As a personal trainer, and owner of Unique Performance Gym, 95% of my clientele is weight loss. Most people seek out our services at Unique Performance because they want to lose weight and look and feel their best. But what does that take?
Let me tell you, and I CANNOT stress this enough: it takes a LIFESTYLE CHANGE. Yes, you’ve heard it before, but it is the cold, hard, truth. You cannot lose weight and KEEP IT OFF with fad diets and quick fixes. You have to change your entire lifestyle and the way you look at nutrition and exercise.
The first step: logging what you eat EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. If you don’t know what you are putting into your body, then how will you know what needs to be changed in order to reach your weight loss goal? If you have time to scroll through Instagram or Facebook, then you have time to log your food. Our clients use the app, MyFitnessPal, to track their food daily. Download it and start logging what you eat so you become familiar with what makes up your foods: calories, proteins, fats, carbs, fiber, etc. Do this daily!
The second step: realizing and accepting that it will take time to lose the weight. Be patient with yourself and remember that weight loss is not linear. There are ups and downs and that is perfectly ok. Our clients experience a loss of about 1% body fat per month; and those are the clients that are spot on and do not deviate from their nutrition and exercise program. For the ones that do deviate, weight loss is a little slower. You have to realize that it takes time… A LOT OF TIME.
The third step: understanding how weight loss happens. There is no magic pill. No quick fix. It’s a simple equation: calories in vs. calories out. You MUST burn more calories than you are eating to lose weight. That’s where that MyFitnessPal app that I mentioned above comes into play. You HAVE to know how many calories you’re consuming in a day in order to lose weight as efficiently as possible. Also, remember what I said above about time? This takes time. If you’re looking for a quick fix, then I suggest you move along and go elsewhere because we personal trainers don’t have time for people like you. Harsh, I know, but that is the truth. Don’t fight us on it. Don’t tell us about how your friend Susan lost 40 pounds doing keto. Keto is great, don’t get me wrong. Will you lose weight doing a keto diet? Sure, if done the right way, but in my personal opinion it is not manageable long term for the majority of the clients I see. That’s the ultimate goal here, isn’t it? To lose weight and keep it off long term! The way to do this is to understand calories in vs. calories out.
The last piece you should factor in is exercise. Is it necessary to lose weight? No. But it will happen faster and more efficiently. Remember the equation above: calories in vs. calories out. Not to mention that exercise is also good for your body as a whole. Among the many benefits of exercise are an increase in pulmonary and cardiovascular efficiency. In layman’s terms, it helps your heart and your lungs. Who doesn’t want or need that? It also improves your mood by releasing those feel good endorphins that everyone talks about. Exercise helps with anxiety and depression. Many people overeat because they are depressed or suffer from anxiety. See what I’m getting at here? Exercise will help you lose weight because you’re moving more (ie burning more calories) AND it can reduce the depression and anxiety that make you eat in the first place.
So there you have it folks: no magic pill, no quick fix. Weight loss equates to calories in vs calories out. You achieve your health and wellness goals by changing your lifestyle for the long haul, not just by doing some fad diet to lose those last 15 lbs. Because once you reach your goal, you have to maintain it, and you can’t maintain it if you don’t permanently change your lifestyle! You have to shift your mindset and realize that losing weight and keeping it off is a learning process that takes time. You will fall along the way while trying to reach your goal, and that’s ok, because falling isn’t the same as failing.
Written By Rochelle Sonberg (@rdsonberg)
Owner, Unique Performance (and getting ready for my first bikini competition!)