Over the past decade, I’ve worked with some of the most challenging fat-loss clients. These folks do everything correctly. They eat cleanly, take the right nutrients, manage stress, get 7 – 9 hours of high-quality sleep, and combine burst training with weight resistance.
Despite their herculean efforts, they can’t hit their goal weight. I coined the term “weight loss resistance” to describe these people who, despite doing everything right, can’t consistently lose 2 – 3 pounds a week. No one plans to fail at fat loss, but from my thousands of clients I’ve uncovered 7 universal habits that pretty much guarantee failure:
1. Neglect planning. If you don’t schedule your burst training on your iCal, it’s probably not going to happen, considering mid-afternoon craziness usually usurps any semblance of your fitness routine. Same thing with dinner: if you don’t pre-prep and have a general idea what will on your family’s plates tonight, chances are you’ll succumb to your kids’ McBurgers plea. Being lean and sexy doesn’t just happen. You need to plan ahead and make it happen.
2. Don’t write it down. So you’re too busy to journal your meals? Sorry to be the Debbie downer, but you’re just setting yourself up for failure. A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people who wrote down every forkful they ate lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. If you want to take this to the next level and guarantee you’ll get lean and maintain those results, hire a coach who’ll hold you accountable.
3. Don’t measure. You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you started. Buy a Tanita scale to measure and record your weight, body fat percentage, and waist measurements from day one to monitor your progress. Keeping track of those numbers provides huge motivation. And when you’re not happy with the numbers, you can cross-reference with your food journal for any potential dietary slips or misfires.
4. Go it alone. Maybe your personal trainer lovingly kicks your butt when you slip off the rails. Or you know your nutritionist scrutinizes everything you eat, so you stay on course. Even if it’s just a good friend who genuinely wants your success, don’t attempt fat loss alone. A huge reason people in Weight Watchers and other programs succeed involves group support. Even an online support community will keep you on track and accountable for your success.
5. Let the hijackers succeed. Your coworker constantly warns you about the dangers of eating too much protein and your mom lays a guilt trip when you don’t share her Caesar salad (even though she knows you have food intolerances to dairy). Even with the best of intentions, some people in your life will try to derail your success. You need to be crystal-clear from the beginning about your purpose, set inspiring goals, continually visualize them, and manage your success. Don’t let the negativity dominate, and if you feel like someone’s intentionally trying to sabotage your success, call ‘em out on it.
6. Ignore the basics. Every plan contains a blueprint to provide the nuts and bolts that help your success. For instance, The Virgin Diet has a very specific plan to remove and then challenge highly reactive foods. You might be tempted to skip cycle 2 where you challenge 4 of these foods, but you’ll miss a vital component of my program. Start with the foundation and build from there.
7. Ignore what’s creating your resistance. Food intolerances play a vital role in weight loss resistance, and when people pull the 7 highly reactive foods I discuss in The Virgin Diet, they consistently lose 2 – 3 pounds a week. Other culprits that create weight loss resistance include thyroid, adrenal, and other hormonal imbalances. Ignorance is not bliss and can stall your fat loss goals. An integrative practitioner can help you pinpoint particular issues and develop a plan to help you ameliorate them.
© 2013 JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc. Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness Expert JJ Virgin helps clients lose weight fast by breaking free from food allergies. She is the bestselling author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy, a Huffington Post blogger, creator of the 4X4 Burst Training Workout & co-star of TLC’s Freaky Eaters.