Skip to content

Archive for

Are you making progress, or making excuses?

For the last six years or so, I have been driving around the country meeting people and delivering talks about healthy living.

Most places I go, most folks I meet, in general, most people want to lose some weight.

First we have to be specific – it’s body fat we want to lose, not just ‘weight’.

I mean, rapid weight loss is easy…you could lose 25 pounds by tomorrow if you just chop one leg off, but that’s probably going to ruin your week overall, so I don’t think it’s a very smart idea.

It’s body fat that most folks want to lose.

Calories in, calories out

You’ve heard this bit before.

There are many diets, many systems, many protocols, but the overwhelming majority of them work on the basic principle that you have to eat a little less food, and generally eat “better food choices” (we’ll come to that in a sec) and you might have to move your tush a bit more.

Eat less, eat better, move more.

Really, that’s it, that’s how diets work.

Eat better food choices, that’s definitely a part of the equation. One size does not fit all, we are all different, and so some of us are going to do well on one certain diet, such as low-carb, while others may not.

Some aspects of eating ‘better’ will apply to most people –

Of course, there is a strong argument to say that these are all just examples of “eat less” – cutting these foods from your diet will almost certainly cut your calorie intake.

And so it is, the amazing secret to losing weight. You have to consume fewer calories than you use.

Really, in the vast and overwhelming majority of cases, folks became overweight in the first place because they went for a prolonged period of time (maybe a few months, maybe a few decades) consuming more calories than they were burning.

Now, to burn off that unwanted fat weight, they have to put that process into reverse for a prolonged period of time – maybe weeks, maybe months, maybe a few years.

No doubt, some folks are reading this and screaming…

It’s a bit more complicated than that!!

Sure, it is, but don’t let that stop you trying.

That’s not me being facetious or flippant, just trying to help you to see the true path forwards.

There are a thousand experts out there offering you a thousand reasons why you are overweight, and a thousand excuses why it’s not all your fault, and a thousand reasons why diets won’t work and won’t help.

In one way or another, for one person or another, they are all right.

But as I already said, one size does not fit all, and while each and every reason, or excuse, may fit for someone, it does not mean that every reason fits for everyone. It does not mean that every reason fits for you.

  • Sure, that man was beaten daily by his father as a child and he eats as an act of rebellion.
  • Sadly, that lady was abused when she was young, and she eats as an escape.
  • True, that other man was raised in poverty and his parents instilled unhealthy food habits in him which now lead to habitual over-eating.
  • Indeed, that lady has a thyroid problem, or a glandular condition, or a hormone imbalance, and it makes weight loss very difficult.
  • Certainly, that guy has a genetic predisposition to obesity, and certain food types (such as carbs) exacerbate his weight gain.
  • Sure, that girl has a metabolic imbalance caused by years of eating certain foods when she was growing up.
  • And yes, that man takes prescription steroids for his skin condition, and they promote weight gain.
  • And on and on.

Yes, these are all true for someone, but none of them are true for everyone.

So, in the short time and small space I have available in this blog post, let’s not debate every possible reason in exhaustive detail, but let’s understand and agree that those conditions broadly only affect a very small percentage of the population. Not even 1% have a glandular condition, the true number is tiny.

For the overwhelming majority of folks, losing weight means you gotta eat fewer calories, you gotta eat better, by opting for fresh whole foods, not processed hyper-palatable foods, and you gotta move a little more, by keeping busy, and playing some sport or enjoying some exercise.

For the few who are struggling against those problems, let’s offer them our understanding, our kind support, and a helping hand.

For everyone else, for the 90%, stop looking for justifications, stop looking for excuses.

Just get on with it.

Go on then, get cracking.

 

It’s going to take longer than you think…

Weight loss.

Or more specifically, fat loss.

I hate to keep beating the same drum, but the truth is, this is a topic that is a top priority for so many people.

Personally, I lost 101 pounds of fat, that’s 46 kilos to my European friends, or 7 stone 3 in old English language.

I know a few things about fat loss.

I wrestled with my weight my entire life, from age 14 onward, and yo-yo diets (year up, year down, repeat) were part of my life right through my 20s and most of my 30s.

