Fat Loss Troubleshooting & Monitoring Progress
Fat Loss Troubleshooting & Monitoring Progress
Scroll below to get instant access to today's action items. Inside you'll have a worksheet containing how to monitor your progress and troubleshoot fat loss if you run into a plateau. This is crucial for long-term consistency, enjoy!
ARE YOU STILL STRUGGLING?
Do you need my personal 1 on 1 help to get your fitness progress to the next level? Support, accountability, and a step by step plan are the keys to getting real, lasting results. For the Train Eat Live Bootcamp, I'm currently running a 50% OFF Special. Click the button below to apply for coaching now.
FAT LOSS TROUBLESHOOTING - TRACKING PROGRESS
Keeping track of everything going on is probably one of the, if not the most, important part of you succeeding with your fitness transformation.
If you don’t have any data to support what you’re doing, how can you tell if this training and diet is working? You won't be able to do any fat loss troubleshooting. How would you know if you’re messing something up so you can improve upon it? How would you know when to change something?
There will be times you slip up and there will be times where you don’t feel as motivated as well. Keeping track of all your progress is so beneficial to keep that momentum moving in the right direction.
It’s literally like money. If you’re trying to save money, you’d create a budget, you’d watch your spending, and maybe even cut down on certain expenses as needed.
The same thing applies here - you can’t expect to lose body fat without tracking how much food you’re consuming. You can’t expect to make progress in the gym if you don’t know what to improve upon from your last workout.
You need to hold yourself accountable and trust yourself. You’re here reading this course right now, so I know this is a priority for your success.
It’s just one of those tedious things 🙂
How Much Fat Should You Be Losing
As we talked earlier in the program, everyone is going to respond differently to dieting - some faster and some slower, but here are some general guidelines for expectations...
If you have more weight to lose (30+ pounds) you can expect around 2lbs of fat loss per week.
Maybe you have less weight to lose (less than 20 pounds) you can expect 1-2lbs of fat loss per week.
When you start, you may lose a little more than 2lbs per week and that’s normal. It should level out accordingly.
For fat loss troubleshooting, you might not see the scale move at first if you're new to training (just something to keep in mind).
To track this, you should be using a couple different methods:
Seeing that number in between your feet can be the most motivating or stressful way to start your day. If you can handle it mentally, I recommend you tracking your bodyweight each morning at the same time after you use the bathroom.
Track your weekly average.
Alternatively, for fat loss troubleshooting, you can measure yourself once per week and make sure you’re moving in the right direction.
Keep in mind, fat loss does take time and requires a hefty deal of patience on your end. But guess what? Weight gain also takes time. No one got out of shape overnight. That’s a result of months and months of steady overeating, weird choices, etc...
A quick note on keeping your mental sanity. The scale is taking everything into account, not just body fat.
It’s going to be a combination of water, food, food that’s currently being digested, muscle, bones, your organs, and everything in between.
If you’re doing everything right and nailing your plan, keep these in mind before you get on that scale.
Water Retention - Dieting is a stressor on the body. Stress hormones are going to trigger your body to hold onto more water. It’s a survival thing.
Stress Levels - Along with dieting, if different areas of your life aren’t managed, it’s going to also trigger some water retention, trouble sticking to your plan from mental fatigue, burnout, etc.
Sodium Intake - One day if you eat more food higher in sodium and carbs, say on the weekend, you’ll notice an increase on the scale as well.
Weigh In Timing - If you weigh yourself the same time each day, switching that time up will almost guarantee a change on the scale.
Sleep Levels - Not getting quality sleep is a quick way to stall progress. Given that it’s the best way to help recovery from the stress of dieting, life, etc.
Meal Timing - If you finish eating at 9pm one day, then midnight the next day, you’ll most likely see a fluctuation as well.
It’s never going to look perfect or go in a straight line to your goals. What’s going to help you enjoy the process more is coming to terms that these fluctuations are normal and so many factors play into the weight on the scale.
It’s a great way to measure progress, but NOT the only metric that matters. Keep your head up and don’t get discouraged.
Waist & Body Measurements
Next up, we have body part measurements. I recommend you take these every 2 weeks to also compare how your body is progressing.
The waist measurement is one of my favorites for measuring progress. Take this measurement right at your belly button.
It will also be beneficial to take a shoulder measurement and other body part measurements if you wish as well.
The fun part, progress photos — just think about that awesome after photo that’s coming 🙂
1. Take a Front, Side (both sides), and Back photo
(preferably, someone else will take these for you, but it’s okay if you have to take them solo. Most cellphones have a timer setting so you can prop your phone up and do it that way!)
2. Similar to your weigh-ins, these photos should be taken in a similar location, at the same time of day, in the same lighting, and preferably in a bathing suit or something similar. Take these once per month.
