L2 Fitness Blog

Don’t Be a Hermit Crab When Losing Weight

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Weight loss doesn’t happen under a rock

Get out from that hole you’re hiding in.

If the only way you can lose weight is by living like a caveman, tucked away from civilization without anything to tempt you, then you’re going to have a real problem when you re-surface and re-join the human race.

I would argue that weight loss achieved in the absence of your normal lifestyle barriers isn’t true weight loss at all. When you come out of hiding and start living the life you lived before (which you will, because you didn’t establish any new habits during your time in isolation), you will undoubtedly return to the weight you were previously in the blink of an eye. Your body is primed to put that weight back on – it wants to get back there so badly in fact that any excess food you consume will be stored as fat faster than you can say “candy land”.

So then what do you do?

Ice cream is always a viable weight loss solution

Ice cream is always the answer.

But in reality, learning to include the foods you enjoy in a new way (a controlled, yet satisfying way) will allow you to keep off those hard-earned pounds. Any diet that tells you that you “aren’t allowed” to eat something is garbage.

Eating some things will take you closer to your goals and eating other things will take you further from your goals. That’s it, there’s literally nothing else to it.

Whichever way you look at it, you can see how easy it is to fall into a pattern of demonizing certain foods over others by labelling them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. This in turn causes you to label yourself as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ based on your compliance.

I call this the “This cookie is bad therefore I am bad for eating this cookie” mentality. Yeah, that sounds super duper.

Life doesn’t stop – neither should you

Life goes on, friends get together, barbecues happen, birthdays are celebrated, and you are invited to all of them. Are you going to avoid those situations for the rest of your life?

No? Then I suggest learning how to navigate them better.

I understand that you don’t want to be “the weird one” at the barbecue and eat your burger on a leaf of lettuce instead of a bun. But there is something to be said for learning how to include a burger here or a beer there and not completely fall off track.

We need to learn how to live in the grey – to be flexible when plans come up and understand how energy balance works in the wider sense of the term. That it’s not the individual meals that matter so much as our total weekly intake. That there is always a way to make a food work, and that you very rarely need to say “no” all-together. That it’s more important to caution ‘how much’ than it is ‘what’ you eat.

Say yes to as many social outings as you can, and accept the challenge of adopting a new way of life!

Maybe that means having 1 drink instead of 3, or ordering a side salad instead of a side of fries. Maybe that means eating lighter early in the day so you have more wiggle room for dinner, or skipping dessert for an extra glass of wine. There are so many different ways to make your social life work for you.

Don’t be no-fun-Nancy. Go play!

Plan to be successful, and you will be

Anticipation and planning are the two most vital components of maintaining a social life and not falling off track in the pursuit of your goals. Period.

Try this: look at your calendar every week and map out what is coming up that could potentially derail you. If nothing is planned, but you usually go out for drinks on Friday – plan for it. Or if you usually hit brunch on Sunday with the girls after yoga but you haven’t discussed it yet – plan for it. Do you have a million things on your to do list this week? Plan for it!

  • Prepare food in bulk to make meals easy and convenient without added work
  • Pre-portion snacks for easy grab and go options so you’re never caught without
  • Plan to keep a water-bottle with you this week so you don’t slack on your water intake
  • Communicate with your friends and family what you need from them to stay on track
  • Pull up menus and choose your meals ahead of time before going out
  • Set a drink quota so you can go out and have fun without worry of over-doing it
  • Suggest going somewhere you know you can order something “on plan” and take the stress out of a dinner out
  • Choose which meals you want to have more flexibility with and which ones you can rein in
  • Anticipate difficult social circles so you can mentally prepare to handle peer pressure

Over time, this process will become easier and you will learn to make these decisions on the fly. Until you get to that point you will need to put in the leg-work and plan, plan, plan your little booty off!

For more ideas on how to be social and lose weight, download The Secret Playbook to Making Any Diet Work and I’ll take you through every difficult scenario you could come up against!

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