The 5 Basics Of Weight Loss! In this week's podcast, I discuss why you must create your foundation before building your house.
I often share this analogy with my weight loss clients about building a house. If you were to build a house, you would lay the foundation prior to putting up the structure of the home.
Think of the structure of your home as your weight loss and the foundation as your habits. Without a solid foundation of habits, weight loss becomes temporary.
Your diet and the type of food doesn't matter if you do not have sustainable habits as your foundation to continue doing after losing weight.
You will be surprised to hear what Andrea says about how long it has really taken to see physical changes in her body compositions, but how happy she is with those results and why they are lasting and sustainable.
In this Dish On Ditching Diets podcast episode, I'm sharing the 5 basics every women over 35 must master before attempting to lose weight.
I realize many women do not want to hear this, but weight loss is going to take longer than you want it to.
That's because you have to work on building your foundation and mastering new habits and mindsets before losing weight.
Everyone wants to get directly to the losing weight part. They want to skip the foundational part.
However, that is the most important piece to ensure you have a solid foundation that will allow you to keep weight off forever, and so that you have repeatable habits to support your health until you're 85 years old.
The truth is no traditional diet program teaches women (or any individual) how to do this foundational part.
Traditional diets simply teach women over 35 how to restrict food, how to be scared of less nutritious foods, how to dread taking care of their health, how to hate exercise and moving their body, and how to feel extremely hungry.
This leads to an unhealthy relationship with food, fear of failure, a diet mentality and yo-yo dieting.
At the beginning of this episode, I share a long email I received from my weight loss client Andrea. She was a client of mine in 2020-2021 and has come a long way!
Most importantly, Andrea shares why her mindset was the most important piece of her transformation.
I highly agree mindset is the missing key for many along with a sustainable plan! I hope you enjoy this information packed episode and Andrea's note.
Many times, the problem is individuals spend too much time focusing on weight loss and not enough time building sustainable habits.
In this Dish On Ditching Diets Podcast Episode, You Will Hear:
- A Letter From An Old Client Andrea & What She Says About Her Journey 2 Years Later
- An Instagram Post I Shared That Shows Most People Know What To Do
- The 5 Basics Of Weight Loss
- Why You Must Master The Basics BEFORE Losing Weight
- How Sustainable Habits Set You Up For Permanent Weight Loss
- Thinking Of Your Journey As a Process Instead Of Weight Loss
Related Dish On Ditching Diets Podcast Episodes
- Are You Dieting Too Much
- Why You're Not Losing Weight With Group Fitness Classes
- How Weight Loss Works
- Fix Your Hormones
- Over Exercising Is Making You Fat
- Hormonal Weight Loss Recipes
- My Client Andrea's Weight Loss Journey
5 Basics Of Weight Loss Podcast Transcript
Today we’re talking about the 5 basics of weight loss. The foundational stuff everyone needs to work on when it comes to getting healthier, leaner, fitter, and losing body fat.
Before we dive into this topic, I want to share with you a letter I received recently from my past client, Andrea.
Andrea was on podcast episode 61. Her and I worked together over 2 years ago. Almost 3 years at this point. Here’s what Andrea said…
Hi Megan! It's me, Andrea. I was just talking with a friend yesterday about the changes I've made, and I sent her your podcast link.
And that made me want to email you and give you a quick update on me! I think it's been two years since we've worked together, right? I know we emailed once for an update maybe this past spring, but I wanted to send you another one.
I am still living within all the new habits that I changed with you. I walk about 3 miles a day, 4 to 5 days a week. I've added in strength training twice a week.
And most importantly, I have a mindset to move daily.
So, it can look different each day, but I make sure I get some non-stressful movement in daily. I get my protein, fiber, and a good size breakfast in every single morning because when I don’t, I can absolutely tell!
Lunch, dinner, and snacks are still on point as well. And because I've been doing this for two and 1/2 years now, I absolutely enjoy pizza night, Mexican food night, movie night etc. from time to time and it has zero effect on my weight.
