When someone starts there Health and fat loss journey with me I like to compare it to building a house! And the first thing you do when you build a house is you lay deep solid foundations these solid foundations will allow you to add a solid structure without falling down! without solid foundations and good structure it all comes crashing down with the smallest bit of bad weather or adversity.
Below I will go trough 5 areas I think that are important for long term health and fat loss!
ok so firstly what’s the big deal about being overweight??
Below are the not so nice facts about being overweight and obese:
Statistics for Ireland:
- 61% of adults aged 16-65 years are currently overweight/obese
- 79% of adults >65 years are currently overweight/obese
- Men are more likely to be overweight than women (42% vs 31%) with obesity being more closely aligned (25% men vs 22% women)
- A WC > 37” (94cm) for men or >32” (80cm) for women indicates an increased risk of CVD
- A WC > 40” for men or >35” for women indicates a substantially increased risk of CVD
- 26% of adults in Ireland have an increased risk of CVD based on WC and 37% have a substantially increased risk. https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/2/primarycare/east-coast-diabetes-service/management-of-type-2-diabetes/lifestyle-management/weight-management/#:~:text=61%25%20of%20adults%20aged%2016,%25%20women)%20(1).
Common health consequences of overweight and obesity:
- Heart disease and strokes. Obesity makes you more likely to have high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels, which are risk factors for heart disease and strokes.
- Type 2 diabetes. Obesity can affect the way the body uses insulin to control blood sugar levels. This raises the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.
- Certain cancers. Obesity may increase the risk of cancer of the uterus, cervix, endometrium, ovary, breast, colon, rectum, esophagus, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidney and prostate.
- Digestive problems. Obesity increases the likelihood of developing heartburn, gallbladder disease and liver problems.
- Sleep apnea. People with obesity are more likely to have sleep apnea, a potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.
- Osteoarthritis. Obesity increases the stress placed on weight-bearing joints, in addition to promoting inflammation within the body. These factors may lead to complications such as osteoarthritis.
Body fat percentage chart:
So now with all the above info we know what a healthy range of body fat is for long term health and the possible implications of carrying high levels of body fat!
Below i will give my 2 cents with 5 points as to how you can make changes, Improve areas and set your self up for success in health !!
1,Whats the Plan?
A Big mistake I see people making is not writing down there goal and breaking it down in to stages!
I will use the planned trip and using the sat nav as a example:
Firstly what’s your reason for going on this trip? be clear on your reason to make this trip(find your WHY) Once that’s clear you will type in a specific location you would like to go to from your current location this info will give you a route to travel and a estimation of how long it will take to reach your destination. PERFECTO!!
Know we need to do this with our health and fat loss journey!!
- Write down your why this is important to get to the real root before starting this journey (e.g. My doctor told me I need to loose x amount of weight for my health or I have no confidence in my self and I’m not living to my full potential
- Write down where you are know and where you want to be
- Break this down into stages and targets e.g. each month I need to do this to be where I want to be at this stage
- Have a specific and reliable way to measure this goal
- Identify road blocks and put plans in place to avoid them ( Are you getting enough Sleep, Staying hydrated, Good Nutritional intake, Exposure to daylight, Have healthy ways of unwinding)?Address the area that needs work and make a plan from there.
- Rinse and repeat
2, A better relationship with food
This for me is of the most important relationship we should work on, Food is such an important part of our lives not only does the food we eat give us energy health and longevity but food is also big part of cultures, traditions and brings people together,
Like any relationship it wont be perfect there will be areas you will need to work on, certain beliefs and habits you will need to stop for this relationship too blossom and it’s the first thing I like to address when someone comes to work with me I look at what pieces of the puzzle are missing and piece by piece we build there picture and that’s the important note here is everyone will have a different picture its not 1 size fits all!
