Are you someone who's been going around in circles with their health and fitness goals? Frustrated by the lack of results? It may be time to seek professional assistance and start getting out what you're putting in. It can be frustrating when you invest so much time and energy into your body and you can't see any of your hard work paying off. This can often lead to the vast majority of dieters giving up, and can result in lost morale and even self-confidence issues.
Fortunately, there are a range of professionals that can enhance your experience and results through their strategy, experience and support. Unfortunately, there is also a saturated market of fad diets and weight-loss techniques based on little to no scientific research, and a load of coaches that preach these diets as well.
Our Equalution client and affiliate Grace's 20kg post-pregnancy transformation.
Grace independently selects foods of her choice meeting our strategised intake requirements set on a weekly basis according to her progress and goals.
So what are the possible scenarios of when your body transformation can go wrong without the right coach or with no coach at all?
Lack of plan
Without a good plan, your body transformation journey lacks direction. While progress plays the main part in determining the strategy, you should also have a plan that is filled with goals and objectives. This helps to create a positive mindset, and rather than trying to tackle one big end goal, you can break it down into smaller goals that you can celebrate along the way.
You decrease your intake too fast
Drastically lowering your intake too fast can cause your metabolism to adapt to the lowered intake, essentially having to do power your body with less fuel. From a long term perspective, this can be an issue because if you've dropped too low, your results are plateauing and your body has adapted to that intake, you have nowhere lower to go. Low-calorie intakes are also not sustainable long term, which makes you vulnerable to a potential binge, blow out or deviation from your plan.
You’re doing too much cardio: Similarly to the scenario above, your body becomes highly adaptive and if you're burning the candle at both ends with a calorie deficit and a cardio overload, when the two become unsustainable you're highly susceptible to rapid fat gain. As well as this, cardio should be used as a strategy that's added in during the later stages of your fat loss as a preventative for dropping your intake lower or as a way to amp things up (not by suddenly adding in cardio every day but rather progressively if necessary).
You’re not getting results
A poor and non-science based strategy, together with a lack of plan and adherence can cause a lack of results. This can be a tough situation during a fat loss journey as it not only means your body may not be responding to an already lowered intake (often not the end of the world as some people may even need an increase) but can also dampen spirits and cause the vast majority of dieters to throw in the towel.
Your methods are unrealistic: Most diets fail because they're a far cry from what is practical and realistic for one's lifestyle. If your diet looks like a full-time job effort, doesn't account for various elements of your life outside of your diet and seems unmanageable, then you're likely not going to be able to maintain a consistent effort or enthusiasm for the method.
You can’t sustain what you’re practising long term
If you can't see yourself doing in the future what you're practising in the present, then the unsustainable method will cause lack of adherence somewhere along the line. If you're a ticking time bomb with cravings, on the verge of a blowout, putting off social events or consumption of a certain food until a 'later date', then you're in an extremely vulnerable position to deviate from your plan, interfering with attainment of results.
You’ve cut a food group
Cutting a food group thinking it's going to accelerate fat loss is not only ignorant to the science of how the body loses fat (calories in vs calories out) but also sets an unrealistic precedent when it comes to food choice. Cutting foods and food groups is unnecessary unless a clinical allergy has been diagnosed. Why some people may have success through removing a food group is simply through caloric reduction given an entire macronutrient has been removed from their diet.
Your lifestyle suffers
What are you going to do on your wedding day - not eat your wedding cake? How many family BBQs can you take a Tupperware container to? Don't you want to be able to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries with your partner? If your plan doesn't factor in your lifestyle then it will fail you in a number of contexts from long term adherence to missing out on some of life's fun festivities. Unless you're prepping for a show, there's no reason to turn your world upside down for your diet. The process won't be effortless but it doesn't mean you have to miss out either.
You often feel immense guilt
Feeling immense guilt, whether it's for not training every day, eating something 'off the plan' or going over your macros can have adverse effects on your dieting experience. While 100% adherence to a well-strategised plan is optimal for the best results, if you find yourself carrying immense guilt all the time then your methods may not be proportionate to your lifestyle. Your expectations might be too high or unrealistic or your guidance isn't accommodating enough to the fact that no one is expected to be perfect and your body transformation journey is full of learning curves.
