According to Shite *Consultants* Say
For the record, “Consultant” is a general term for anyone selling a product or service in relation to weight loss. Before you say “Hang on, my Consultant is excellent and has supported me throughout” – brilliant, yay and spread that positivity far and wide. But some people will say absolutely anything in a bid to keep you reeled in without thinking about the science or evidence, or lack of truth behind it.
So a lot of the time if you’re going somewhere which requires a regular weigh in, and you’re expecting the scales to drop, when it doesn’t, usually exercise is the first thing that gets “blamed”.
Unless you’re lifting heavy weights or doing proper bodyweight training (I’m not talking wrist weights or toning sticks) then exercise is not the reason why your weight loss has stalled.
And if you’re doing only cardio, you’re more likely to burn your precious muscle, which we need for our independence when we come into old age.
Then they might look at your food diary and say “You’re not eating enough” (Or you didn’t eat your allocated points this week)
This is no fault to them, right, because we can only go on the information provided by the client and in all the food records that have been sent to me I’ve come to realise that there has never been enough detail in measurements and portions to give accurate feedback. I’ve learned that I cannot calculate “Chicken, veg and spuds” when a client puts it on paper. Was it a whole chicken? Were the spuds mashed, boiled, roasted. Were there any oils, condiments or butter used? It’s very easy to eyeball a food diary and say you’re not eating enough when all you have to do is go on Insta and see the MASSIVE portions people are putting on their plates. And it’s also very easy for the client to forget to note the small things – like a quick chocolate bar in the car or nibbling on the kids leftovers.
If you are actually under eating for a prolonged period of time, yes it’s very possible for your body to go into “starvation mode” which stalls loss and induces gain when you start eating again.
But for most cases, people generally underestimate the amount of food they eat and over estimate the amount of energy they use.
The Fat Turns into Muscle or Muscle Weighs More Than Fat is a thing that’s thrown around to try and make you feel better about the number that’s at your feet. There’s no Fat Fairy that waves a magic want and turns fat into muscle. Muscle grows more muscle. And muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat no more than a tonne of lead weighs more than a tonne of feathers. Muscle can be dense and take up less space alright, but for true fat loss and retention of muscle you need to eat less than you need and lift more weights.
If the scales are the only unit of measuring your progress then you’re setting yourself up for failure straight away. We’re organic beings, complex, it’s never black and white. If you weigh yourself every single day you’ll notice that it goes up and down regularly. It could be water, it could be hormones, it could be that you stuffed your face and the food hasn’t digested yet. Your clothes could be heavier than the previous weigh in. We can never really tell the definite reason so why fret over something you can’t control? – You CAN control your eating and exercise habits, so if you’re controlling that in a manner which is healthy and sustainable, all the rest will fall into place.
A picture tells a thousand words. STRIP and SNAP.
I mean it. If your results don’t show on the scales and you indeed have been eating well and exercising in order to lose weight, you WILL see it in the pictures and measurements. Albeit sometimes it might be a “spot the difference” scenario but those little bits make a huge difference.
Note your non scale victories, such as learning how to cook a new meal, drinking more water, taking time out to relax, running walking or jogging that little bit further or increasing your speed. Being able to climb the stairs without getting out of breath, being able to reach and tie your shoe laces – all that stuff adds up!!
The scales is only one unit of measure, but combining that with tape measurements can tell you a lot about where your body composition is going.
Weight loss but no inch loss = muscle loss.
Inch loss but no weight loss = fat loss.
Inch loss and weight loss without lifting weights = a combination of both fat loss and muscle loss.
Inch loss and slow weight loss and lifting weights = more fat loss than muscle loss*
*For the latter, using a scales that measures fat, water, muscle and bone would be ideal than a standard weight scales.
Of course if you’re over weight or obese then you want to see that number drop down to a level that keeps you healthy and happy – but for times when you’re feeling fed up and wondering why should you bother, keeping track of all your wins will help you keep going.
And if you’re eating well, exercising, drinking water, doing all that stuff and you’re still not seeing results – my very first question would be:
Are you getting restful sleep?
More on that next time.