80% of weight loss is NOT diet.
The fitness business loves one liners, makes it simple for us to get a message across to our clients.
“Abs are made in the kitchen.” (actually abs are made when your in your mother’s womb, this one doesn’t make any sense!)
“80% of your results are from your diet.”
“Get fit in the gym, lose weigh in the kitchen.” (this one really doesn’t make sense either. If I lose the weight in my kitchen…then I really didn’t lose the weight…because I know exactly where I left it.)
Et cetera. Et cetera.
And memes…trainers love memes.
Well, here’s the thing…that’s true IF your LIFESTYLE is in order. Your lifestyle (how you live your life) is vastly more important then your diet. Because as your life style changes, so will your diet.
For instance, someone who eats 1 meal per day, will have a different diet then someone who eats 4 meals per day.
Someone who exercises 4 times per week will have a different diet then someone who only exercises one time per week.
People eat differently in the winter then the summer if they are shopping local. You get the idea. Life changes will equal diet changes. But your lifestyle should ALWAYS remain consistent and constant and should reflect your overall goals.
Lifestyle is ultimately what predicts what diet will work for you and what exercise plan is the best plan for you to chase down. Is your lifestyle in alignment with your goals of being healthy and losing weight? Here are the absolutely 5 most important aspects of lifestyle that have to be in order.
- Sleep – you need to make sure that you get as close to 8 hours of sleep every night. Why 8? I don’t know, but I know 6 doesn’t cut it, and 7 barely makes the grade. Historically the people who have gotten the best results with us have slept for 8 hours +/- an 30-60 mins per night. Those 8 hours also have to be good, restful sleep, not full of tossing and turning or frequent bath room trips. A quote that I often use which I heard on the Paleo Podcast from Doctor Kirk Parsley (a former Navy SEAL, turned physician turned Special Operations Medical Advisor) as he was being interviewed by Robb Wolf – “One night of poor sleep, around 6 hours, will have your body perform the same way as a Type 2 Diabetic as it relates to how your body handles sugar.” I am paraphrasing…but you get the drift.
- Eat 3-4 meals per day – yup, 3-4 meals per day is what we have found to be the magic number for most people. Now, if you’re a bigger person that needs more calories, or trying to gain weight, then you might need to go to 5 or 6. But generally speaking if you can eat 3-4 meals per day then you are set up for success. A meal is defined as a clearly defined source of protein, fat and fruits/veg. A cheese stick doesn’t cut it. A greek yogurt doesn’t cut it. A cheese stick + a greek yogurt + an apple would be good.
Why not grazing? I don’t like grazing because it makes it very easy to over eat calories…plus you find your self being overly consumed with food and eating.
- Exercise 3-4 hours per week – this is fairly self explanatory. You need to move strenuously for 3-4 hours per week. Unless your 300 lbs and extremely sedentary, walking doesn’t cut it. The key here is to make your self UNCOMFORTABLE through exertion for 3-4 hours. The more uncomfortable the better.
- I told you we like memes
Note from Ben – there isn’t a 4 and 5, I just can’t get my blog to cooperate with me right now!
- Take your supplements – your diet is far from great or perfect, sorry. I have looked at literally THOUSANDS OF FOOD JOURNALS over the last 10+ years. I have never seen a diet that is perfect, i.e. provides enough micronutrients (NOT MACRO NUTRIENTS, i.e. protein, carbs and fat) to help you function like an optimal human being. Perfect from a dietary stand point, just doesn’t exist. No one gets enough:
- Vitamins and minerals
- Essential Fatty Acids
- Vitamin D (at least in New England)
A perfect diet for someone that gets 4 hours of sleep is different then someone who gets 8 hours of sleep and that goes for the same person who gets 4 hours one night and 8 hours another night. It’s just not possible to operate at max potential through just eating food alone. Supplements are essential, specifically – a good gender specific multi, magnesium, D, Fish Oil and a broad spectrum pro-biotic.
There are 46 (around there) vitamins and minerals, to think your going to get all of them from just food is ridiculous.These are the ESSENTIAL vitamins and minerals, but honestly, they are all essential and do WAY more then what’s listed. For instance Magnesium and Zinc also help with hormone production as well as help to re-sensitize the body to insulin and help with blood sugar control.
- Drink at least 64 oz of water every day – this is in addition to what ever liquids you already drink. Your body is made of water!!! Every process in your body requires H2O in order to operate optimally, and, research has shown drinking water can boost metabolism by up to 25% (google that shit…it’s true). Not enough water = not enough raw materials for your body to use = sub par health = sub optimal weight loss results = not a happy camper!
In the absence of these simple 5 life style changes, your diet will only work at a fraction of what it’s capable of doing. Get your life style in order, then work on your diet and you will be surprised at how easy the weight comes off.