Some of these will make you sit back and wonder why you've been doing it wrong your whole life. A lot of myths that our mothers and our mothers mothers have taught you are probably ideas that you should throw in the trash bin.
I'm even guilty of a few of these and knowing this, I will be making some adjustments in my own routine.
Here they are:
NOT EATING ENOUGH
You may think this sounds crazy. You've been taught to eat less to lose weight, but that couldn't be further from the truth. You have to think of your body like a campfire. Your metabolism is the flames. What happens when you let the fire sit there, it eventually fades away into nothingness. In order to keep the flames burning, you have to add wood or other sources of fuel in order to keep the fire burning strong. The same goes for your body, you must FUEL YOUR BODY to keep your metabolism burning. What happens when you don't eat enough is your body holds on to fat cells for fuel or you burn muscle to accommodate for a lack of fuel.
This rule goes along with the eating too little. If you work out 2-3 times a day every day, you have to eat A LOT in order to sustain the number of calories burned. In order to lose a pound, you have to have a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day. You have a base caloric need in order to live and that is called a BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) which is specific to your body. This tells you how much you need to eat in order to live and stay right where you are in weight. To lose you have to subtract 500 calories from that number and you can do that with a caloric deficit or burning 500 calories per day. If your BMR is 2800 and you burn 1000 calories a day, you're overtraining, and you'd have to eat 3300 calories a day to support the amount of activity you do as well as lose weight and prevent that fat storage for energy thing I already told you about.
The reason that most "diet programs" select a 1200 calorie diet (as an example) is because they are not accounting for movement, but this leads to false belief of eating less to lose weight. If you rely on a diet program to get you the results you desire, what happens when you reach your goal, stop using the programs, or can no longer afford to purchase food, supplements, or diet programs and product. You gain all the weight back and then some. Sustainability is the goal here and you have to stop relying on fad products and programs that will work short term especially when it's long-lasting results you seek.
DROPPING FAT FROM YOUR DAILY INTAKE
Not all fat is bad fat and it's essential for digestion, protects your organs, they are part of the recovery process and produce muscle strength, and they help produce growth hormones. When you don't get enough fat, you throw your whole body out of whack. Avoid the bad fats and aim for adding good healthy fats to your intake. What are healthy fats? They include nut butters (peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter etc.), avocado, dark chocolate, nuts, seeds, fatty fish (like mackerel or salmon), olives, coconut, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, full fat Greek yogurt, Tofu, Edamame, eggs. and other proteins (grass fed beef, chicken, turkey etc contain healthy fats as well as proteins).
CONFUSING JUNK FOOD FOR HEALTH FOOD
You've seen them in the grocery store, products claiming to be organic, sugar free, fat free, etc. What you don't realize is that according to the FDA, they don't regulate the use of the word organic in labeling and only 95% of the ingredients have to be organically sourced in order to label it 100% organic which means 5% of that product can be filler or preservatives. Read my post about reading labels to better understand how to read labels to make better choices when buying food. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that if you can't pronounce the ingredient names, it's probably not something you should be consuming.
NOT KEEPING TRACK
Tracking food seems like a daunting task and most people don't want to. However, it can become very easy to lose track of what you have consumed and either under eat or overeat. Neither is a good idea. Even if you just take pictures for yourself to keep track of your meals and snacks for the day, you will be able to track the food you eat.
GIVING UP WHEN THINGS GET HARD
It's called a journey for a reason. There will be ups and downs, ins and outs, and if you put too much stock in the scale, you're in for a lot of disappointment. I don't want that for you. The scale is ONE tool and not always the most accurate depiction of your progress. Measurements, pictures, and a body assessment will help keep things in perspective. I always say, that as you lose fat or convert fat to muscle, you will notice a fluctuation in the scale, but even if it continues to go up and your measurements go down, the scale will eventually follow, but it may fool you at first.
SO, WHAT DO I DO?
If you want to know your BMR, you can look up a BMR calculator or ask me to help you figure it out. You have to keep in mind that your activity level, age, height, and weight are all factors in how much you should be consuming. If you want to lose weight, you subtract 500 calories from that number. If you want to maintain a healthy weight, you use the BMR recommended for your activity level and stick to that. If you are looking to gain, add 500 calories to your recommended BMR. Please keep in mind that you need to adjust it for inactive days and such. Know your macro numbers. Macronutrients are the most important aspects of your in daily intake and you should know what your personal recommended intake numbers are. Once you do know how do you know how much you are getting? Math? ewwww. How about trying a macro tracker? You can download a fancy one or use the free one on lose it. app. Make sure that you don't overdo the workouts. As much as I love to see you at multiple classes, I also want the best results for you and if you're working out too often, you need to be eating to account for that. Check the VERY ACTIVE BMR intake recommendations. You're looking at upwards of 2000+ caloric intake. If you have time or the stomach for that, then have at it. Of course, we all know you can get 2000+ calories in one meal at McDonalds, but really???? You want to consume the most nutrient dense food and discard the empty calories in order to get what we need from our meals. Nutrition can be the most confusing aspect of your journey, but with a little help, it can be very easy to make it work for you.