When I worked with you, I gained 10 lbs. I think I still feel like a bit of an outlier of your clients with the weight gain, but it's also something I'm really proud of now.
Which should tell you how far my mentality around my body has come because it was my BIGGEST fear when we first started. I was 166 when we started, 6 months later I ended at 176.
Today I fluctuate between 166 and 170. But because I've been so consistent with my habits, I have lost inches. I'm much smaller now than I was.
Just this morning I measured my waist at my belly button and I'm down 2 inches. I know that for some women that may not feel like a big enough difference for 2 years of work.
But I feel like this was the point you kept trying to get me to realize: that my body in particular needed a lot of time and lot of healing. For some women they will drop weight faster, but for me, I needed to be really consistent over a very long period of time.
It was the hardest part for me to believe. But I can't tell you how different I feel. I am absolutely the healthiest I have ever been. My body feels strong.
My body composition has changed, and my clothes are smaller, and they fit better. I don't need to take naps in the afternoon. I enjoy food and don't ever think about it as good or bad anymore. I enjoy what I want to enjoy and move on from there.
The freedom that has come around food has been the greatest part of this for me.
My outlook now is not, where will I be in 3 months, but rather, where will I be in 2 more years, in 5 more years.
And knowing how much I struggled before, I am in awe to be where I'm at right now. So, thank you!!!
Thank you for your work and for helping me change for the better. I hope other woman can find this freedom as well because it just feels so dang good.
Aww… these kind of letters from past clients are why I do exactly what I do. I love setting women free of dieting and helping them make a beautiful lifestyle for themselves and learn to appreciate the process of transforming themselves.
So, I want all of you to think of improving your health and body composition like building a house. The first thing you ever do when build a house is lay the foundation.
Then you put up the structure of the house. Your foundation is your habits or the basics of weight loss. The structure is the actual losing weight part.
Many times, individuals are trying to put up the structure of their house without the proper foundation or habits.
These habits are simple things that are not actually directly related to weight loss, which I’ll explain a bit later in this podcast.
Many times, the problem is individuals spend too much time focusing on weight loss and not enough time building sustainable habits.
And I get it, you want to lose weight like yesterday.
Plus, there’s a lot of confusing information, conflicting information and pretty much everyone on the planet has done at least two or three crash diets in their life and they now think that crash dieting is the only way to sustainable weight loss: however, it is not the way. I guarantee that.
But in your mind, you automatically go to your past diet mentality. What foods do I need to cut out, what foods do I need to restrict, how much exercise can I do to lose weight?
That has literally been ingrained in your head, but that’s not actually how permanent, sustainable change happens.
You must build your foundation first. So, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not these are habits everyone needs to build for a healthier lifestyle not just for losing body fat.
But they will make losing body fat simpler for you and I’m willing to bet many of you already know these things. Let me give you an example…
A few weeks ago, I shared on Instagram. If you’re not following me there, I am Skinny Fitalicious and you can come follow me.
Anyway, the post I shared said “want a toned body? Eat donuts and drink alcohol daily. Never lift weights. Don’t make any meals at home and eat as little protein and produce as possible. Eat chips, candy, ice cream, French fries daily. Avoid getting too many steps. Sit as much as you can. If you think this sounds ridiculous, you probably know what you should be doing.”
The point is most of you know what to do but you just don’t have a plan for implementing things gradually over time, you’re confused or overthinking things, you don’t how to do certain things, or you don’t believe it’s going to make a difference or that it’s even possible for you; therefore, you don’t do anything.
Then you sit back feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, discouraged and hopeless.
And… many individuals have an all or nothing mentality around foods and habits. Oh, I ate ice cream and chips yesterday that must mean I can never lose weight.
Time to throw in the towel and eat like a jerk for 2 weeks. You over dramatize one bad day of eating, or one week of poor eating choices.
You have to zoom out and look at the big picture. If you eat 3 meals a day, that’s 1,095 meals in a year.
