More than 25 people have participated in our “Best You” program, where we perform an Inbody scan and then take a deep dive into lifestyle, nutrition, sleep, mental attitude, etc. Afterward, we provide a road map for improvement.
Some people have really thrived, employing much of the advice and nutrition recommendations they were given. So, the purpose of this post is to detail some of the elements that led to success.
First of all, attitude is everything. I can usually tell by someone’s body language and self-talk if they are on board with change. I never try and suggest any changes that are a complete 180 from what they are doing. Small, sustainable steps are the way to go. That said, not everyone is ready for change.
Of those who participated, here are my takeaways regarding those who were the most successful.
A focus on protein.
I’d venture to say that 90% of the people whose food logs I first looked at were lacking in protein. Some have a harder time than others increasing their levels, so we did that slowly. The people who met their protein goals and calorie counts improved their body composition. This is a scientific fact: .8 to one gram of protein per pound of body weight, per day, is that “sweet spot” that allows you to lean out and retain your muscle.
The most successful participants tracked their food intake. Tracking isn’t something you will need to do for the rest of your life, but it’s very helpful when the goal is gaining or losing weight. For one, it keeps you honest and two, you know without a doubt if you’re getting the required protein and calories. The goal is to learn, over time, what a day of eating should look like, then nix the tracking while still eating as you were when you tracked.
Small changes add up.
Those who succeeded capitalized on small changes that were potent. A big one was alcohol. Many enjoyed wine or cocktails four or more times a week, racking up a lot of empty calories and disrupting their sleep. Those who succeeded reduced alcohol intake to one to two times per week. So, they were still able to live life and enjoy themselves, just not to the detriment of their body composition and sleep. Increasing water intake is also a small change, but it’s an important one. The same goes with sleep…getting seven hours or more a night is crucial to your weight, your mental attitude and more.
Those who have yo-yo dieted or were eating too little had a harder time.
It seems counterintuitive for me to tell someone who wants to lose weight to eat more. But, if you aren’t eating enough and still not losing weight, you can’t keep reducing calories. It’s a scary proposition and people who have dieted and regained weight several times have it harder, as they’ve most likely got some metabolic dysfunction going on. With prolonged calorie restriction, the body adapts and doesn’t burn efficiently. The goal is to fuel the body, slowly increasing calories, revving up that metabolism and strength training to hang on to (or build) that hard-earned muscle.
Consistency is king…but you don’t have to be perfect.
Those who stuck to the plan at least 80% of the time made progress. It became a lifestyle. They worked indulgences like alcohol or dessert in sparingly, enjoyed themselves, didn’t feel guilty and got back on track.
It’s a slow process.
Sustainable changes don’t happen quickly. Sure, you can eat next to nothing and watch the scale go down, but is some of that weight loss actually muscle? Are you eating in a way that you can see yourself doing forever? Those who were successful didn’t get discouraged if things didn’t happen immediately…and eventually, big changes happened over time.
The goal of this article is to give you some things to think about and inspire you to adopt new habits slowly. It’s HABITS that carry you through when motivation wanes – and a lack of motivation happens to everyone. And it’s never too late to adopt new discipline, habits and behaviors.