Not enough time
This is particularly relevant in the context of comp prep. If you're under the impression that X will be achieved in Y amount of weeks, and you're not starting at a good starting point calorically and physically, you may find yourself in a position where you don't have enough time to get to the conditioning required. For a regular weight loss or body transformation journey, putting and unnecessary or unrealistic time pressure on yourself can set you up for disappointment and the urgency can come at the expense of a sensible and sustainable method.
You resent the process
If you're hating the process, you're not only going to be miserable but you're unlikely to give your full effort and stick to your diet too.
How to tell a poor coach from a good one?
Generic diet vs. customised and personalised plan
If your plan is cookie cutter and not customised to your intake requirements or food preferences, it may not only be ineffective in achieving results, but not something you'll be able to adhere to long term. If you’re paying for a nutrition plan you want to know that it’s been made FOR YOU. Each individual has different requirements so what may work for one person may not necessarily be as effective for another. From your coach you ultimately want the delivery of results.
Lack of tweaking of your plan vs. regular check-ins and accountability
It's important that your intake requirements are adjusted based on your progress. If this isn't being done by your coach, your results may suffer. Instead, for optimum results, a strategy that factors in your body’s response regularly should be sought. You could also benefit from the accountability of checking in with your coach and without that ongoing support can easily fall back into old habits.
Poor support vs. support when needed
If you're unable to contact your coach(es) and feel alone on your journey, then this could be an issue in the context of adherence and the quality of your experience. You should seek reliable support that ensures you’re getting good value for money and for the benefit of your experience.
Restrictive meal plan vs. balance
Science gives no reason to eliminate food choice. If your meal plan has cut and eliminated foods or food groups and you're not in a peak week of contest prep, then the coach most likely doesn't understand the science behind weight loss. A balanced and diverse meal plan is not only achievable while on a fat loss journey with a scientific approach, but also ensures adherence and can manage eating disorders such as binge eating.
Excessive cardio vs. realistic activity requirement
As previously mentioned, given your body becomes highly adaptive to your cardio regime as well as being in a calorie deficit, if the two can not be sustained then you can become susceptible to rapid fat gain. A good coach will leverage off cardio in the later stages of a transformation and usually in the case of a contest prep. It shouldn’t ever be added in all at once and there should also be intention or plan to gradually reduce the number of sessions down the track.
Removal of food vs. number change
A coach with a poor understanding of nutrition and its correlating science will instruct the removal of food rather than a numeric change. A lot of people with cookie-cutter plans will be told to “take out the.…” rather than a change to the caloric and macronutrient intake. Essentially removing a food is reducing the intake but it’s an inconsistent way of making modifications for the reason that it’s a difficult change to measure.
Unrealistic expectations vs. genuine honesty
A good coach will often ensure you're aware that your goals or expectations may not be realistic or achievable without compromising a healthy approach. This is by no means an insult, but rather good on the coach's behalf as they're not over-promising results and prioritising with your health and mentality. If a coach tells you that you need more time if you’re wanting to compete in an early-season or asks to work with you for a longer period of time, the motive is not financial, but rather for the benefit of your overall experience and health.
Note: A competition prep should never be a tool to lose weight, it’s a process of getting an individual into optimum conditioning and differs significantly from the approach and motives of a weight loss journey. There are many cases where a client should be advised to do a long slow cut in which they start losing weight to get to an optimum starting point for a comp prep cut. A poor coach may bite off more than they can chew in this case and begin someone carrying excess body weight on a fat loss journey under the impression they’ll be stage ready in 12 weeks.
Lack of initial questions vs. appropriate individual discovery
A good strategy will consider your personal profile, together with your activity level, dieting history, goals and relationship with food. Failure to account for integral information can mean it’s not been factored into your strategy, in which case your results may suffer. This is particularly important in understanding if there is an eating disorder at hand, in which an appropriate strategy needs to be implemented to address this. A poor coach will oversee an eating disorder and fail to address it within the plan.
Lack of explanation vs. education
A poor coach won’t be able to adequately provide you with an explanation as to your results as opposed to a good coach, who will go the extra mile to educate you on the science and fundamentals of nutrition. Your coach should ensure that your experience is as enjoyable and comprehensive as possible.
