Okay. This is where things get really interesting. It’s also where I take a virtual sigh of preparedness/nervousness as I think about how to best approach this topic. It’s not just that the topic of female fat loss is a touchy one (although that’s certainly a factor). And it’s not just that there is so much information out there that you could be forgiven for wanting to bury your head in the sand and yell ‘go away, go away’ (although that’d be tough to do with a mouthful of sand). No, the truth is that despite over 11 years of pretty-much constant learning/application on nutrition and hormones even I still occasionally feel overwhelmed by all that we should or could be doing when it comes to taking control of how we look. And if I – with an impressive education and research background plus direct access to some of the world’s foremost experts – feel this way, then how in God’s good name do you feel?
I can only imagine.
Well, actually, I have a fairly good idea, because so many of you have told me flat out how frustrating the ‘info overload’ on fat loss and health can be. But you know what? It’s okay to acknowledge it. Because the reality is that not I nor you will ever get through every new research paper or clinical trial out there’. We will die still not knowing everything we could know about the female body. And you know what else? If we allow ourselves to get swept up in everything we ‘should’ be doing it becomes all too easy to never really follow through on anything. I’m not talking about following through on a fad diet or quick fix, but rather following through on building healthy habits that create lasting results – not to mention ensure that we look and feel fantastic. Of course 🙂
what it really takes to permanently lose fat
You can have lose fat permanently. But you have to know this – if you constantly switch techniques or perhaps even chop and change from one health practitioner to the next; if you’re always searching but never really doing all the steps required to see your goal through to completion, then you can’t really say you’ve ever truly given it your best shot, can you? And, what’s worse, if you’re not careful then you may just look back at some point and realise that instead of progressing forward you’re actually moving from side to side and round in circles.
And either you’re getting fatter, or you’re remaining exactly as you are. Either way, your confidence is probably increasingly shot to pieces and your belief in things ever working out for you probably went down the drain years ago.
the power of belief
There’s nothing that makes me despair more than when a new client admits to me right upfront that she doesn’t believe she will ever lose weight. People who say this are not generally negative by nature – they’re often extremely successful leaders in their chosen field. But in this area they’ve given up. They talk about taking a last shot at it but you can see that they don’t really buy their own words. As a coach, this is the worst thing I can hear, and it makes my job near impossible. I’m going to explain a few basic laws of female fat loss for you in a moment, but first let me tell you this.
You will NEVER (never ever ever) lose fat if you don’t believe you can. This rule holds true for anything in life and it’s one reason why I believe that setting values-based goals and consciously working with yourself and others to create motivation and belief is so important. If you know this is a weak area for you, if you want to believe but just don’t feel that you can face putting your confidence in something new only to fail again, then you’ll find this page on motivation good food for thought.
the science of female fat loss
You don’t have to be a scientific genius – or even a layman – to learn the truth about female fat loss. For starters, I can absolutely promise you that the more time you spend on this blog or in the membership section the more you are going to learn about the intricacies of what it truly takes to lose fat and keep it off. But why wait? Let’s get started right away.
basic principles of fat loss
1. The first thing you need to know is that as a woman, your body is programmed to store fat. This is a basic physiological rule. Survival mechanisms for males and females alike will cause increased fat storage in certain situations, but as a gal things are made worse by the fact that you naturally have less lean muscle mass than a typical male of the same bodyweight, coupled with the fact that your body is always prepared for the possibility that you could be or fall pregnant.
2. Common busy-girl behaviours like skipping meals or low protein intake act like an alarm bell as far as these survival mechanisms are concerned. These patterns flick an internal switch in your body which basically says ‘hold onto as much fat as possible and convert anything that does come in into more fat’. This is your body’s way of ensuring you don’t die from a lack of stored energy (I know, fat chance in this day and age right? But try telling your cave-girl like genes that).
3. Relying on convenience foods means you can bet your booty that you’re creating fat way faster than what you can ever ‘train off’ (tip: you can NEVER out train a bad diet). Stress and a busy lifestyle in and of itself can cause fat gain, but at least you’d have a fighting chance if you were sticking purely to a paleo-style diet of lean proteins, nuts and seeds, vegetables and the occasional fruit.
4. The basis of good nutrition. Yep, in case you’re wondering, that’s the basis of what I’d suggest you eat. Of course there could be details added or subtracted depending on the individual, and certainly there are plenty of cool fat loss tricks to learn around nutrition and blood sugar management, but really – that’s healthy eating in a nutshell. For optimal body composition I’d recommend you eat roughly every 3 hours, always including some protein (animal based, please), and some green veg. Berries, nuts and seeds are okay for most of us, and some women can tolerate dairy. Red wine and dark chocolate are great additions to an already healthy diet. I’ll be speaking a whole lot more on nutrition but if ever you get confused or just want to know the basics, that’s it. Yes it’s simple. Yes, some may even think it’s too plain or boring. But you know what? That’s food for fuel, and for looking hot. You decide if it’s worth it.
5. Hormones – the ‘missing link’. Once you have the building blocks of good nutrition and proper weight training in place then you’re on your way to a healthier metabolism and more sculpted and healthy you. But that’s not the full picture – obviously. If it were then everyone you know would be walking around looking like they stepped off a Women’s Health and Fitness magazine cover. Where it gets really interesting is when you start to learn about how your hormones affect your ability to lose or store body fat. Here’s just an idea:
- Environmental estrogens (pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and other chemicals in your food and in the air)
- Xeno-estrogens from skincare and household product (xeno-estresogens cause increased lower body fat storage, ramp down your thyroid gland, and are also a precurser to increased cancer risk)
- Lack of sleep leading to poor growth hormone release and a reverse cortisol curve
- Insulin resistance caused by years of poor eating choices (typically goes hand in hand with increased or stubborn fat around the belly, in particular the love handles)
- Stress overload causing your body to hold onto fat regardless of how you eat or exercise
- Malnutrition caused by poor digestion and/or poor food quality
- Toxicity from metals and estrogens
Sounds a bit full on, doesn’t it?
Especially if you’ve never thought about fat loss in any way that extends beyond the need to eat better and exercise more. But don’t let this get you down or overwhelmed. View it as an opportunity to get results you’ve stopped believing in or never truly thought possible. An opportunity to look beyond the obvious failings of modern fat loss wisdom – like the calories in vs calories out model, for example.
Of course in a perfect world we wouldn’t need to consider toxins, chemicals, hormonal imbalance and the need for quality supplements, and perhaps if you lived 200 years ago, got enough sleep, ate only a 100% natural diet, had relatively low stress and basically just followed your dreams and passion most of the time then that would be true, but this ain’t 200 years ago and it sure as heck is not a perfect world.
It’s time to face the realities of the world you live in and it’s time to accept that if what you’ve been doing up to this point or following typical health advice for fat loss is not working for you then it would be nothing short of insane to keep doing the same thing(s) and expect a different result.
never, never, never quit
I believe in you. And I truly believe that I have the knowledge and clinical experience to help you reach beyond what you’ve previously thought possible. I’m not saying that I know it all, because I don’t. But I sure as hell know what doesn’t work, and I’d love to share my knowledge and my continued research with you.
Let’s do this together – are you ready?
want more? want to know it ALL, and STAT?!
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