With most of my knowledge of fitness gleaned from reality TV, I imagine a personal trainer’s primary role is to yell at people to exercise. Of course nothing is so simple; a good trainer understands how different exercises and diets will affect the body, and what their trainees need to do achieve their fitness goals.
There was a lot of discussion in the comments section about certification, but I felt the aspect of personality mesh or clash wasn’t addressed. You can have all the knowledge, but if it’s difficult to transfer that information or even motivate & challenge – it’s moot. And the personal trainer is a reflection of the clientele – lots of New Years Resolutioners won’t last the month of January…
Most people lose a little bit of weight, hit a plateau, then immediately give up when things aren’t going as quickly as they were before. Most people gain that weight back and then some. This whole phenomenon of quitting when things are going more slowly is a bit like hitting traffic on your way home from work, and abandoning your car on the side of the road because you’re not driving as fast as you wanted. Or getting a flat tire and slashing the other three.
There’s a mantra in Zen: “the obstacles are the path.”
Whenever you get down about a plateau, get on the scale and look at the number. Grab enough weight to get the scale to say what it said when you started. It always puts things in perspective. I’ve covered dealing with a weight loss stall previously.
In various places on the site, I have made the comment that such things as caloric intake and activity will have to be adjusted based on real-world fat loss. For example, in the Q&A on How to Estimate Maintenance Caloric Intake, I pointed out that one of the reasons that I use the quick estimates for such things as maintenance calories and setting initial caloric intakes is that they always have to be adjusted anyhow.
Today I want to talk about how I do that adjustment, note that if you’ve read either The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook or A Guide to Flexible Dieting, this is the same information in the last chapter where I talk about setting up moderate deficit diets and how to adjust them. I’d only note that the same basic information can be used when either small or larger deficit are used as discussed in Setting the Deficit-Small, Medium or Large.
…there needs to be some awareness of the issues related to whooshes, stalls and water balance. This basically relates to how frequently you are going to decide whether your current activity level and deficit need to be examined and/or adjusted in the first place. Folks vary in how much of an effect this has.
Women, on average, have bigger issues but some men also deal with it. If you know that you take 2 weeks before you see a drop, clearly using a single week of measurement to make a decision is a mistake. If you’re a woman with major monthly swings, you may have to only examine true fat loss on a 4 week cycle, using what happens weekly (or daily as is sometimes the case) will not only drive you nuts but be inaccurate.
Because of leptin and ghrelin’s actions, we annoyingly feel more hungry when dieting and less so when gaining mass. The horrible irony of this means we need some ways to control our appetite, so without further ado:
Before anything else, make sure you’ve covered the basics:
You should not feel hungry at the very start of a well-designed diet.
It might be a good idea to keep your diet flexible, because rigid dieting may lead to binge eating tendencies. Even if you’ve been doing everything perfectly, fat loss increases hunger for biological reasons.
If you still find yourself straying on your diet, binge eating, or fighting your own willpower to stay on track, relax, practice mindfulness and some self-compassion, and discover the root causes.