One bad day of eating is not going to matter much. It’s the other meals you eat most of the time that drive your results.
Even if you have one week of poor eating choices, that’s not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.
For many individuals, this is the biggest barrier to practicing sustainable habits that lead to improved health and weight loss: their mindset.
Their mindset leads them to believe them somehow failed and they throw in the towel.
Being healthy is a practice. You are practicing habits.
Many individuals believe they have to be perfect or else they failed. That feeling of failure leads them to quit and stop practicing the basics.
Leading a healthier lifestyle means you must change your mindset and let go of perfection. There will be good days and bad days.
It’s how you internalize the bad days that will dictate whether you continue practicing the basics of weight loss.
If you don’t think I never have bad days or off days, you are wrong. I certainly have bad days and so do other healthy individuals like me who’ve lost a lot of weight and have kept it off.
The only difference is we have learned to keep going no matter what.
We realize having off days is part of living a balanced lifestyle and how to not to let our mindset be a barrier to practicing the basics.
So, what are the basics of weight loss? I spoke about these basic habits in episode 76 called Fix Your Hormones (another great episode if you haven’t listened to it) because the common reason I see women stuck is because they don’t have these basics down.
The 5 basics of weight loss again are your foundational habits.
These habits include eating balanced meals with adequate protein and fiber, getting your steps or daily movement, strength training, drinking water, sleep and stress management.
Let’s talk about each one of these.
Number one is eating balanced meals with adequate protein and fiber. A very common problem I see with the ladies I work with is not having structured meals.
Breakfast and lunch are not well planned and/or they’re very deficient in protein and fiber. By the time afternoon and dinnertime comes, they’re crushing hundreds of calories in snacks.
Whereas, if they just had well balanced meals with protein and fiber at regular scheduled times, they would not have this problem and they would prevent the afternoon and nighttime overeating.
Often, the biggest barrier for individuals is they have no structure around breakfast and lunch.
Eating meals like breakfast and lunch at regular times throughout the day and making meals larger and balanced with protein and fiber is going to reduce your frustration with your overeating and cravings later in the day.
And the overeating later in the day is what drives up calories for many individuals.
Now if you need ideas… podcast episode 56 is where I taught you this. What to look for in meals and I walk you through various recipes on my website to show you what to look for.
Speaking of my website, I have an entire website called Skinny Fitalicious that is filled with protein and fiber balanced meals. One of my personal favorites I do for breakfast is protein oatmeal. It’s quick, easy and I enjoy it.
For lunch, many of my clients like the taco salad recipe, tuna casserole or protein burrito. These are just a few examples, but I have an entire website with recipes that you can look at that will give you ideas.
I also have a free lunch download and breakfast recipe download that you can grab in the show notes.
If you’re someone who’s struggled with breakfast and lunch, then your biggest hurdle will be your mindset. Because the typical dieter’s mindset is I have to start the day good which typically translates into how little or how perfectly can I eat.
Then the afternoon or night rolls around and you’re eating all the food off the rails because of that mindset and because you are not fueling your body properly earlier in the day – skipping meals, not having structure around meals, no organization, no plan, just winging it, snacking, etc.
Even when fat loss is the goal, you still need to fuel your body with adequate calories, protein, and nutrients to manage hunger and satiety.
Otherwise, you’re always going to battle hunger and overconsume calories. It’s not a matter of willpower.
It’s a matter of not fueling your body like an adult. You are not a toddler who eats random snacks throughout the day. You are a grown adult that needs fuel.
I don’t know why we have the mindset that we should just not be able to eat breakfast or lunch and then somehow have good control around food later in the day. It doesn’t make sense at all, but this is the behavior pattern I see a lot of women in.
So, bottom line is you need adequate protein and fiber, balanced meals and balanced meals doesn’t mean never eating anything non-nutritious. It means balanced.
I think a lot of you interpret balanced meals as restriction. I have to eat perfectly healthy foods or ELSE - like you can never eat pizza, hamburgers, fries, ice cream, chips, candy.
