When on a weight loss diet, most people are inclined to get frustrated and give up when they don’t achieve the results they’re seeking. We want to share with you a SECRET that will ENSURE your success.
We all know that weight loss isn’t easy and that it takes persistence, consistency and a degree of hard work. However all the hard work in the world won’t help you achieve your goal is you’re travelling on the wrong path and going about losing weight in a way that’s not right for you.
Above all else, to be successful at weight loss, you must know yourself.
If you’re someone who has struggled with losing weight in the past there are a few things you need to have an absolute handle on this time around in order to succeed. We’re going to discuss these things in this article.
Experiencing less hunger is one of the things that makes eating LCHF for weight loss so wonderful for most people who want to lose weight as it makes the diet so much easier to stick to. While its certainly true that you experience less hunger when eating a LCHF diet as compared to eating a similar calorie diet that’s low in fat/high in carbs, this doesn’t necessarily mean that in response to less hunger you’ll eat less food. Many LCHF and Banting websites will tell you “just eat LCHF and you don’t have to count your calories or weigh your food”. What they don’t tell you is “you’ll be less hungry so you’ll eat less food – and THAT’s why you’ll lose weight!” You see you still need to eat less to actually lose weight.
It’s not an automatic given that everyone who eats a LCHF diet will naturally eat less food and lose weight. A big part of the problem is that humans don’t just eat because of hunger cues so the advice of “just eat LCHF” may not be enough to help you lose weight. While there are a few lucky souls out there who can drop the pounds just by eating LCHF without needing to count calories and measure their food, most of us who’ve struggled with our weight all our life, who are insulin resistant, habitual over-eaters and who don’t just eat in response to hunger cues, will not automatically lose weight just by changing the types of food we eat. Our email box is always full of emails from people who are very depressed because they’ve been told to just eat from an “allowed foods list” or a “Green list” and they’ve been following this advice diligently and they’re just… not… losing… weight.
One piece of advice certainly does not fit all! Just know that if you’re not losing weight you’re actually part of the majority AND you need to have more structure in your diet in order to start losing weight.
Here at LCHF Nation we treat weight loss as a very individualized matter and we’re very big on knowing and understanding WHO YOU ARE before we can help you lose weight. We don’t just provide you with an “allowed foods list”.
Before you embark on your weight loss journey you absolutely need to know the answers to the following questions:
1. How old are you?
The older you are the fewer calories (and carbs) you will need to eat to maintain your current weight
2. What is your height?
The shorter you are the fewer calories you will need to eat to maintain your current weight
3. What do you currently weigh?
4. What is your goal weight?
Be realistic here. Choose a weight that you know you can maintain, within the healthy weight range for your height.
5. What is your current activity level? How much continuous walking do you do each day?
Most people are in reality, sedentary or lightly active each day and therefore don’t need as many calories as they think they do. Walking an hour to an hour and a half each day or jogging 3 times a week, in addition to your regular daily activity puts you into the ‘light activity’ not the ‘moderate activity’ category.
6. What health conditions do you have and what medications are you taking and how will these affect your rate of weight loss?
7. Are you a binge eater or do you eat for emotional comfort or suffer from an eating disorder?
8. Approximately how many calories and net carbs do you need to eat each day to a) maintain your current weight and b) how many should you eat to lose weight? The answer to this question is based on your answers to the first 7 questions.
Click here for our handy service and we’ll work out your personal calories and carbs for you based on your answers to the above questions!
Health conditions and eating habits are very important to consider because weight loss is more of a challenge with certain health conditions and, for people with certain health conditions, finding the right level of calories and carbs is even more important.
Underlying hormonal imbalances such as thyroid and reproductive hormone imbalances will often derail your weight loss efforts, so you’ll need to get these important health considerations taken care of, or at least be aware of them, before embarking on a weight loss plan. People who are insulin resistant, pre-diabetic or diabetic (Type 2) usually struggle to lose weight and are very carb sensitive. If this is you you may need to eat a very low number of carbs and be extra vigilant about the number of calories you are consuming. We can help guide you with our personal calorie and carb calculations and meal plan services.
Your answers to the above questions will largely dictate what you need to do to lose weight and how quickly you will lose weight. Now, let us first say that if you are currently successfully losing weight by not counting calories, or carbs and your health biomarkers are improving, then please continue whatever you are doing and feel free to stop reading here. However, if you’re struggling and are not losing weight or your weight loss has stalled then read on.
First you will need to answer the 8 questions above and review what and how much you are eating. We can help with our service here. Remember that while your spouse or friend may be losing weight just fine, you need to always consider what is right for your own body, not someone else’s. As we like to say, there’s a fine line between losing weight and maintaining your weight – for a small person over 40 years of age, that line may be as few as 300-400 calories a day or an extra 5g carbs. If you don’t have a handle on what you’re eating then its very easy to over-eat. We know that well.
While losing weight its also important to try not to have unreasonable expectations of how much your body can lose each week. Don’t expect to lose 5lbs each week and then give up when realistically at a certain height, weight, age and activity level your body can only lose 1-2lbs (1kg). Little by little you will achieve your goal but only if you are armed with the knowledge of what works for YOU. Once you know this then you need to be patient and keep doing what works consistently, day after day. If you need more structure and like to know exactly what to eat each day based on your calorie requirements, our very affordable meal plan service makes it easier by providing you with a structured plan to follow.
Let’s look at a case study example:
Christina, aged 47, is 5 feet 2″, and weighs 150 lbs and has a light activity level (by light, we mean she walks for at least 1 hour a few times a week and does weight training a couple of times a week – otherwise her activity level would be considered sedentary) and suffers from insulin resistance. She is currently on a low dose of blood pressure medication. We worked out that she needs about 1800 calories and about 25g carbs each day to maintain her weight at 150 lbs. If she wanted to lose 20 lbs at a rate of 1 lb a week she may need to deduct 500 calories a day from her maintenance calories and consume approximately 1300 calories and 17-20g per day. If she lowered her carbs to between 13-17g, she may end up losing a little faster at a rate of 1-1.5 lb a week.
Some of you might ask, why not have Christina cut back to 1000 calories a day or even 800 calories? So few calories is simply unsustainable. Such a low level of calories would trigger a strong hunger response and you would find yourself quitting, binging and probably both…and then…….having to start all over again.
Some of you may also ask “Why bother eating LCHF if I have to count my calories?” Eating the LCHF way really stabilizes your blood sugar and decreases your hunger and therefore its much easier to decrease the amount of food you eat. It is a more sustainable way of eating – and a much healthier one, especially for those with any degree of insulin resistance. People who struggle with weight loss are usually insulin resistant and experience high blood glucose levels and high insulin output which is why calorie reduction alone often doesn’t work for them. Their high insulin levels mean that their fat cells don’t get the signal to release fat even when they’re eating low calorie. LCHF is the medically proven way to eat if you have high blood glucose levels, insulin resistance, pre-diabetes or diabetes and is very likely the only way you will succeed with losing weight and improving your health.
Remember, if you’re not achieving the weight loss results you want start by finding out who you are and what you need to do to succeed.
Inadvertent Over-eating and consuming too many carbs are 2 of the biggest mistakes people make with a LCHF weight loss diet and they can be easily avoided with a little self knowledge.
If you’re not getting the weight loss results you want, we’d love to help you. Email us at email@example.com or post your question on our FaceBook page and we’ll direct you to the resources you need.