Hey busy professionals,
Did you know 2/3 of people in US are overweight and 1 in 3 are obese? I don’t think the trend is much different worldwide. We have a yo-yo weight culture. Up and down, up and down. People are notorious for losing weight and gaining it back. 95% of dieters lose weight but fail to keep it off. That means only 5% successfully keep the weight off.
Why is this happening to you?
You may have heard that to lose weight, you need to eat less and move more . Technically, this is true. But the simplicity of this statement is a massive reason why you keep failing to lose weight and keep it off. Let’s explore why.
It’s to do with hunger. Hunger is what gives us purpose and direction. In the literal sense and metaphorically. Hunger motivates us to eat. Research has shown not being hungry is the biggest predictor of successful weight loss. Hunger is your enemy. Without hunger, dieting would be simple.
Why Move More Fails
Now we’re now onto the move more side of the equation. Have you ever heard a fitness professional tell you to take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park your car further away from work or your house so you have to walk a bit? Or do 10,000 steps per day? This should help you lose weight right? Since you’re moving more.
How many calories do you think you burn when climbing 11 floors of stairs? What about walking a mile because you parked your car a mile away from work? What about 10,000 steps per day?
Climbing 11 floors of stairs burns roughly 20 calories. And while walking a mile fairs better, its only 80 calories. Both add up to about two biscuits. To burn 100 calories would you rather walk a mile and then 11 flight of stairs, or just not eat the two cookies? As someone with an Economics degree I’d opt for the easier option of skipping the 2 cookies. 10,000 steps per day will take you hours for a measly ~ 4-500 calories.
So why is this bad advice? Well it ties into decision fatigue which I mentioned earlier. Every time you see a staircase or have to park your car, or 10,000 steps, you’re now fatiguing your brain bit by bit, by constantly thinking about how to increase your activity which requires a high level of self control.
If you have a stressful day at work, you have a higher chance of eating a cheat meal from any number of takeaway shops which can set you back 1000’s of calories. It would take you weeks and maybe even a month to undo this cheat meal by just moving more.
If you’re relying on this as a long term strategy, those who watched my previous video on why your weight keep stalling will understand your metabolism adapts conserving energy and motivates you to lower your activating by making you lazier.
Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t exercise/ move more. I wouldn’t have been able to build a successful personal training career if I didn’t. But the way I differ in the moving more department is giving my clients structured exercise. Not telling them to walk 10,000 steps a day, take the stairs when they work/live on the eighth floor and park their car a mile away from work. And now you should start to be seeing why.
Structure is the key to lifestyle change. Planning in advance is a major key to why virtually all my clients lose weight, keep it off and transform their body. Planning in advance allows to avoid making dozens of daily decisions about diet and exercise. Investing in a structured exercise program frees your mind from decision fatigue. As the saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
So what kind of structured exercise should you do? High intensity exercise like weight training is best. Weight training helps prevent losing muscle if done correctly. The more muscle mass you lose, the more your metabolism slows down. So the less you can eat.
Having muscle that you actually want increases your metabolism, making getting lean way easier. By having more muscle, you can actually burn more calories than doing all that stair walking that I know you secretly hate.
Don’t like weight training, or never plan to do it? No biggies. I’m biased towards weight training but explosive sports like rowing, tennis, martial arts and volleyball are also considered high intensity. Just know while you may enjoy this more, your risk of injury does go up. So be careful.
Hunger, failure and weight regain have become the norm for people dieting. The reason is not lack of willpower or genetics. Unless you have a serious medical condition, there is no reason you can’t lose the weight and keep it off. It doesn’t require endless hours of movement, eating bland food or constant hunger.
Instead, invest your energy in a structured exercise program instead of trivial decisions about your activity level. Most importantly, you must have a good diet strategy to manage decision fatigue and hunger.
If you’d like more information about this system I’ve used successfully for over a decade now, check out my online coaching application page or drop me a comment. And we can start working on transforming your fitness and health today.