Losing Weight Without Tracking Food is a Recipe for Failure

Losing Weight Without Tracking Food is a Recipe for Failure

Losing weight without tracking food is a recipe for failure.

Now…don’t get me wrong – losing weight without tracking is absolutely possible!  

But the sad truth is that so many of us, myself included, spend most of our much more forgiving years (teens, 20s, 30s, etc) caught up in the fantasy of what’s possible short term – rather than the long term effect of that possibility. 

We focus more on what we wish our bodies could look like, and how fast we can get there – rather than the honest reality of how we can achieve it, what it takes to sustain it, and the amount of hard work it takes to rewire the Diet Addict mindset. 

[The Diet Addict tends to avoid, ignore, or dismiss essential pieces to the puzzle like eating enough, building muscle, or …tracking food intake – simply because they “have been able to lose weight before” without doing it.] 

But here's something you should know: maintaining weight loss is MORE important than losing it, and more indicative of “success” in the eyes of science. And when it comes down to it, refusing to track food intake is one of the number one reasons someone fails when trying maintain a healthy lifestyle and lasting weight loss!

So…does this mean that you need to be chained to a food tracking app for the rest of your life? 🥺

Let’s discuss!

 

The Problem with Tracking Food

First things first… the elephant in the room. 

There are SO many reasons why some women over 40 may not want to track food for weight loss. Here are a handful that have come up repeatedly over the years with my 1:1 clients, and the clients of the PTs I coach: 

(Take note: they’re all completely VALID)

  • They find it time-consuming and tedious to track everything they eat and drink.
  • They may feel overwhelmed by the process of tracking food and find it difficult to incorporate into their daily routine.
  • They may feel embarrassed or ashamed of their current eating habits and don't want to face the reality of what they are consuming.
  • They may believe that tracking food is restrictive and takes away the pleasure of eating.
  • They may not have access to the technology or tools needed to track their food.
  • They may believe that they already have a good understanding of what they should be eating and don't feel that tracking their food will provide additional benefit.
  • They may feel that tracking food is too scientific and prefer to rely on their intuition or common sense when it comes to eating.
  • They may not have the discipline to consistently track their food and worry that they will fail if they start.
  • They may feel that they have too many other responsibilities and priorities in their lives and don't want to add another task to their to-do list.
  • They may have had negative experiences with tracking food in the past, such as feeling guilty or obsessing over calorie counts.

So with all of these completely valid reasons NOT to log, why even bother placing any emphasis on it?

Well, put frankly… it (always) comes down to YOUR goals. What exactly are you trying to accomplish? 

Navigating Successful Fat Loss after 40

Dieting (for many 20-30 somethings) is a lot like hopping in your car to take a road trip with no directions – and no responsibilities.  You just let the road take you wherever it goes, because you have nowhere to be, and no one to answer to.  As you drive around aimlessly, you may find some extremely cool destinations without even trying. You may also come across some not-so-cool, or even dangerous destinations – but even those may provide a secret thrill…or at very least, a cool story to tell.  ☠️

Aimlessness and intuition is fine if you have no goal or specific place you’re trying to get to.  There is absolutely a time and place for being carefree, letting your hair down, and exploring your surroundings. 

But when you want to get somewhere specific, you need specific instructions and you need accountability for whether you’re following them. Knowing where you are on the map helps prevent you from blaming the route when you haven’t actually started the car.  Even if the direction is “wrong” or you decide to go somewhere else – if you have a map, you can backtrack to where you took the wrong turn, instead of continuing on until you’re 100s of miles off-track.  

It’s true that some people don’t require tracking after a certain point. Going to places that you’ve gone to HUNDREDS of times before, typically don't require GPS (unless someone else was driving and you weren’t paying attention!) 

But when you’re doing it for the first time – you do (intuitive doesn’t work unless you’ve done the “structure” first to know when to keep going/when to stop, what works and why not).

