Your post diet handbook
Please note that this blog is NOT for anyone in particular.
Weight loss is tricky, it's not just about willpower and a caloric deficit.
Behind your daily struggles, mess ups, and guilt trips your body is working to "help you" by conserving energy at a biological level.
Here are some of the things that happen when you go into a caloric deficit:
-fat cells shrink (which cause leptin production to be reduced)
-leptin is reduced (which makes you feel hungry)
-BMR is reduced as weight goes down (this means you require less calories to maintain weight)
-less thyroid production (specifically T3)
-less sex hormone production (testosterone (as well as progesterone for the ladies, likely secondary to a suppressed thyroid))
Leptin is a hormone produced in our body to signal when you are full.
BMR = basal metabolic rate (How many calories your body needs if you just sleep. This is based off of age, gender, height and weight) We add calories to this number based on activity levels
T3 and especially Free T3 is considered the active and available thyroid hormone circulating in your bloodstream.
When you come off your diet, it is EXTREMELY important that we do so slowly to ensure that we get you up to your new calorie requirements without overshooting.
When working with clients who yoyo diet or have been on a diet for longer than 3-4 months I prefer to transition them to maintenance for 2-3 months so we can see where they currently are in terms of calorie allowance.
Maintenance should never be overlooked and should be seen as a normal period of calculated relaxation in between dieting phases. This ensures steady, realistic progress.
When working with overweight and obese clients, it is important to note that I know you are trying. I know that it is difficult and that you feel like you are doing everything you can. There are clearly other factors at play, that we must take into account when finding a diet you can stick with. This also means that some people do better with diet, exercise and prescription medication or surgery. There is no one size fits all when it comes to weight loss.
With that said, you will be more successful with your efforts when you have a coach or Dr helping you throughout the process. It not only ensures that someone is there to lead you in the correct direction but also hold you accountable.
So enjoy the process. It's going to be messy and frustrating at times but you will get to your goal with consistent effort.
When you decide to switch to maintenance use the Harris- Benedict calculator to find an estimate of your daily calorie allowance.
Then do 1 or 2 options:
1. Jump to the number and track consistently. Weigh yourself 1-2x/week. If your weight holds for 2 weeks then you can relax and continue to track here until you're ready to switch goals.
2. Subtract your diet caloric intake from your new calorie allowance (that you'll get from the Harris Benedict equation calculator). Divide that number by 4 and then add that number to your calories each week. Continue to track and monitor weight.
If during either of these two options your weight
starts to drop, just slowly add more calories each week until you level off
starts to increase, slowly take some calories out each week until you level off