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[Part 3] How to Break through a Weight Stall: Your Journey

Have you been doing this low carb, intermittent fasting thing for a while?

Tried it once or twice?

If so, you already know how hard it is to sustain massive change.

Despite what most people think, fat loss isn’t about making drastic change and big leaps in order to achieve big transformation.

Huge change is hard to continue. Our willpower runs out, and then we’re back to our old ways. (Been there.)

Then we start over with setting yet another lofty goal and dramatic change. Which results in another failed attempt. Or worse, the goal is so high and the changes so overwhelming we can’t even get started. (Done that.)

But I’ve got good news.

I’ve found an easier and more effective alternative for those seemingly unattainable goals and elusive actions:

1. Break up that big goal into tangible stepping stones.

Big goal: Lose those last 20 pounds.
Stepping stone: Lose the snacking habit.

2. Collapse those big changes into small next steps.

Big change: Give up carbs. Period.
Small next step: Remove one item of processed, refined carb from your grocery cart.

“Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.”
- Jim Rohn

This philosophy is called Kaizen.

It’s the accumulation of continuous improvement using small, incremental change that over time produces massive change.

The difference between a person who simply improves by just 1% every day is amazing when compared to a person who worsens by even only 1% every day.

James Clear, a habits expert, draws it best in his graph below.

 

 Still skeptical? That’s okay. Here’s the math:

Improve by merely 1% every day for one year and you’ll end up 37 times better by the year’s end.  

It’s true, you won’t see a difference in the beginning. But as time goes on, you’ll find a big gap between those who improve a little bit each day, and those who don’t.

That’s the power of small improvements.

The tiny gains add up exponentially to give you big results over time without the need for Herculean willpower or motivation.

It sounds a bit like cheating or having an unfair advantage, doesn’t it?

Here’s how you can do it in the the real world… 

How to use small change to achieve big results

1. Find what works, and do it more often

Already skipping breakfast 5 times a week? Make it 6 days a week.

2. Find what doesn’t work, and do it less often

Eating out at restaurants 2 times a week where hidden carbs might lurk? Eat out 1 time a week.

3. Don’t set goals, improve on your past performance instead

Did you fast for 24 hours 1 time last week? Try doing it 2 times this week.

4. Avoid making the same mistake twice in row

Slip up during Sunday brunch? Beware of the what-the-hell effect, i.e. “What the hell, might as well blow the rest of the day!”

Simply forgive yourself and get back on track by picking up where you left off. Just eat your usual low carb meal the next time you eat.

No need to “make up” for it by doing something extra or big, like throwing in a fast or restricting more carbs the following day.

Big efforts make you more likely to postpone and it causes a delay in you taking action.

The cumulative losses of staying off track is what you want to avoid.

Now you know how easy it is to apply the power of tiny gains.

But how do you know what you need to change?

This is where it gets confusing, but let me explain… 

What you should do differently

If I see one more click bait headline that says:

“[Insert Your Low Carb Way Here] … You’re Doing it Wrong!”

And if I see one more social media shaming post that says “I’ve heard all your BS excuses” in reference to why people fall off track…

… so help me willpower demigods.

Because it’s not wrong, if it’s working for you.

Because your reality is not “BS”.

Try getting through a fast when you’re the family cook … that “BS” is real. (Yes, that cook would be me.)

So if you’re asking about what you need to do differently to keep losing fat?

Aside from following basic fat loss principles, the answer to that question is…

… it depends.

I know, “it depends” can be a frustrating answer when it comes to a definite answer to your unique situation.

But it’s the most truthful answer that anyone can give you when it comes down to individual differences.

As an example, for now we’ll even set aside differences such as your lifestyle, strengths, weaknesses, available resources, and goals (all are major players). And just look at what your problem might or might not be… 

Too much insulin during meals

Yes, protein also raises insulin, and fat raises insulin the least (if at all). But sugar and refined, processed carbs stimulate insulin the most.

Are you eating the right amount of protein or fat?

This is not an issue if sugar and refined, processed carbs are still a part of your diet.

As in, if you’re still working on the bread or cookie habit. Or, if hidden carbs sneak into your diet with or without you knowing it.

That’s okay, these things take time.

But the point is, there’s no need to worry about protein or fat when working on carbs (the best bang for your insulin rising buck) is what will give you the best results.

Now let’s say you’ve got low carb down to a T.

Should you eat less protein or more protein? Should you eat less fat or more fat?

Here’s the deal…

Some people do better with less protein, some people do better with more protein.

Some people do better with less fat, some people do better with more fat.

This is why there’s so much debate about this. They’re all right in some way because it’s worked in different ways for different people.

The real question is, what will work for you

Long standing weight issue, insulin resistance

The longer you’ve been overweight, the harder it is to lose weight, and the longer it takes to break the insulin resistance that’s taken a stronghold.

Insulin resistance develops from sustained periods of high insulin levels over a long period of time.

So the logical solution is simply the opposite:

a) Sustained periods of low insulin (fasting), and

b) Time (however long it takes to break the cycle of insulin resistance).

What’s the “best” fasting protocol for [insert your desired result here]?

Let’s find out by comparing 2 protocols.

1. A 7-day fast is 168 hours.

Sustained periods of low insulin: Check.

Time: How long can you keep doing this consistently to fulfill the required time it takes to break the insulin resistance?

2. A 24-hour fast 2 times per week for 3 ½ weeks is also 168 hours.

Sustained periods of low insulin: Check.

Time: How long can you keep doing this consistently to fulfill the required time it takes to break the insulin resistance?

What’s the better protocol?

You got it… it depends.

What fasting regimen can you consistently practice over a length of time that’s required to give you results? 

Too much stress

This little known fact could prove to be a major player in your case.

Stress stimulates the fight-or-flight hormone cortisol, which increases insulin levels in response to increased blood sugar levels.

So insulin resistance develops because blood sugars are consistently elevated.

Find out what makes you stressed.

  • Are you getting enough sleep?
  • Is pain management an issue?
  • Do anxiety and worry affect your ability to function or get rest?

You can’t always eliminate what causes you stress. But you can practice ways to manage them better so your body doesn’t respond by releasing cortisol.

How? It depends.

Yoga, meditation, or massage may work for someone who needs help with better sleep or managing anxiety. But it might not help someone who needs physical therapy to manage chronic back pain.

  • Maybe you need to step up an exercise regimen to burn more glucose and relieve stress.
  • Maybe you need to spend more time with people that make you feel good.
  • Maybe you need more “me time” to recharge.

As you’ve probably figured out by now, there isn’t a one-size-fits all approach.

And if you’re having trouble figuring it all out and doing it by yourself… 

I’d like to help

It takes patience and a willingness to experiment and try things to find out what will work for you…

… but you don’t have to do it alone.

You know how driving to an unfamiliar destination is easier when you’ve got a navigator on the front seat with you?

You’re less anxious and worried about getting lost?

Perhaps you can even get there faster than if you’d driven all by yourself.

I’d like to help you navigate.

And if you’d like to know how I can help, click here to find out more

The Series

This is the last installment of the 4-part series on How to Break through a Weight Stall.  If you missed the first 3, you can read them here:

 

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