Here is a few points I class as important in a healthy relationship with food,
- The Gut brain axis -without going deep into the facts there is big connection trough the gut brain axis and how a healthy gut microbiome supports brain function and mental clarity- this is why its important to listen to your body how are the foods you are eating making you feel, if there food allergies or intolerances this can have major knock on affects for this reason I implement a food diary so anything causing issues can be identified and removed
- What is your understanding of food?, We need a base line knowledge of food, From Understanding how to read food labels to understanding the nutritional value and calories attached to certain foods this will support you when creating a caloric deficit too tap into fat stores and make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals that support our health and energy,(Read or listen to a book on nutrition or work with a professional and fill the gaps in your knowledge
- You go on restrictive diets that have none of the foods you like as you deem them to be bad foods that will make you fat, this belief can lead to yo-yo dieting that can have long term physical and physiological problems, Get my free high protein recipe book below and see how food can be made healthy and enjoyable !
- Identifying the root cause will be important, it can stem from bad body image, lacking in nutritional understanding, or not having a good support system. Always seek professional help when needed
3, Building and Maintaining muscle
I will start with a quote from a pub med article: “One of the most striking effects of age is the involuntary loss of muscle mass, strength, and function, termed sarcopenia . Muscle mass decreases approximately 3–8% per decade after the age of 30 and this rate of decline is even higher after the age of 60”
Know this doesn’t mean you have to go into full Arnie mode but you should incorporate some form of resistance training routine into your weekly schedule, and this is a big mistake I see people making when they start a diet for fat loss, they start with a excessive caloric restriction not only depleting them self’s of nutrients and lowering there immune system and getting sick but they also increase the risk of loosing lean muscle mass due to inadequate protein intake which is the most important macro nutrient for preserving muscle mass especially when dieting. Think long term health and improve your muscle to fat ratio with a resistance training programme and adequate protein intake.
4,Build A System
Everyone will have a different system as we all have different life’s, but each day we will find ourselves in different environments, exposed to different levels of stress, so how can we navigate trough life without been at the mercy of our environments and emotions relying on our will power and motivation to make the decisions that align with our goals,
if you don’t have a system now is the time to build 1,As you need to go into each week with a mind set of I want to succeed to do this I look ahead plan/prepare and execute don’t rely on will power to get you trough the week!
I will give a example of the system I built ,back a good few years ago I worked in construction always on the road different emotions different stresses each day, my goal at the time was eating foods that supported my energy, that supported a healthy digestive system and didn’t make me feel sluggish and secondly I want to build muscle so I needed good nutrition to give me energy to train and quality protein to support building muscle, the main things holding me back were the different environments I found my self in didn’t have the foods that supported my goals and I was relying on will power to make the right decisions this is not ideal when you are stressed or tired these emotions can effect food and exercise choices so set yourself up for success!, I Allocated times each week to do food shops and batch cook meals for 2 days this was time friendly and once I build the habit it ran smoothly, I also made sure I had my gym bag packed and ready in the car so if I was running late after work it was 1 less excuse not to train!!
What do you have in place for stress management??
Stress is ever present in life from financial, relationships ,work etc its there its present in all our lives so its important we have some sort of outlet that can help manage stress levels,
If your outlet is food (binge eating),excessive alcohol, cigarettes these strategies are not ideal for long term health,
– Regular exercise may help reduce stress and improve symptoms related to common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
– Following a nutrient-dense diet and limiting ultra-processed foods may provide your body with the nutrients it needs for optimal health and decrease your risk of deficiencies in nutrients that help regulate stress.
My main de stressors are Hiit (High intensity interval training whether that be trough circuit training, a Muay Thai session or a less intense hike up a mountain these all get my heart rate up causing a release of feel good endorphins) and the added bonus of burning calories which is win win, so I have 6 options to support the daily stresses of life if you don’t have 1 try incorporate 1 that you enjoy And that supports health
- Going for a walk or a hike out side
- Try some Hit(high intensity training)
- Taking a bath