That is NOT what eating balanced meals means. Balanced means balanced. About 75-80% of the time you’re aiming for high quality nutrients, getting your protein and fiber and the other 20-25% of the time you’re having less nutritious foods.
If you don’t know how to do this using these guidelines, getting a coach is going to help you tremendously with figuring out what works for YOU.
Because balance works differently for everyone. The key is experimenting to figure out what that looks like for you.
Okay, so that’s number one balanced meals with protein and fiber and fueling your body properly. Not skipping meals.
Having a meal routine that you stick closely to and having organized meals around those times.
Number two is daily movement. Do you know what is by far the number one reason why so many people gain weight as they age?
Because they move less throughout the day as they age.
People are just sitting more and more these days and our lifestyle has been setup for so much convenience with online shopping, Amazon, work from home, grocery delivery that now we’re sitting even more! Sitting more means you are burning fewer calories throughout the day.
Daily movement simply refers to getting your steps in. Steps are a way of measuring how much you are moving. To clarify, general movement is not exercise.
General daily movement and exercise are categorized as two different things. A lot of people exercise then sit all day.
The point is we need to get up and move naturally more throughout the day. In my free weight loss course, I give you some ideas of how to get in basic movement.
The link for that course is in the show notes.
Number three is strength training. In episode 97, I talked about the type of strength training you should be doing and why group fitness classes and other classes like Body Pump and Orange Theory may not be getting you the body composition results you want.
These classes are a great entry point for individuals who have not been working out or those who just want to do them for community and exercise, however, when it comes to the specific goal of building or retaining muscle to change your body composition and lose body fat these classes will only get you so far.
Progressive weight training 3-4 times per week is recommended for building and retaining muscle and remember muscle is the engine behind your metabolism.
More muscle tissue on your body means you burn more calories at rest, and you are leaner because muscle takes up less space in your body than fat tissue.
One pound of fat equals one pound of muscle, but muscle is leaner meaning your inches will decrease.
The scale may not decrease, but your pant size will go down because you’re losing fat. If you have not listened to podcast episode 97, I highly recommend you do.
We need to understand the scale because I see a lot of individuals frustrated by it which sabotages their consistency and habits.
Number four is hydration or drinking your water. I don’t see many clients who aren’t drinking water these days. The general rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces daily or simply monitor your urine.
It should be pale yellow. If it is dark yellow, then you are not hydrated. Remember hydration can come from coffee and tea too.
Not just plain water and if you need to add a zero-calorie sweetener to your water to stay hydrated that is fine too. I personally did crystal light for a longtime before I got used to drinking water.
Then I eventually just started drinking regular water and sparkling water and that’s all I do right now.
I think sometimes we get caught in the mindset of thinking we have to do everything perfectly healthy starting on day one instead of being okay with baby stepping ourselves in the direction of health.
The mindset of trying to do everything perfectly healthy on day one is a killer. It will always sabotage you.
Stop letting yourself get hung up on doing everything right because it is preventing you from doing anything consistently long-term.
Number five is sleep and stress management. Sleep is everything. If you are not getting adequate rest and recovery, controlling what you put in your mouth is going to be difficult. I’m not going to lie.
Now I realize some of you may be in a phase of life where sleep is a challenge, and you may not be able to control that. Here’s the thing. There are a lot of variables in life we cannot control, but there are things you can control.
Control what you can control like your bedtime routine and your winddown routine. Getting off your phone and other devices before bed. Using blue blockers if you are using devices. Taking a shower or bath before bed.
Turning down the temperature in your home. Reading, journaling, meditating. Turning down bright lights. Essentially doing things to winddown. Same with little kids.
We don’t feed little kids’ sugar and let them run like crazy around the house and play intense games right before bed. We wind them down. There’s a routine.
Same for you. Gift yourself a winddown routine and schedule and stick to that as much as you can.
If you do get a bad night’s sleep, maybe consider skipping your exercise that day and resting. Women over 35 especially need more rest as they’re going through that perimenopause and menopause.
