You’ve been lied to… countless times through misinformation, fake news, gaslighting, and deceit. People and corporations have manipulated you into believing they have your best interest at heart, but only compound your suffering and misery with every opportunity as they steal your hard earned cash.
Worse still, you’ve lied to yourself. Every morning you promise yourself change. You swear that you will no longer listen to the voices leading you astray, yet every afternoon you’re back at the same table. It’s relentless and never ending - a dull, monotonous existence, that you only want to end.
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides some concerning stats:
“The prevalence of obesity was 40.0% among young adults aged 20 to 39 years, 44.8% among middle-aged adults aged 40 to 59 years, and 42.8% among adults aged 60 and older.”
That said, you’re ahead of the curve and have already taken several strong steps in your journey - you are already taking the first stand in the war against the scales. You are some form of endurance athlete and you are, in some way, interested in unbiased information that serves one purpose; to help you win. Of course I want you to become my client, but you’ll not be subjected to even one reference to needing a coach or nutritionist in this article. 100% of the information provided in this article is based on actual science, not the shirty “bro-science” Dave is spouting at you on your club rides or in the gym. Every piece of advice is actionable by you, for free. You don’t even have to thank me, but if you’d like to you can find me on social media @pavbryan on the three major platforms.
When calories are the cause, but not the cure
One study conducted by David Benton and Hayley Young in 2017, aptly titled ‘Reducing Calorie Intake May Not Help You Lose Body Weight’, showed that ‘although consuming more calories than expended is part of the initial problem, it does not follow that reducing intake, unless consciously counting calories, is the best solution.’. I’ve struck through a small section on calorie counting from this quote, reasons for doing so will be explained later.
We knew that though, right? You eat too many calories, you put on weight. Why then is the reverse not an often true statement? Sadly the answer lies in a number of factors, many of which haven’t been studied in great detail, and all of which are a lot more complex than simply eating a little less…
You give too many forks about losing weight
The key words here being ‘too many’. Of course, you need to actually want to lose weight, if you don’t care at all, you just won’t do anything. The problem lies in placing too much mental stress on losing weight.
This study in 2017 suggests that too much stress can lead to: poor sleep, increased appetite, cravings for unhealthful foods, reduced motivation to engage in physical activity. All of these factors can lead to weight gain or, more importantly, hamper weight loss efforts.
Thankfully, I have become an expert in not giving a shirt about stuff and I can offer some ways in which you can chill the fork out too.
Click the link above for the full list, but to summarise here’s what you should learn to do: meditation, yoga or Pilates, breathing exercises, creating a new routine and habits focused on relaxation (such as positive time management), learning to forgive (both yourself and others), and removing certain stress triggers. Others might include; reducing caffeine, alcohol, and drugs; practising mindfulness; talking to someone about your problems; and helping others or volunteering.
You’re stuck at a “settled-weight"
There’s a theory called ‘Set Point Theory’ which suggests that you have a genetic weight that your body will aim to achieve, or return too, should you go above or below it. How many stories have you read about people returning to a certain weight after dieting? Too many.
You might be thinking that surely your DNA doesn’t want you to be obese? Well it doesn’t. Sadly, you can slowly influence your “settled-weight”, eventually your body will settle into a new weight. It’s key to emphasise slowly here, it is not a process that works well in a short period of time.
While this theory might not have too much bearing on how you actually lose weight, it does help us understand how long term weight loss is actually achieved. A good guide is to aim to lose 10% of your body weight and then maintain it for at least six-months. Check out the 10% solution for more info.
You’re counting calories
I don’t even need to reference a scientific study to prove this one. Check your previous exercise (output) data across more than one platform, for example TrainingPeaks, Strava, Wahoo, or Garmin. Is your caloric expense the same? Nope. Why? Because there’s no really accurate way to measure this - too many variables, such as, power meter accuracy (where used).
Guess what? It’s even harder to estimate your calorific intake…
While I know there are people who love numbers and find calorie counting highly useful, the majority will eventually become frustrated by fluctuating weight and energy levels - revert back to my section on stress if you’ve forgotten why this is bad.
You eat “healthy”
You’ve listened to businesses labelling certain foods as being “healthy”. While there is a balance to be found here, if you are reading “healthy” on a label, you’re already eating the wrong foods. Stop buying food with a label and you will almost certainly, at some given duration, reach your desired weight.
The balance I refer to is your decision to make. Can you still lose weight and have the occasional take-out meal, pint of beer, or chocolate bar? Probably. Do you need to be more self-disciplined the closer to your weight goals you are? Yep.
It’s at this point you’re probably pondering a statement along these lines ‘I’ll allow myself some treats, after all, what is life without some treats?’. Wasn’t this sentiment how you ended up in the situation you’re in now? Stop lying to yourself…
The simple truth about managed and maintained weight loss is that it is far easier to prevent than it is to cure. If you do anything to remedy this, it should be teaching your children how to prevent obesity and make smart eating choices.
What about you? Well, following all my advice will have a hugely positive impact in your life. The biggest question is ‘how much do you want it?’
Get in Contact:
If you’d like more information on how Spokes can tailor a training programme to your exact needs, why not check out our products and services. Need more info or would you like to speak to one of our coaches? Get in contact.