There is no doubt that an excess of calories will make you gain weight.  There is, however a different approach when it comes to losing fat.  Weight loss is not the same as fat loss. And honestly fat loss is what I am about because after all, we are after a happy, healthy and balanced lifestyle.  Fat loss is about living a healthy lifestyle 365 days a year.

Weight loss is merely counting calories and while a deficit may work for short-term weight loss, it is highly unlikely to help you understand your body so you can actually:

  • sustain your weight loss
  • get the physique you desire..goodbye flabby arms!
  • live a healthy lifestyle 365 days a year.

Take a look at this:

Boneless chicken breast (with skin): 250 calories, 11 g fat, 2 g carbohydrates, 37 g protein

Donut: 250 calories, 20 g fat, 18 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein

Each have the same calories.  So if we were only concerned with the actual number of calories, a donut would fit into your daily plan.  The other day a client of mine told me that “she earned his donut.”  Why? Because she was wearing a heart rate monitor during the workout and he burned about 400 calories.  So in her mind, in the “dieter’s mind”, the calories are burned so they can be replaced with calories.  And here is where the misconception lies…

The issue is not really about the 250 calorie donut.  The issue is what happens AFTER you eat the donut.  The difference lies in how will you FEEL after you eat the donut?  Have you ever had one of those days where you are craving junk?  Have you ever stopped to think about WHY?  This is where the “magic” happens.  Our unique fat loss formula, looking beyond the calories to actually understand our bodies is the “secret” to sustainable fat loss :).  And this “secret” requires patience and self-trust.  Two things that “dieter’s” rarely have much of. 

The hormonal release we get when we eat the donut is going to lead to increased cravings and hunger with a decrease energy (ever have the “afternoon slump?”).  Our hormones act as messengers.  The message then leads you to feel ravenous, lethargic and craving more sugar, fat and sweets for the rest of the day.  Cravings are a response to the bigger picture (not just an excuse to eat chocolate although some days that is definitely the answer).

The chicken breast, on the other hand, will most likely keep you satiated longer, decrease your cravings and keep your energy balanced. I am not advocating that you should just eat chicken breast but merely using it as an example to illustrate why I do not focus solely on calories.

So, what you should focus on isn’t how many calories you eat, but the TYPE of calories. What messages are you sending to your body when you eat high fat/high starch foods?  Can you imagine NOT worrying so much about the calories but simply paying attention to your body and how you feel?   Talk about breaking the rules.  

If you are still shaking your head, I challenge you to try it.  Eat clean, healthy foods.  Focus on lean proteins, high fiber vegetables, and low sugar fruits.  Chances are pretty good that if you choose these foods over high starch/high fat foods such as donuts, ice cream, cookies, crackers, some cereals and granola bars, your calories will take care of themselves.   Pay attention to your body and how you feel for a week.  THEN add your calories and I can guarantee the calories will take care of themselves.  Is it scary?  Of course, but letting go of the “1200 calorie” box is absolutely liberating.  And you may just be on your way to finding your own fat loss formula.