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There is a bunch of extra data that I couldn’t really get onto the whiteboard, so I’m going to add some charts and links below so you can do some further reading about weight loss journey skills if you like.
Have you ever heard those statistics about how often people fail at dieting. Like 95% of people regain the weight they lost? I’ve never been able to validate those statistics with evidence, but we all know it happens to a lot of people!!
If you look at the chart below you can see that in this meta-study of diets they all worked well for the first six months, but everyone regained weight between 6 and 12 months.
There is actually a solid scientific reason why this happens. The brutal truth is that if you go on a serious weight loss journey you need to make permanent changes to your energy balance. And to do this it really helps to have a long term perspective.
The best writing I’ve seen on this subject is by Lyle McDonald. His book on Flexible Dieting predates its popularity and these two free articles are an excellent start: Causes of Diet Failure One and Two.
If you spend a little time reading about the science of behaviour change you’ll quickly see that most of the experts think trying to improve motivation is a losing game. Their alternative. Change your environment!
3) Food Choices
I’ve got 4,000 words on food choices for weight loss if you’re interested. 😉
Here’s a quick visual describing the filling food groups I mentioned in the video.
In the video I mentioned eating more protein, better fat and pure carbs. This isn’t because I sit in any macro camp (low carb or low fat). It’s simply that the typical diet has the most room to cut carbs.
Here’s a quick look at how different diets breakdown their energy needs.
For a more complete discussion of macros check this out.
I’ve seen examples of people getting shredded to the bone eating everything from 6 meals a day down to just one meal. The reality is there is no strong evidence suggesting one meal pattern is better than another, but there is endless anecdotes of people who thrive by finding something better for them. Your meal frequency is something everyone should try playing with, to see what works for them.
One of the simplest and cleanest examples of the portion size method is this infographic from Precision Nutrition. I have issues with the men getting more than twice the food of women (men have bigger hands). But to be honest everyone needs to test this and energy needs vary so much.
As I said in the video, I’m not really someone that tracks their food a lot. But I recognise it’s huge value in certain situations. Particularly when you’re just starting, stuck or serious.
- Starting: Before you start a diet tracking to find your maintenance can solve a lot of uncertainty.
- Stuck: When you’re stuck on a plateau tracking can show you the way forward.
- Serious: If you’re chasing <10% bodyfat for men or <20% for women
For all the serious people out there here’s what the end of a diet looks like for a bodybuilder.
As I said in the intro to the video I think the best analogy to a weight loss journey is learning to ride a bike.
It’s a skill. You need to practice it! And the people who are fearless about failing, and jump straight back on the bike, have by far the fastest learning curve.
They can improve their skills quickly to make life easier. And this is crucial because you have a lot of factors fighting against you when you lose weight.