The common mistake I see is women getting up at 5am to exercise, they’re tired, pushing their body to exercise draining their energy further down and then they tend to make poor food choices or move less to make up for their lack of energy. If you’re tired, prioritize sleep and remember sleep is part of your recovery.
So, if you are in the gym strength training your sleep is where your body repairs and builds muscle tissue. Without that recovery, your body can’t actually do the repairing. Put yourself in the best position to get rest as you can.
I know it’s tough, but sometimes the extra load of laundry or doing the dishes can wait until the morning. Ask your family for help. A lot of my clients struggle with this. They’re doing everything for their families.
Ask for help. Recruit your family to do some of the work you traditionally take on. It’s empowering to ask for help, and it will remove some of the stress from your plate!
Speaking of stress… this is the other part of number five. Work on your stress and when I say work, I don’t mean stress elimination.
I mean reduce the stress you’re adding to your life by exercising too much, dieting too much and obsessing about your body and weight.
Episode 100, I talk about what happens to your metabolism every time you diet and why losing weight gets harder and harder the more you diet.
Dieting puts a lot of psychological and physiological stress on the body. You are not supposed to be restricting food all the time. You are not supposed to be overexercising all the time.
These things are adding stress to your metabolism, hormones, and mindset and are making it harder for you to lose body fat. Remove the stress of chronically dieting and restricting. Stop jumping on the latest diet trends.
Stop trying to always eat 1200 calories. Stop trying to fast and skip meals. Stop trying to be in a constant state of caloric restriction.
You shouldn’t be restricting calories and food all the time. This adds tremendous stress to the metabolism and the body has mechanisms to sense famine.
When it senses famine, it adapts by downregulating, so you burn fewer calories at rest putting you in a difficult situation to lose body fat.
Stop trying to restrict so much and living in a calorie deficit all the time.
The basics work when you do them consistently over a long period of time. The need for instant results is what’s making it harder for you to lose weight.
If you keep jumping on these unsustainable diets that cause you to restrict food greatly, lose weight rapidly then gain it back just as fast because that severe restriction put you in a position to very easily gain weight because of what it did to your metabolism.
This process of restriction and living in calorie deficits all the time is making it harder and harder for you to lose weight permanently.
Remove the stress of chronic dieting and over exercising. I talk about over exercising in podcast episode 62.
I recommend you listen to that along with episode 100. Empower yourself with better information so you can remove this added stress from dieting and over exercising. I guarantee these things are adding stress to your life!
Okay, so those are the 5 basics of weight loss ladies. Before you think about losing body fat or have any expectation of losing body fat, your job is to master these 5 things the best you can.
They should become routine and part of your everyday life for many weeks and months before you think about a calorie deficit and losing some body fat.
Once you have these good foundational habits mastered that’s when you begin to work on a calorie deficit. Podcast episode 85 – how weight loss works – I explain calorie deficits.
For some of you depending on your diet history, you may need to spend 6 months or one year just building muscle to get your metabolic rate up and eating adequate calories to repair the damage you’ve done from chronic dieting.
This is after you’ve mastered your 5 basics.
You may not be able to go right into a caloric deficit because you need to remove the stress from too much dieting and restricting first.
My client Andrea I mentioned earlier. She has spent two years reversing the damage. Two years.
This is a process, and I will say most individuals just want a quick fix.
That desire for an instant gratification or a quick fix will always keep you stuck round and round on the weight loss hamster wheel.
Now are there exceptions to what I’m saying? Yes, there’s always exceptions.
Again, which is why having a coach is helpful in guiding and helping you to figure out what is right for you based on where you are in your journey and to walk you through the process step-by-step. Individual support is always easier than spinning your wheels on your own.
Okay, hopefully everything makes sense ladies. If you enjoyed this episode or having been enjoying the podcast and finding it helpful, please make sure you subscribe to the podcast, so you never miss an episode.
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Thank you for your support and I’ll talk to you soon!