In this post, I am going to share with you a few simple truths that I wish someone had told me back at the start of my own personal weight loss journey.

  1. It’s going to take longer than you think. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. At first, you will make rapid progress…but please know that the first ten pounds come off way quicker and easier than the last ten pounds. Those last ten pounds take freakin’ for-ever and they’ll drive you nuts.
  2. There is no absolute 100% right or wrong one way, there is no perfect one diet, there is just the way that works for you. Some folks will count calories, some folks will cut carbs, some folks will take up yoga, or running, or lift weights. They are all variants of ‘eat less, eat better, move more’ and the right one, is the one that you stick to, the one that works for you. If you need a hand getting started, I believe that the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet are a great place to start and will get positive results for pretty much everyone.
  3. It took years to put that excess weight on, years of making small mistakes every day, that extra beer, that missed workout, that sugary dessert. Accept that it’s also going to take a fair bit of time to put all that in to reverse and turn it all around. I’m saying ‘get real, if you have been obese for 20 years, it’s going to take more than 90 days to get that 6-pack’ – know that now, so you have realistic expectations down the line. As a PT and health-coach-for-hire, I have seen this so many times. Folks hire help, and they have utterly unrealistic expectations, like turning around 35 years of obesity to “beach body fabulous” in just six months. It’s like setting yourself up for failure and disappointment from the get-go.
  4. If you do things to try to make it happen faster, like starvation diets, crash weight loss, exercise six hours daily like a maniac…that is unsustainable behaviour, and it will likely create unsustainable results. Starving crashes weight off, but not in a sustained and healthy way. You’ll probably feel like crap, look like crap and pick up every cough, cold and bug going. When they’ve had enough of that crap, most folks end up putting the weight back on. Exercising like a maniac sure burns a few calories, but you’ll end up exhausted and picking up frustrating injuries, which stop you from training, and stalls your progress.
  5. You can’t outrun a bad diet. That phrase is popular these days, to the point of becoming a cliche, but it’s pretty much true. If you are aged 18, or 24, you can probably out-train a poor diet. If you are 40 or 45, or in your 50’s, no way, you can’t do it. Truth is, you have to get your diet right, that’s 80% of the game, then build an active lifestyle and exercise at least five or six days per week, that’s 20% of the game.
  6. You’ve got to take the long view. Just get it in to your head that you need to commit to a healthy lifestyle, for good, for life, for ever, and that’s all there is to it. Fad diets are all about temporary behaviour changes that deliver temporary results. Some folks become exercise addicts…but if they still eat a bad diet, as they age, eventually that plan runs dry. The only way to ditch the unwanted fat weight and get and stay healthy for life, is to live a permanent healthy lifestyle. Trust me. I know. I did it.
  7. If you want to know how to do the same, it’s all here, just waiting for you to commit and get started.

So, go on then, get cracking.

To your good health!

Karl

There are three types of people, which one are you?

When it comes to weight loss, health and fitness, in my experience – and talking in very broad, general terms – there are three types of people:

  1. Know what to do, getting on and doing it.
  2. Don’t know what to do, confused, a bit lost, frustrated and fed up.
  3. Know what to do, but not bloody doing it!

Category 1

So those folks in category 1, and there could well be some of them reading this now, are the folks who have taken a bit of time to sift through the bull***t that pervades diet and health markets, they’ve figured out the basics of eating a whole-foods based diet, they understand the benefits of movement and exercise, they are consistent with their actions and they are getting results.

Category 1 – it feels good, it’s a good place to be! It took me two decades, but I got there in the end and have been enjoying it ever since!

Category 2

Now category 2 is a frustrating place to be. I was there for those two decades from late-teens to mid-30s. I wanted to lose weight, I wanted to be fit, I wanted to feel better and make my body look better but I was lost in the land of diet confusion. Sometimes it’s easy, once we have some knowledge of diet and nutrition and exercise, to think “everyone knows what to do, if they are not doing it they are just lazy” but that just isn’t true.

A lot of people genuinely don’t Read more