Every fat loss journey is a combination of calorie deficit, plenty of protein, and a more active lifestyle that usually means some kind of exercise – resistance training and/or cardio (ideally fasted cardio).
I know it sounds strange but it can actually be a very enjoyable process. Even if cutting calories and regular exercise can be a bit of challenge, all told you will feel better, healthier, have better mental clarity and feel more confident (making progress and achieving goals makes us more confident – click here and here to read related articles).
On a day to day basis you will have a greater sense of both physical and emotional wellbeing.
So why do people talk about the followings when it comes to dieting?
– Low energy
– Poor mood
– Period irregularity
– Sleeping problems
If someone is overweight, when they lose fat they should (and typically do) feel significantly better even during the process, so where do all these negative effects come from?
They come from people who are already lean but are dieting because they want to be even leaner and/or people who are on an excessive calorie deficit (typically short-term, crash diets).
As a professional bikini competitor I experienced all those negative side effects getting ready for shows. When I compete I put myself in a very unpleasant condition for a few weeks where I have all the symptoms above in order to look “fitness magazine” lean. I have to get well under a body weight where my body functions healthily. With a drastic diet and workout regime I can achieve a dream body but I always have to emphasize that is not a state you can stay in for long. It is a temporary condition for a show and/or for a few photoshoots, after which I have to go back to my healthy body weight/fat.
Fat loss is not an easy thing regardless of your starting point – already lean or normal weight or overweight. It does require focus, discipline and control that might be challenging even with an already relatively healthy lifestyle and even more challenging if someone has problems with emotional eating (click here for an article on this) for example.
Our expectations shape our experiences and our experiences dictate our actions. So if you set the right goal – from overweight aiming for a healthy weight, or from a normal weight going a bit leaner – your body will start to function better and you will feel better. And when you feel better, even if you have to give up certain foods or limit your portions, believe me, you will find beauty in the process.