With Nutrition, It’s Direction Not Speed
Early on in our Group Nutrition Coaching, we try to hammer home the concept of modest progress equaling sustainability. The reason that we say that is multi-part.
1. It’s good physiology — There is no sustainable program on Earth that will strip off all the fat that you want to lose in a few short weeks. If you’re losing more than a few pounds per week, there is a very good chance that you are way under where you should be calorically, and the minute you go back to eating a reasonable amount you will put the weight right back on. The body simply does not work in a way where it changes itself permanently in a short amount of time.
2. It’s good psychology — The minute we relieve ourselves of the pressure of _____ pounds in ____ days, we allow ourselves to zoom way out and focus on our habits. If our habits are strong, then our food choices will be strong, and we build a foundation of a sustainable lifestyle, not a crash diet.
For example, let’s say that you lose one fat pound per week while preserving most of your lean body mass, or 0.25% body fat per week over the course of a 16 week focus. During those 16 weeks, you make subtle yet profound changes to your diet and don’t ever feel starved. You are challenged, and at times you may slip, but overall it’s an approach to which you an adhere.
At one pound and 0.25% body fat, after those 16 weeks, you would be down 16 pounds and 4% body fat.
Those would be remarkable results, and, you’d have created those results based on good habits, healthy amounts and type of food, and be set up to keep that weight off forever.
If you take the zoomed out approach and make your weekly goal simply to lose a pound of fat, you make your goals incredibly attainable and pressure free, but if you were focused only on that big number, 16, then you’d be a mess worrying about how on Earth you’d get there. You’d make bad decisions in the name of getting the scale to represent what you want to see, and you’d be off the wagon in no time flat.
It’s a tale as old as time.
Focus on your course setting, not your tailwind. Progress modestly, realistically, and sustainably and you’ll get there.