I have been downloading ted talks podcasts to listen to while I work out. Lately, I have been slacking on my blog posts because I have been writing a book. Terrible excuse. I know. Anyway, while working out and listening to ted talks, something jumped out at me and I realized I needed to write a blog about it.
Have you been dieting and still have not seen the results you expected? Eduardo Biceno addressed why so many of us put in the time and effort and still don't see the results in his speech entitled "How to get Better at the Things you Care About." It really is a simple concept, but sometimes we need to stop and analyze our efforts and results.
When you get up two hours early to kill yourself on the treadmill, drive past your favorite bakery and chose to eat oatmeal instead, you may not realize you still may need to reevaluate your program.
My mother is a perfect example of a tricky client. When studying nutrition science we learn to count and measure certain things, make recommendations based off of those measurements and goals and evaluate progress. However, It is not always that easy.
My mother is anything but a text book case. Even when the numbers are right from a nutrition and exercise perspective she still does not lose weight. Without getting too much into her business here, I had to learn how to adapt plans to her specific needs. She is one of those people who gains weight just from looking at food. She has to work twice as hard to see half of the results...or maybe just not look at food?
While weight loss is a goal for my mom, getting healthy overall is the most important. It turns out she was still thinking with the Atkin's diet mentality and shoveling down at least one steak per day, which was bad, but especally for her. To achieve the overall health transformation she was looking for we had to go back to the drawing board, which in her case was to get healthy. We had to reduce the amount of red meat and increase the amount of nuts, seeds and fish.
Eduardo Biceno discussed why we can work and work and work towards our goals and still not see results. He explains there are two modes, performance mode and learning zone. My mom operates in the performance mode almost all of the time. This means she's always dieting and exercising. Right off the bat you may think well isn't that a good thing? Not always. Because my mom is a special case we need to take time, frequently, too return to the learning zone. If we don't she will keep spinning her wheels with little to no results. Eduardo explained if you stay in the performance zone for too long you hinder your growth and ultimately performance. The learning zone is a place to maximize growth and improve future performance.
How do we apply this to my mom, or to you and your health and fitness goals? Well, after her first four week phase, we evaluated her progress, or lack there of, and decided to make some changes. We learned about her metabolism and her exercise preferences and habits. Normally I do not recommend more than 4-5 hiit sessions per week for anyone other than athletes. However we realized with my mom she needs to do daily hiit training, resistance training a few times a week and light activity every day just to lose a healthy amount of fat. Make sure you take the time to return to the learning zone and evaluate your progress. If you aren't seeing the progress you may have to see a doctor to check your hormones and other levels. If everything is fine and your doctor does not have other recommendations, the answer may be to change your diet and exercise program.
Case study 1
John is 45 years old, 20 pounds overweight, eats healthy except he drinks 4-5 beers on weekends. He has been trying to lose weight for about six months. He will lose 15 pounds in the first couple of weeks but then immediately return to his starting weight. He is very frustrated and is about to give up.
Many of us would give up, because we forget to return to the learning zone. John thought because he is eating healthy, cutting soda and adding exercise to his regime he should be fit by now.
A return to the learning zone at the end of each phase (each phase lasts four weeks) would help to ensure that John made the correct changes.
Conclusion- Cutting soda and adding exercise was a great change, however John needed to cut his beer down to two beers per night on weekends. That small change helped him to reach his goal weight in six months. His before and after pictures (progress pictures) are insane.
Case study 2
Rebecca, an athlete, was working out strenuously seven days a week and eating a very lean diet. She found herself gaining 10 pounds before a critical point in her career.
A return to the learning zone reveals hormones are out of whack, and she was overtraining. Although it is common for athletes to overtrain, it is important to evaluate progress to continue to adjust.
Conclusion – Rebecca added one rest day with light cardio to her schedule and made the necessary changes recommended by her doctor
She was able to reach her goal weight.
None of this is necessarily earth shattering news, but sometimes we need to hear things worded in a certain way before we can understand how they apply to us. As I mentioned, you may feel because you're spinning your wheels, sacrificing your favorite foods and enduring time in the gym that you should see results by now, and are frustrated and unsure as to why you are not. Reevaluating your practices can reveal slight changes that need to be made in order to see the results you're looking for.
Hit me up!
If you find yourself struggling, return to the learning zone and reevaluate your program please let me know! And very curious and excited to see everyone progress!