This can be both a pro and con when it comes to tracking your food and knowing how to eat for fat loss.  If you’ve been “winging it,” blind-logging, or following for fad diets for years, that’s what you’ll do intuitively. 

Going to the wrong destination. Over. and. over. and. over.

On the other hand… If you’ve been using logging as a tool to hold yourself accountable, build essential habits, and carefully studying what works and why…you’ll be more equipped to intuitively keep the weight off – without logging.  

How refusing to track impedes progress

When people refuse to track food for weight loss, they may face several problems that can impede their progress and make it difficult to achieve their goals. 

Some potential problems include:

    • Lack of awareness: Without tracking food, it can be difficult to accurately assess how much and what type of food you are consuming, which can make it harder to identify areas for improvement.
    • Inability to identify trigger foods or patterns: Without tracking food, it can be difficult to identify specific foods or situations that trigger overeating or unhealthy food choices.
    • Lack of accountability: Without tracking food, it can be hard to hold yourself accountable for your eating habits, which can make it easier to slip back into old habits or make poor food choices.
    • Plateauing: Without tracking food, it can be difficult to assess whether you are making progress towards your weight loss goals, which can lead to frustration and plateaus in weight loss.
    • Inability to make adjustments: Without tracking food, it can be challenging to make adjustments to your eating habits or dietary intake, which can prevent you from achieving optimal results.
    • Difficulty maintaining consistency: Without tracking food, it can be difficult to maintain consistency in your eating habits, which can make it harder to achieve long-term weight loss success.

Overall, refusing to track food for weight loss can make it more challenging to achieve weight loss goals and maintain them long term.

Only YOU Can Decide 

As unnatural and tedious as it may feel, tracking food intake at *some point* in the journey is the key to LONG TERM successful weight loss – it gives you the data needed to set realistic goals, identify trigger foods or patterns, hold yourself accountable for your actions and make necessary adjustments along the way. 

With the knowledge you gain during periods of tracking, you'll finally be able to break through plateaus, achieve lasting success that you can ultimately maintain INTUITIVELY!

So if you’ve been avoiding FULL accountability around logging your food it’s time to decide…

Do you want to keep working really hard (intuitively) and possibly have nothing to show for it? Or would you rather focus on embracing the temporary discomfort/annoyance of tracking your eats, while learning from the data that it's providing – so you not only lose fat, but also (intuitively and permanently!) keep it off? 

 

If so, here a couple of suggested tools to help you put this into action:

Level 1 – Download the Quick Start Guide (Free), get a free MFP/Lose it account (or log in if you already have one), or pen/paper, etc… and start tracking again!*

Level 2 – Already tracking? Grab the EM2WL Starter Kit Bundle – and develop a more strategic game plan for incorporating the eating phases that most women over 40 have been avoiding for decades.

Level 3 – Join the Workout Vault – track your workouts (not just your food!), match the eating phases to the workouts, and take your results to the next level.

 

 

*Our site calculator gives starting points for where your calories should be for maintenance, fat loss, or muscle gain – but I always suggest logging AS IS first to see where you already are in comparison to those numbers.

The TRUTH About Bodyweight Workouts for Women Over 40

The TRUTH About Bodyweight Workouts for Women Over 40

If you’re a woman over 40, you may be wondering if bodyweight workouts can really help you build muscle and lose fat. After all, getting to the gym isn't always easy with your busy schedule. But do bodyweight exercises really work? Is it possible to lose weight or build muscle using only your own body weight? Here, we dig into the truth about bodyweight workouts.

 

The Role of Calories 

Calorie intake plays a huge role in both losing weight and gaining muscle. To lose fat, you need to create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories than what your body needs to maintain its current weight. To gain muscle, on the other hand, you need to consume more calories than your body needs so it can use those extra calories to build muscle mass. Once your calorie intake is in check, then you can focus on your workouts.

