A couple of posts ago, I talked about our physiology in the winter and how it’s perfectly natural and normal to put on some weight during the colder months.
Makes sense, right?
When it’s winter, back in the day, we had less access to fresh food – especially in Northern climates, so the body is wired to store more fat for survival.
Of course, nowadays, we have unlimited access to all foods all year long, so this mechanism can become skewed, because we still eat the same – maybe even more, heavier foods AND maybe we move less too (because it’s so dang cold out!) – and our metabolism slows as well.
This can translate into gaining even more weight than necessary – which, between menopause, adrenals and Hashi’s, is where I find myself this year – and boy, I don’t like it.
What am I doing about it?
I’m gently shifting from my high fat/low carb “food flow”, to what Metabolic Effect (ME) calls the “ATTAIN” phase: A temporary period of time, where we focus our energy on what and how we’re eating and strategically cut back in certain macronutrients – starchy/sweet carbs, fat (and alcohol) while increasing more protein and nutrient dense non-starchy veggies to ATTAIN better weight balance – or more accurately, the body composition – that feels best in our body.
What feels best in our body and what our goals are – are very personal things – they vary from person to person. One person might want visible 6 pack abs, while some of us might want to feel less lumpy, bumpy, fluffy and puffy. Get clear on what you want and develop your plan. (I can help you.)
The ATTAIN period requires consistency, connection and a whole lot of patience and time (assuming we’re talking about more than 5 lbs).
I have a rock star client in her 60s who came to me around the New Year wanting to lose 15-20 lbs. We saw that she was heavy on the carbs and light on the proteins and fats. By making small shifts in reducing her carbohydrates and increasing nutrient density, she is now just 4 pounds from her goal weight in less than 3 months – and she even had a few instances where she indulged a little. No big deal. She got right back on track at the next meal. The best part is she likes the way she’s eating now and she noticed when she fell off the wagon, she didn’t feel as good.
I still want her to stick with our plan until she actually hits her goal and then we’ll work together on defining her ongoing “Food Flow” or what ME calls the “MAINTAIN” phase. Basically it’ll be how she eats going forward for the rest of her life – unless or until, she notices she doesn’t like how she feels (our bodies do change so it isn’t uncommon that a revisit and another shift may be needed) – NOW she has the tools to readjust.
Another client just finished a 2 week PaleoCleanse and is down over 10 pounds! In just 14 days!
This is so awesome – and fast!
BUT – and this is a BIG BUT! To avoid almost immediate weight regain, it’s critical to keep going with the ATTAIN phase (if there’s more weight to lose). This will involve focus, energy and cutting back on carbs and inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy, and for some – also watching the fat – while increasing protein and non-starchy veggies.
A very, very close friend of mine and I have embarked on our ATTAIN phase for fat loss. If you find yourself wanting to improve in body comp or health, you can totally do this too. Of course, you can work with me directly, but if that’s out of your budget, follow these 3 steps to fat loss in the ATTAIN phase:
- Find an accountability partner or coach. It’s hard to go it alone. Even for me. By reporting to each other every day, we have someone to answer to – someone with the same level of motivation – that’s taking a similar approach. Your own mind chatter as well as well-meaning friends and family members may lead you astray and off plan, but if you have your accountability partner, you are more likely to stick with it and get back on track if you do stray. If you don’t know how much or what to be eating or if you have a health condition, it’s worth it at first to see a qualified nutritionist or functionally trained RD to give you a nutrition roadmap. I have a DIY “Lose It Yourself” package here for less than $100 that will give you all the details you need and it also includes a free mini session so that I can build your program factoring in all the important health aspects you’re dealing with.
- Keep a food journal and journal faithfully and honestly everyday until either you have the food thing down pat or you reach your goal and settle into the MAINTAIN/Food Flow phase. Download a free app like My Fitness Pal or LOSE IT which makes it so much easier to do the math. Yes, this is a slight pain in the arse, but most of you are on your dang phones anyway, so give up 5 minutes of Facebook time to log it all in. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. And like my weight loss guru friend, Naomi Teeter says, many of us who struggle with weight are master con-artists when it comes to telling the truth about what and how much we’re eating. Write it down! My partner and I text each other a snap of our macros for the day and share our challenges and wins as needed. It looks like this:
- Adjust total calories and/or macros as you plateau for more than a week or two. Fat loss isn’t linear and losing water and muscle aren’t really the end goal. As you start losing actual body fat, the body adapts to the calories/macros and you eventually require less as you get leaner. Don’t worry, you won’t have to do this for long. Also note: You absolutely don’t want to under-eat and over-exercise as that can wreak havoc on your hormones and metabolism and leave you fatter in the end. I’ve done it before – I know this first hand. The metabolic repair process is really tough too, so don’t go there – it’s not sustainable.
The most important thing is to keep going – slow and steady –
– ya, it’s boring – kinda monotonous – I’m not gonna lie.
Don’t be overly restrictive – do not get to the point where you’re starving or exhausted (this is a hormonal imbalance signal)…And don’t give up on the process or yourself.
Your mind will tell you to give up or give in because it just doesn’t like change. This is a neurological FACT. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t lie to yourself —
— and always, always learn and love yourself through the process. Celebrate the smallest of wins and visualize yourself at your goal…this lifts your vibes, increases your beliefs in yourself – which then manifests your reality.
As we continue on the ATTAIN phase, I’ll be sharing insights about the MAINTAIN phase and how we can avoid losing the same 10-20 pounds over and over and finally live in our FOOD FLOW.
I’ll keep you posted! Please reach out with any questions or updates on your journey in the meantime.