300th Newsletter Edition - 6 years of learning
On the mark of my 300th weekly email newsletter stretching back over 6 years (I started these in October 2006) I decided to write down some of the main things I have learnt. I have been working with clients for over 12 years now and my systems are getting better, faster and longer lasting results than ever before.
What I have learnt during the last 12 years of working with people.
1) Exercise alone has poor correlation with fat loss! -The whole weight loss industry is based on exercise. Feeling that burn! My experience has showed me that exercise has little effect on your body fat levels UNLESS you are eating right for your body too. There are many many overweight regular exercisers and take a look at your average amateur marathon runner. They are not anywhere near as thin as you would expect for someone running so many miles each week.
When you are eating the right foods, in the right amount and have reduced sensitive foods within your diet then exercise can be the transformational tool people promote it to be. Why does this happen? Because the body has a clever way of increasing foods consumption to match increased activity. Therefore, if you are not aware of what you are eating you will not create the environment for fat loss.
2) Calories in vs calories out model of weight loss does not work! Everyone in the weight loss field is obsessed with calories. The problem with the simplistic calorie model is that it simply does not work. The assumption that the body is a machine which relies on simply units of energy is a gross simplification and does not stand up to reality. The calories in versus out model does not differentiate the types of calories, e.g. I could eat 200 calories of chocolate, fish, broccoli, olive oil, crisps etc. The calories model suggests it is the same effect for all of these. Anyone can tell you that is not the case.
By the same token if the model was a simple maths equation I could do massive amounts of running and avoid eating and get in shape in about 1-3 weeks whoever I was. This does not happen. Likewise, when you are ill and eat hardly anything for five days you do not normally lose much body fat. (Weight normally reduces through dehydration but body fat stays about the same more often than not).
The final problem with the calories model is that it assumes the body would have to take up any calorie deficit by using up your body fat. This is not the case, it is simply one option the body can use. However, this depends on hormones and overall internal biochemistry.
Though the body will be forced to lose body fat in an actual famine, it is hard to to near impossible to maintain this for prolonged periods for the average person.
3) Calories ARE important! - Despite all that I have written in point 2 you are kidding yourself if you think that food consumption is not a big part of the equation (aka - the main part of the problem). The basic calories model has many holes in it yet you will not lose fat magically nor did you gain fat eating nothing. There are other factors to weight loss but the amount of food consumed is still at the heart of it.
You will lose it by consuming slightly less than you need or strengthening your metabolism. For this to happen how much you eat is definitely part of the equation. Too much or too little will both affect metabolism.
The REALITY is that the average weight loss person has no understanding of how much their body really needs to get into shape and even if they do, do not stick to it to make this happen. The modern world is not even close to helping you on this one as what you actually need to eat and the most common foods you can quickly grab go into direct opposition to each other. This expanded appeitite means we are normally eating too much without knowing it. On the flip side most people on "healthy diets" eat too little and down regulate thyroid activity and metabolism. This is why calorie awareness is important. Most people do not have a clue what is in food.
This day and age many people are citing blocking factors as the reason they cannot lose fat when the reality is that they are simply not getting the basics right (food/exercise). You have blocking factors when despite eating slightly less than your body needs (right foods) you do not lose fat, instead your metabolsim down regulates to match the new intake. At this point then you need to investigate the deeper factors. To me many people are going down this route before they have done the basics.
4) Different people have greatly nutritional needs - This is the most obvious thing I have ever seen after working with hundreds of people and seeing the complete contradiction on every issue of nutrition. Yet, the average person still denies this, or accepts it but then follows along with the same generalized protocols. At the coal face, when working with people, any professional can see their clients will only get results across the board using different nutrition plans. Read more on Metabolic Typing to understand this further.
5) MIND -MINDSET - MOTIVATION - Exercise and nutrition do not mean anything in the long term without the right mind set - Results are nice, but if you are going to get in shape you must be able to maintain these results LONG term. To this you can forget about arguing over diet plans or exercise routines and their relative merits.
You need a mind set that allows results in busy times and calm periods, stressful periods and happy times, motivated and unmotivated. The reality of long term results is completely different to what you do in a short term plan.
To get long term results you need to change your mind set. Forget motivation, this traditional view of motivation cannot last more than a few months. At this point you fall back onto your mind set. If this is wired for results you will continue forwards. For most it isn't and thus results hit a brick wall. This is what my book is about - Change Your Thinking, Change Your Shape.
Ultimately, long term results come only from long term behaviours. Your long term behaviours relate back to your mind set and your ability to handle emotions.
6) Anyone can get the body they want and the results the desire
If the last 12 years has taught me anything then it is that anyone can achieve the results they desire. I long gave up trying to predict the results after a first meeting or on gauging their beliefs about getting results.
I have seen 20 year exercise-o-phobes (if that is a word) become addicted to the gym, I have seen busy mothers of 4 transform their body, CEO's balance results and their stressful lives. I have worked with students on a budget to see them transform their shape, divorcees battle through the emotional turmoil to a new body and happier life. The circumstance is irrelevant, results can come whoever you are.
The KEY to understanding how results really happen is the reason my personal training here in Battersea and Clapham gets such great results. It doesn't come from the nutrition plan, the exercise routine or mind techniques I use. These are tools along the way. It comes from new insights you have about this area of your life. In a moment a new insight may happen (new thought on the subject) and at that point you will never see the situation the same again and your behaviour will change instantly. This is what creates results, a new insight is more valuable than anything you will ever read about in the A,B,C's of doing a diet or exercise routine. It is the reason working with someone has significantly better results than doing it alone.
Thank you for reading my newsletter and support over the last 6 years plus. I have some great things in store in the future.