 

Building a Strategy 

When it comes to bodyweight workouts for women over 40, having a strategy is key if you want the exercises to “work” for you. Just like any workout plan that uses dumbbells or barbells, bodyweight plans should also be periodized—meaning they should have specific goals and progressions that help you reach those goals. For example, if one of your goals is gaining strength, then make sure that each session is focused on building strength rather than endurance or power (which are other types of periodization). This will ensure that the exercises are actually helping you reach your goals instead of simply wasting time with random exercises. 

 

Rep Ranges Matter Too! 

You also need to make sure that the rep ranges used in each session match the type of goal being worked on—for example, if your goal is hypertrophy (gaining muscle size), then don't use endurance rep ranges (12+ reps). Instead, stick with 8-12 reps for hypertrophy-focused training sessions and 3-5 reps for strength-focused sessions. 

Exercises can (and should!) also be manipulated depending on where you are in your periodization—you can either make them easier (more reps) or harder (less reps) by changing variables such as tempo or range of motion in order to produce muscle fatigue appropriate to your intended rep range better.  

For example, elevating your feet on an incline pushup makes the exercise more difficult than doing traditional pushups on the ground would be; conversely, lowering yourself onto a low box makes pushups easier because it takes some of the tension off of your muscles during the movement.  

Knowing how and when to manipulate exercises can keep your workouts challenging and effective — no matter what equipment (or lack thereof) is used!

 

In conclusion, yes – bodyweight workouts can be effective at helping women over 40 build muscle and lose fat! While managing calorie intake is important no matter what kind of exercise program you choose, having a well-thought-out strategy and understanding how rep ranges work will help ensure that the exercises chosen match up with whatever goal(s) being worked on — whether it’s gaining strength, building muscle, or increasing endurance! 

With these tips in mind – get out there and start crushing those bodyweight workouts!

 

 

 

How to Measure Metabolism Reset Progress

How to Measure Metabolism Reset Progress

When it comes to how you feel and look, it’s important not to ignore what's going on inside in attempts to “fix” the outside. A metabolism reset is a process of nourishing and repairing your body from within in order to reap the exterior benefits. But how can you measure your progress as you go through the reset phase?

While you may not always see outward changes right away, there are certain cues that indicate the progress of your metabolism reset. Let’s take a look at five ways you can measure your metabolism reset progress.

Muscle Regained 

If you are going through a metabolism reset, chances are that you have already lost muscle due to dieting or other lifestyle factors. During the reset, you should expect to see some of that muscle regained, however, this may not be visible without a DEXA (or similar) scan. Depending on the length of your reset and your starting body fat percentage, your body composition may undergo some visible changes as well.

Weight Stabilization

Weight gain (if any) has stopped, and you're eating at your “goal” calorie level.  If you have been steadily gaining weight prior to or during the reset, then tracking whether or not this has stopped can be an effective way to measure progress. Even though the scale isn’t the only indicator of progress, it can still provide useful information about changes in your body composition over time and whether or not the reset is working for you.

Improvement in Hair/Skin/Nails

During a metabolism reset, it is common for hair skin nail (HSN) health to improve drastically as micro- and macronutrients are made available for repair and growth processes within the body. This can also occur when hormone levels become balanced and as gut health improves from consuming nutrient-dense foods that support digestive system functioning properly and efficiently.

Appetite/Energy Has Regulated

If you were experiencing ravenous hunger and cravings before starting the program and/or feelings of fatigue throughout the day then tracking how these symptoms have changed since beginning can be another great way to measure progress! Generally speaking if cravings have decreased/stabilized and energy levels have increased then this could again indicate improved hormonal balance from proper nourishment!

Strength Gains

Lastly, strength gains are another great way to measure metabolisms reset progress! Our muscles respond best when we show them love through movement, exercise, and…FOOD — so if you’ve been consistently working out throughout this phase (and eating enough food!) strength gains should start going through the roof! This could look like an increase in weight lifted or reps completed but either way, it’s a sure sign that things are moving in the right direction. Tracking changes in strength over time will help give insight into how well muscles are recovering after workouts due to adequate nutrient uptake which again points towards efficient metabolic functioning!

