce the result you want faster, and in a more sustainable manner.