In this blog post, I want to tell you everything you need to know when it comes to losing weight the healthy and sustainable way without messing with your hormones and health.
Which woman hasn’t already tried it? Crash diets.
Dreaming of losing all the weight and looking like the next Victoria’s Secret model over night – an illusion some woman still have and try to achieve by basically starving themselves.
When you are eating very little calories and even add excessive cardio on top of that you cause a lot of stress on your body. And in worst case this will affect your overall health and screw up your hormones.
You will not only screw up your hormones but also your metabolism, thyroid and growth hormones which will lead to irregular cycles, stalled progress in the gym and stagnant weight loss.
To save you from sliding into all of those nasty health issues, we are going to discover the secrets of healthy weight loss today.
Alright, let’s first of all, dive into nutrition
The number one thing to do is simply replacing unhealthy and processed foods with healthy and whole foods. Without changing your caloric intake, this might lead to success if you have been following an unhealthy diet and just start out dieting.
Next you have to adjust calories.
Please always remember: when too many calories some out too quick, the body reacts to protect itself by lowering certain hormones which will make you store fat and in worst case make you lose your period.
There are two dieting rules you always have to keep in mind:
- You shouldn’t lose more than 5-10% of your body weight per week. 0,5 to 1 kg is recommended for healthy weight loss.
- You should never lower your calories under your BMR.
How to adjust calories
First of all, you need to know your maintenance calories.
Start by lowering them about 200-300 calories. A good rule is to go down about 10% of your maintenance calories.
Eat in this deficit until you hit a plateau which will probably happen after one or two months.
Then you have two options:
Number 1: eating 1 to 2 weeks at your new maintenance and start with a 10% deficit again
Number 2: being more aggressively and going down to a 20% deficit immediately
Regarding hormonal health, and especially if you have been dealing with hormonal issues before, I recommend the first option to give your body a break and your hormones some time to recover.
When you then hit a plateau again, it is definitely time to take a diet break for a couple of weeks.
Diet breaks are recommended at least every 10-12 weeks. Taking such a break is important to tell your body everything is alright and that you are not starving. This positive signal is essential for your hormones to feel safe and diet breaks also have a lot of other benefits which I will cover in another post soon.
What macro ratio should you aim for?
When it comes to your macros, I would keep protein intake the same as when maintaining to make sure to not lose too much muscle throughout dieting.
Because fats are necessary for your body to create hormones, never go under your minimum fat intake which is at least 1g of fat per kg of bodyweight.
Cutting back on carbs is a great option to create a deficit but keep in mind that they fuel your workouts and you want to make sure that you are still eating enough to support your activity.
To sum it up:
keep protein the same
get around 30% of your calories from fat (but in any case make sure to hit your minimum fat intake)
fill up the remaining calories with carbs
Remember to meet the minimum intake of all your macros and also your micros like vitamins and trace minerals.
Exercise for weight loss
When it comes to lifting weights keep your lifting routine the same. If you are a beginner and want to start exercising, I recommend doing 3 total body sessions a week.
Lifting helps you with body recompositioning and replaces fat with muscle. The good news is that muscle burns more calories than fat which might aid in weight loss. Moreover, lifiting wont’t make you bulky but will make you look defined and toned instead of just skinny.
The best is to do as little cardio as you can. Longer aerobic exercise sessions like running on a treadmill for an hour stimulates the overproduction of stress hormones like cortisol which can also lead your body to break down any muscle you already have and it can even increase stubborn belly fat. The best thing to implement more cardio into your life and burn extra calories is walking. Low intensity cardio can help to decrease cortisol levels and you can achieve this by just increasing your daily steps. Walk to work or go for a 30 minute walk in nature in the evening after work.
Apart from low intensity cardio, you can add in 1 or 2 short HIIT sessions a week if you really need it. HIIT is more time efficient and great for burning fat. Because it is so short and there are rest periods in between it doesn’t have the cortisol increasing effect long steady state cardio might have. I would aim for 15-20 minute short sessions with non-active rest periods in between your high intensity intervals.
The fewer changes you have to make to see progress the better.
Being patient and consistency is the key to healthy and sustainable weight loss without screwing up your hormones and losing your period. No one can lose the weight for you – not even that “skinny tea”, it might be hard work but everyone can do it!
If you feel a bit lost now, don’t hesitate to leave me any questions in the comment section or reach out to me through social media. You can also join my free Facebook coaching group for help and advice. And if you need someone who guides you throughout your transformation, contact me for fitness online coaching. I’d love to work with you!
Disclaimer: Always consult a doctor before starting any sort of diet. I am not a doctor and any advice I give is based on my experience and scientific research. If you have any health conditions like hormonal imbalances or are already eating very low calories or have a messed-up metabolism, this weight loss advice is not for you. Work on your health with a professional and restore your metabolism before starting any sort of dieting.
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