Adjust your Focus

Measuring progress during a metabolic “reboot” isn't about focusing solely on external factors – like weight loss – but rather looking internally at how our bodies are responding to proper nourishment after years of being deprived from essential nutrients needed for optimal functioning.  By understanding these five key indicators we can assess progress along our journeys more accurately while avoiding disappointment over false expectations the diet industry has been shoving down our throats for decades!

Ultimately, if we focus on what's happening inside then eventually those outside changes will followeven if they do take time before becoming visible! So don't forget – RESET IS NOT A FAT LOSS PHASE – prioritize your healing by addressing “what lies beneath” first & celebrate ANY and ALL small victories (in the areas listed above) along this amazing journey!

Good luck! : )

The Dieter’s Dilemma: Why You Can’t Stick to Your Diet

The Dieter’s Dilemma: Why You Can’t Stick to Your Diet

“I’ll start my diet again on Monday” (or the New Year)…
 
How many times have you heard — or even said — this very statement?  Why do some people have no willpower, and are always “starting over?” Rewiring your brain and shedding old habits is a critical pillar of the Diet Rebel Method, and it’s incredibly important because most people keep repeating the same, outdated, self-sabotaging behaviors over and over (wasting years of their life, while actually gaining MORE weight over time), and that may be exactly what you’re doing right now.
 

 
If you find yourself regularly caving to free-for-all periods (weekends, Fall/Winter, etc.), followed by “back on the wagon” declarations, you may be making one (or more) of the 3 most common diet mentality mistakes:
 

#1 – Trying to be too perfect

The first mistake many people make is trying to be “too perfect” when it comes to their diets. This usually involves strict rules about what can and cannot be eaten, with little wiggle room for treats or indulgences. While this may seem like a good idea in theory, in practice it often leads to feelings of deprivation and frustration which can cause people to give up on their goals entirely. Instead of going for perfection, focus on progress instead. Aim for gradual changes that are sustainable over the long term rather than drastic ones that are difficult (or even impossible) to maintain indefinitely. Celebrate small wins along the way and allow yourself some flexibility when it comes to treats or special occasions – this will help keep you motivated and prevent burn-out or binges down the line.
 

#2 – Using willpower up in other places

Another common mistake is using up all your willpower in other areas of life, leaving none left for your diet. It can be easy to fall into an all-or-nothing mindset – either everything on your plate is healthy or none of it is – but this isn’t realistic (or healthy). When we use our willpower too much in other areas, we don’t have enough left over for our dieting efforts which can lead us down a spiral of unhealthy eating patterns. Every day brings with it new opportunities and challenges; learning how to prioritize self-care will help ensure that you have enough energy left over at the end of each day for taking care of yourself nutritionally as well as emotionally.
 

#3 – Making too many changes

Finally, one of the most common mistakes people make when trying to lose weight is making too many changes at once. This can leave us feeling overwhelmed and discouraged before we even start! Instead of attempting a total overhaul overnight, take things slow by introducing one change at a time until it becomes a habit before moving onto something else. Whether its adding more vegetables or drinking more water each day, making small incremental changes will help ensure that your new habits stick around long term (and won’t feel so overwhelming).

 

Making lasting lifestyle changes isn't easy – especially when those changes involve something as personal as food choices – but by avoiding these three common mistakes you'll be well on your way towards achieving lasting success with your weight loss journey! Remember, progress not perfection should always be your goal and focus on small steps rather than big leaps forward whenever possible – if you do that then success will eventually follow!

 

Good luck!

What Type of Workouts Should YOU be Doing?

What Type of Workouts Should YOU be Doing?



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How to decide what workouts you should be doing?

There are SO many moving parts when it comes to deciding what type of workouts you should be doing. The main factors to consider are your goals,  where you are in your fitness journey, and the strategy required to get you to where you want to be. 

