Calories In–Calories Out Simply Doesn’t Add Up

By on March 15, 2015
calories

Do you still believe in fairytales? I’ll bet you’ve accepted Cinderella and Snow White were fiction. Yet, with all the evidence that we have dieting and calorie counting doesn’t work we still want to believe. The way to permanent weight loss is not counting calories but making calories count. I’ve coached hundreds of women turning that 5-0 corner when the rules suddenly changed.

That’s our perspective! The rules haven’t changed. What we used to do never really worked. We were just too busy or too young with a faster metabolism to notice. After a while, sure, a few pounds gets hard to ignore but between carpools and staff meetings we just bought a bigger sweater and stretch waistbands and went on.

Are you counting your calories?

Diets based on calorie restriction work for about 5% of the population. The other 96% gain the weight back, and then some. A whopping 66% of diet losers gain more back than they lost. That’s not even the worst news. We lose a mix of muscle and fat. When we gain back we gain fat. Years of a weight loss weight gain roller coaster have left us fatter and frustrated.

Can I lose the weight I gained since menopause? tops my frequently asked by coaching client questions. It’s not too late but we have to condition our between-the-ears muscles to adopt new concepts. The question I answer is, can you lose the thoughts and habits you gained after 30 or more years of diet industry BS?

First things first. I’m a fitness expert. Naturally, you’d think I start with the time and energy you need to spend on the Stair-monster or logging miles on the Dreadmill. Not so. All the exercise and calorie-cutting in the world won’t work if you have wanky hormones. In fact, cutting calories and adding exercise send you out of balance faster than you can say elastic waistband.

What about our hormones?

The first place to start is rebalancing hormones. Let me introduce you.

Cortisol is the stress hormone. We need a little. Unfortunately, some of us have won the lottery. When you are low on sleep, high on demands, or don’t have support you need cortisol just has her way with you.

Insulin loves to team up with cortisol. The two-act like belly fat bullies. You tend to crave more (and not of carrots and kale) thanks to cortisol. Then insulin is released after a cookie or three and fat metabolism stops. What you eat then is stored easier and nests longer.

If you are one of the millions of women who suffer from too little or low quality sleep your cortisol is high. While sleep-deprived you get signals from another hormone, ghrelin, telling you you’re hungry. Boosting overeating further is leptin. Leptin is your satiety hormone. She tells you that you’re full. If you’ve put on significant weight she may have gone to Tahiti. So you’re stressed, sleep-deprived and low on willpower craving carbs and nothing ever tells you you’re full. That’s a recipe for more weight.

Are you getting enough sleep?

So you’ve come to a fork in the road. One way is the Belly Fat Formula. The other is the Flat Belly Formula. Let’s focus on the Flat Belly Formula. What’s it take to get your GPS to recalibrate? First stop: stop counting calories and make calories count.

  • Eat more food. More of the right leafy greens, high quality proteins, healthy fat and berries and citrus fruits will mean you’re too full for dessert. Your right foods might include dairy and wheat depending on your tolerance or food allergies. An elimination diet for a short time can tell you.
  • Choose quality over quantity. That means choose a fatty fish like Salmon rich in omega 3s over the canned in water tuna on a bed of iceberg. Choose a handful of nuts over pretzels. Choose a piece of dark chocolate instead of the handful of leftover candy corn.
  • Ditch any diet you go “on.” It has an off-ramp. When the habits you use to lose weight disappears so does the weight loss. Regain is eminent. And it’s not going to be muscle.
  • You make over 200 decisions a day related to food. You eat three-to-five times a day. You only exercise 3-6 times a week. Get the eating part of the equation right.
  • Eat more protein. Shoot for 20-30 grams of protein per meal three times a day. That’s not a “high protein” diet but it is very likely higher than you’re used to eating. Your muscles will stop disappearing while cravings become a thing of the past.

Debra Atkinson, MS, CSCS is America’s Boomer Fitness Expert, speaker, and author of Navigating Fitness After 50: Your GPS For Choosing Programs and Professionals You Can Trust. After 30years in the fitness industry, Debra committed to making sure women have good choices, real answers, and putting an end to diet and exercise confusion. Her new book, The After 50 Fitness Formula for Females based on her women’s coaching workshops is due out in 2016. Visit Debra

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About Debra Atkinson

Debra Atkinson, MS, CSCS is America’s Boomer Fitness Expert, speaker, and author of Navigating Fitness After 50: Your GPS For Choosing Programs and Professionals You Can Trust. After 30years in the fitness industry Debra committed to making sure women have good choices, real answers and putting an end to the diet and exercise confusion. Her new book, The After 50 Fitness Formula for Females based on her women’s coaching workshops is due out in 2016. Visit Debra at www.voiceforfitness.com.

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Calories In–Calories Out Simply Doesn’t Add Up