Burt’s wallet holds the answers to why you’re not losing fat. Who is Burt? What’s his wallet got to do with weight loss? Read on to find the answers and discover three reasons you’re not losing fat.
My sister-in-law Natalie has become quite the endurance athlete, tackling 11 half marathons and a number of triathlons in only 11 months! This past weekend she had a competition close to Athens, so she and her husband Burt came to stay with me and Ally. We had a great time catching up, laughing, fishing, eating, and laughing some more.
Sunday morning, after her triathlon, they buzzed me to say that Burt had left his wallet at our house. About an hour later, we had searched the house, the garage, their bags, and were thiiis close to calling the competition venue to see if a wallet had been turned in. Then . . . Natalie suddenly shouts out – “Burt! It’s in the glove compartment!”
In the glove compartment? The whole time?
Looking back, I think we went a little crazy. We looked everywhere, even in places that made no sense. “Wait! Did you check the roof? It might be up there! Somebody get the ladder.” Ok, it wasn’t that bad, but in our desperation, no place was off limits.
Often, when we’re not making progress with our body – not dropping inches, not losing fat, very little weight loss – we do the exact same thing. We try to find the answer everywhere. We search online and read magazines and snippets of books. Maybe it’s gluten! Maybe I’m not eating right for my blood type! Maybe my metabolism is better when I have more cheat meals!
We look everywhere and try everything . . . except for the glove compartment. Because, after all, that would just be too easy, right? Here are three things you just might find in the glove compartment that will help you start losing fat again.
1) You lie to yourself.
Allow me to clarify – you’re not eating nearly as good as you think/pretend you are. I see this all the time when coaching clients. “I eat really good. I just don’t know why I can’t lose weight.” Once we dig a little deeper . . . surprise, surprise, their nutrition is not nearly as good as they thought. Believe it or not, actual research backs this up, showing that we boldfaced lie to ourselves (and others) when reporting how we eat. Scientists discovered that, across the board, we overestimate our veggie intake and underestimate our fat and sugar intake.
So, even if you have a great eating plan, there’s a good chance your adherence is lacking. What’s the solution? You’ve got a couple options. Option one, take 3 to 5 days and track everything you eat and drink. Don’t guess, actually weigh and measure stuff. Then see if it matches up with what you should be doing. My guess is you’ll find that you’re currently doing the Frankenstein diet – a combination of what you should do and what the spoiled food-brat inside of you wants to do.
Option two, hire a qualified nutrition coach. Yes, I provide this service, but if you don’t like me, that’s fine – find someone else. You will be amazed at the incredible insights and results you achieve when working with an awesome coach! A great coach will pat you on the back, take your hand, and guide you through the process that has always seemed so scary, unsure, and intimidating.
2) You’re eating too many “healthy” foods.
When I give presentations, one of the most popular topics and biggest jaw-droppers is my blasting of healthy foods. “Healthy” doesn’t equal lean and “healthy” doesn’t equal weight loss. There’s a super long list of healthy foods that will NOT help you lose fat. 100% fruit juice, processed organic snacks, granola bars, 100-calorie snack packs, dried fruit, the list goes on and on. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and there is too much of a good thing.
Do yourself a huge favor – drop the processed foods, don’t fall for organic snacks, and all the other crap food marketers try to pull on the desperate dieter. Center your eating around the tried and true: tons of vegetables, lean proteins, plus a little fruit and 100% whole grains/starches.
3) You’re not active enough.
Maybe #1 and #2 don’t apply to you. Maybe it’s not your diet. You’re eating really intelligently and consistently, but your fat loss has stalled. Now, it’s time to sweat!
There are all sorts of recommendations for activity – how much, how often, what kind, etc. We’re going to use the K.I.S.S. method and avoid complicating things. The truth is – to lose weight and keep it off, you need to strive for a higher amount of daily and weekly activity. Simply put – sitting on your butt the majority of the day can totally sabotage your efforts to lose weight. Do you need a special workout? No. Do you need to move your body more? Yes.
What most practitioners and researchers are finding is that total weekly activity is crucial. The magic number seems to be 5. People who lose weight, keep it off, maintain good health, and increase energy levels consistently achieve about 5 to 6 hours of activity every week. People often think this is easy until they begin to record and track their “active time” and sadly realize they fall well short of 5, much less 6 hours. So, what should you do?
Track your activity for the next seven days, then start taking steps to inch up toward 5 or 6 hours of total activity. Look at your weekly schedule and PLAN small (15 to 30 minute) or large (45 to 90 minute) activity sessions. Plan them just like you would a business meeting or lunch with a friend. Strive to add one hour each week until you hit the magic number.
The Lost Wallet Syndrome . . .
Sadly we all fall victim to the lost wallet syndrome. We get stressed and desperate about something and start thinking weird thoughts and looking in the oddest places for answers. Take a deep breath, back up a few steps, regroup, and give my three recommendations an honest try. Who knows, it might just save you from getting on the roof looking for the next organic fat-loss superfood!
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