Let’s take a deeper look.

Goals 

“Fitness” goals and ability vary DRASTICALLY from one person to the next, and so should the workout style…

You may be working out to improve health markers (lower cholesterol, get type II diabetes under control), to finally get that six-pack, or be anywhere in between. The actual goal doesn’t matter, so long as you know what it is, because different goals typically require entirely different approaches. 

Many unproductive dieters can attribute years of failed fat loss attempts to either having no specific goal (i.e. “getting in shape”) or expecting one workout style (i.e. running) to accomplish multiple –often opposing– goals (i.e. lose fat AND gain muscle/build strength AND increase endurance).

If the goal is to get stronger for example, a circuit-heavy routine just won’t cut it.  Many people looking to get “toned” would be hard pressed to define muscles they’ve never taken the time to build. Increasing your mileage on the treadmill (or pounding the pavement) may be the absolute best way to increase your endurance for that Rock’n Roll marathon – but could seriously work against your efforts to chisel out that firm, muscular, lean physique you’ve been striving for.  Even if your daily run has become a significant part of what keeps you sane – strength/muscle gains (and even fat loss!) will not come from simply doing more of the same, just because you love it.  

Accomplishing any goal will only come from incorporating the behaviors conducive to that particular goal. Whether you “love” the required behaviors or not.

Fitness Journey 

Understanding the various stages of the journey, and where YOU are in it, is the next critical piece to this puzzle.  

Regardless of what inspires you to begin the journey (doctor’s recommendations, desire to change, etc.), a person who has never really worked out before will need an entirely different workout plan than a seasoned veteran.

Beginning stages will consist mainly of learning, experimenting, and focusing on consistency (vs being completely derailed by details that simply don’t matter…yet). Your first year or two of starting a fitness regimen is a great time test out a wide variety of exercise styles, as you’ll likely get the same results regardless of what type of activity you chooseespecially in the first six months. Because your body has not yet had time to adapt to your new habit of movement, progress (i.e. “newbie gains”) will come rather easily.

Take FULL advantage of this season of the journey (don’t rush it!), because when it’s over, it’s over

A year or two into your fitness journey, you will have to start being more systematic in your approach. What “worked” in the beginning stages will slowly stop producing the results that it has been, and progress will come to a screeching halt. 

This stage of the journey is where strategy becomes essential.

Strategy

Just as college courses start off general, and become more specific as you close in on your degree – your workouts should become more goal-dependent, and increasingly strategic as your journey progresses. 

They key to seeing continual changes to your body (or increasing progress toward whatever YOUR goal is) is to consistently introduce deliberate challenge, rather than seeking THE one-size-fits-all solution. 

Notice the keyword: deliberate. This means that each workout session/style/phase builds on the one before it, compounding toward the end goal.  This is not the same as randomly changing things up, or “trying something new.” Signing up for random classes at your local gym, gathering free workouts from the internet, or having unwavering devotion to whatever on-demand workout service is currently trending does not guarantee specific “results” any more than signing up for random classes at your local university could guarantee a specific degree. 

Without a strategy, even seemingly productive actions can become glorified wheel-spinning, leaving you with little to no progress to show for the time you’ve put in, and putting you no closer to your actual goal than when you first started.  

**Side note: Strategy and a systematic approach to your fitness journey isn’t just about ditching the workouts you love to do, while suffering through workouts you may not enjoy, but rather finding a way to incorporate the behaviors your goals require into a lifestyle that still includes the things you do enjoy. **

Bye-bye comfort zone

Once you understand your goal, the strategy that it requires, and where you are on the journey – it’s time to take a long hard look in the mirror.  Whether you’re just starting out, or a veteran to working out, know that you will constantly have to challenge yourself in order to keep seeing change. Be patient with yourself, and grateful for ANY results that come as you build consistency in the beginning, yet open-minded and willing to alter the approach as your journey progresses and the newbie gains dwindle. 

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