By Audy Butler, #bosslady and Head Coach of 406 Barbelle.
Hey! It’s my first blog post! 406 BarBelle Nutrition Coach in the houuuuse and I’m super excited to talk to you about….well, actually everything but food.
I know the holidays are wrapping up and I know there are a lot of feelings and motivation and excitement and goals and eeeeeeee all the things. Some of you probably have goals related to losing weight and/or improving your nutrition…YES! I love it. I support it …and I want you to take a hot 10 and consider a couple things before you dive in.
When we feel big feelings we want to do something about them! And so we take the relaxed, “deal with it in January” approach we’ve had for 6 weeks, shove it aside and pronounce NEW YEAR NEW ME! Inevitably, especially for those of us that consider ourselves part of the wellness, fitness, health culture that energy goes to losing weight, eating better, abstaining from sugar or alcohol, and a variety of other actions that we expect to immediately and completely transform into a routine in our lives. So we jump in. A grand statement, a determined goal. Relying on our excitement, motivation and will power to get us into this new routine. Anything sound familiar yet?
Well I personally LOVE the excitement of new goals. I love being around people who are bettering themselves, taking care of their bodies, and who are directing their energy in a positive direction. And I also know that making changes is HARD. It breaks my heart when, sigh, the inevitable decline in will power, motivation, and the routine and stresses of life peek back in, causing us to think we’ve failed, when in reality we may just not have been as ready as we thought. Most people underestimate the effort involved in losing weight and so don’t consider things in their lives that can really set them up for success. So if your goal is weight loss, I’d like you to consider a slightly different approach before jumping in headfirst.
Let’s discuss facts. To lose weight one must be in a calorie deficit (in almost every case, see me separately to talk about anomalies). Being in a calorie deficit significant enough to prompt weight loss at a reasonable rate typically means varying levels of hunger. Hunger contributes to a variety of emotions and physiological changes but for the sake of this conversation lets call it…stress.
Before any of my clients start a fat loss phase or begin a calorie deficit, we look at several lifestyle factors and habits first that can make or break their success. Addressing imbalances in our overall wellness sets us up to more easily make the changes we need to make to lose weight.
Check out a couple of them here:
First and foremost we assess SLEEP. I could babble for well, a long time about the importance of sleep in our lives. You probably know some of the benefits but when it comes to dieting, sleep takes on an even bigger role. Insufficient sleep causes an increase in ghrelin and a decrease in leptin, two hormones responsible for feelings of satiety. Not sleeping enough can affect the body’s ability to recover properly. And a big one, ever notice how you crave more food and different types of food when you’re tired? It’s extra challenging to be in a calorie deficit when you’re more hungry than normal. Not sleeping well or not sleeping enough? Improving your sleep hygiene before cutting calories would be a wise choice.
Another piece I ask about is STRESS. This means different things to different people. Whatever it means to you, I’m guessing you have a personal spectrum of “low stress to stressed out” that you can relate to. Quite simply, if you are already stressed you decrease your ability to be successful with the additional stressor of a calorie deficit. Similar to sleep, stress also causes a disruption of hormones that can make it more challenging to lose body fat.
Whether it’s a temporary stressor or something more, feeling in control of our stress most of the time can makes dietary changes easier.
So you’re going to focus on other parts of your health for a bit first…what should you do with all the excited energy you have about the improved YOU? Use it! You don’t have to be cutting calories to make progress! Take time to build the habits that will be helpful in a deficit…track your food, get a good grocery routine, plan meals. Get your habits in place so when the inevitable dip in motivation occurs (and it will), you’ve got all the tools to get past it. While fast and intense are more exciting and make a great story, the odds of maintaining progress achieved quickly are low. Consistency is the key to successful fat/weight loss.
Feeling confident in our skin, maintaining healthy body fat levels, and eating to fuel the badass things we do in our lives are all awesome reasons to choose to lose weight and cut calories. Taking an inventory of our overall physical, emotional, and mental wellness before jumping in can help identify variables that will help us crush our goals and enjoy the results!
If you're ready to take the next step. book a consultation with me today!
Of course, it wouldn't be #foodiefriday without a recipe. Enjoy this one for carrot ginger soup courtesy of Nutrition Rx. Click on the image for the recipe. Enjoy!
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