Unsustainable method vs. lifetime sustainability
A poor coach will give you a method that serves an immediate purpose at the expense of forgoing your ability to sustain the practice long term. Good coaching will consider your longevity and ensure you’re able to walk away from their service fully equipped and able to keep up your method.
No science in the approach vs. scientific approach
A plan that fails to abide by the scientific principles of fat loss will impact your results, which are always better achieved with acknowledgement of caloric and macronutrient goals.
No post dieting support vs. reverse diet
Poor coaching will fail to advise or integrate a reverse diet strategy particularly in the context of competition prep. Reverse dieting can serve as the bridge between an extensively low-calorie diet and ongoing satiety facilitating uninterrupted maintenance of any fat loss achievements. This strategy is aimed at avoiding rapid fat gain after a diet (body fat overshooting), in the immediate post-diet time period where the body is particularly susceptible to fat gain.
Instead of jumping straight back to a ‘normal’ intake consumption or to a huge caloric surplus, reverse dieting refers to gradually increasing caloric intake by progressively adding in calories in conjunction with the body’s response. So the process itself assists in gradually reversing adaptations to weight loss and recovering lean mass, while minimising fat regain.
It is good practice for a sound coach to advise a client to finish fat loss with a reverse diet phase rather than leaving the individual floundering after fat loss.
What can Equalution as a coaching service do for you?
There are a number of online calculators, generic diets online, and poor coaches in the market. The accuracy, effectiveness and personalisation of these available calculations and diets are questionable given the body is far more complicated than a calculator or cookie-cutter plan. Here’s what Equalution can bring to your journey:
1. Knowledge and experience: This doesn’t necessarily refer to degrees or pieces of paper, as in the health and fitness industry there are so many studies and experiments that aren’t conclusive. In an industry where it is very hard to distinguish between actual fact and myth, some of the best professionals are those that have worked with an abundance of people with different goals and can draw on experience to justify a suitable approach for you.
Equalution has worked with children from ages 9 to adults up to 75, attaining results between both males and females within this age bracket. Acquiring two pro cards in the bodybuilding space we have also had lots of success in the bodybuilding and athletic space with a number of titles and placings to support this.
2. Accountability: Don’t underestimate the value of check-in support and answering to someone that has devised a strategy for you to achieve a goal. In our experience, we have combated binge eating problems with check-ins as the client is accountable to us to present their results. The feedback we’ve received is knowing that ensures adherence and lack of shame when checking in. The vast majority of our clients are on a weekly program which entails a check-in and tweaks to not only their intake requirements, but also food preferences.
3. Support: Even though support is a full-time job in itself, Equalution highly values the necessity of being able to be contacted on an around the clock basis. We provide 7 days a week support via a chat platform that is responded to diligently and efficiently with a detailed response and extra information and education material if need be. We counsel our clients through eating disorders and believe the high level of support we provide is substantial in the success achieved in both the physical and mental health of our clients.
4. Strategy: Winging it on your own can be a real game of hit and miss. If you’re tracking your intake for fat loss, how will you know when to maneuver your calories based on your results? Does this mean your macros change? Do you decrease your cardio? How do you maintain afterwards? These are all questions that Equalution assists in addressing through the successful strategy that couples our own knowledge and experience with your goals and progress. There’s no compromise for results at any point in your journey, you’re putting in the hard yards you deserve the results. Don’t rely on possibility as it only leads to giving up and being disheartened.
5. Guidance: It can be quite a difficult and daunting process transitioning from what you’re currently doing to something different, which can result in you making the same restrictive food choices by natural habit. Equalution shows you what balance and diversity look like by creating flexible options, meeting your intake requirements through the foods you love and can take the thought process and mental pressures off you.
6. Customisation: Not every method works for every individual. Equalution can appropriate one of our highly successful services with your personal profile.
If you're sick and tired of the same old vicious cycle of not seeing results, want to eat what you want sustainably, and need some help determining your intake requirement goals, we're here to help. Take the first step in seeking professional assistance with Equalution. We can show you how to give your body what it needs, while losing weight through a diet that best suits you and your lifestyle.
Yours in Health & Fitness,
The Equalution Team