Other Signs of Winning - Fat Loss Troubleshooting
The above are the most important ways to track progress but you’re not limited to them. Progress is going to shine through the clouds in many different ways.
You could have a brand new mindset shift that will help break through any current issues you’re dealing with.
Your overall happiness could be improving. Along with your mood and well being.
Those old clothes, say that favorite suit or swim trunks, could start fitting better again.
You could be noticing more comments from friends and family on how you’re looking better (those are always the best 🙂
Stay open to seeing the “mini” wins along the way. It will help make the process so much more enjoyable.
FAT LOSS TROUBLESHOOTING
How amazing would it be if fat loss went in a perfectly straight line? (You’re here) ––––––––Fat Loss––––––––– (Your Goals)
But it looks a bit more like:
(You’re Here) –––#$%(#$)Fat Loss––––@)$(T$)T^)$%–– (Your Goals)
It’s why we talked about showing up each day, and cultivating the right mindset on not chasing perfection, but instead, continually doing the best you can.
In this bonus section, I’d like to discuss what to do if you run into a fat loss plateau.
Let’s first begin and identify some of the top issues that could be holding back your fat loss.
These are listed in a particular order in which you can assess your current situation:
Being Honest With Yourself.
This is, of course, the entire theme of the program. This program won’t work if you do.
With that said, I encourage you to have a close look at the person in the mirror. Connect with your goals. And do the best you can each day.
Have a closer look at your eating behaviors. The emotions you’re feeling. Your environment, your current routines, your current habits.
They may be setting you up to keep you in this rut that you’re in. It’s easy to rationalize things to ourselves.
Are You Working On The Health Stuff?
Fat Loss Troubleshooting not just about calories and weights. Everything in your life is tied together. That’s why I encourage you (if you’re eating right and getting your workouts inconsistently, to also then work on improving other areas of your life such as sleep, hydration, managing stress, and so on.
Lastly, even with working out and dieting properly, are you making an effort to move more? Even if it’s as simple as taking a walk or cleaning the house. It helps.
It never hurts to double-check how you’re monitoring your food intake.
Above all, if you’re not eating less. You’re going to struggle to lose weight.
This could be from tracking errors such as forgetting to add in items or little things you snacked on. Underestimating quantity size. And obviously, not tracking at all.
At least in the beginning — remember, this is short-term data we are gathering about yourself to learn how your body responds, to get the results you’re after.
Weigh and track EVERYTHING you put into your mouth WHEN you put it in your mouth.
Record all foods raw and dry when you can.
Calculate all non-liquid foods in grams and all liquids in ounces or milliliters.
The Weekends Getting The Best of You?
Whether it’s the weekend or a family/friend get together.
It may be causing you to ruin your calorie deficit.
Yes, I want you to enjoy yourself and at those moments I
DO NOT expect you to bring a food scale to chipotle or the bar (lol) and have them weigh your stuff.
What I would like you to consider is reflecting back on how much you’re eating then. And if needed, dialing things back and being more mindful.
Water retention is more of an issue when dieting because as we talked about, eating less is indeed a stressor on the body.
In women, a little less in men, you’re more inclined to retain fluids while dieting.
Especially during that time of the month.
Here’s the good news that you don’t see (immediately):
When you lose, say 1 pound of fat. You typically “pick up” that same 1 pound in water weight.
After being consistent and not letting the scale mess with your mind, that pound of water retention then goes away.
It’s not always 1:1 like that, but you get the picture.
The best thing you can do to combat water retention is making sure you’re properly hydrated (see health bonus) you’re managing stress properly, eating lots of fruits, veggies, and whole foods to support your body properly.
You’re Weight Training
Weight training is going to help you build a little muscle and strength to get the look you’re after...
It’s fantastic! But what’s also going to happen is that your muscles are going to store a bit more glycogen, water, and fluids.
Not body fat.
If you’re a beginner, your body can respond and change so rapidly, the scale might stay roughly the same for weeks.
That’s why you can’t let the scale control you.
And it’s why I have you tracking other metrics, especially your waist, to ensure progress is moving in the right direction.
In other words, if the scale is the same BUT your waist measurement is going down, clothes are fitting better, you feel better, you look better in progress pics, your face looks leaner, etc... this is a good sign you’re
STILL losing body fat.
Adjusting The Diet
Please take all of those things into consideration before trying to do more exercise or change your diet.
Now if you’re being honest with yourself and have given yourself a couple weeks to measure progress in all areas and you don’t see much change...
I recommend dropping calories by 200-300 and going from there.
If you cannot lower calories. Say, you’re already eating so little and lowering calories would put you into a “crash diet” which could hurt your health...
I recommend making sure your diet is on point with lots of fruits, veggies, whole foods, and making a huge effort to cut out processed and fast food items.
If all of the above isn’t really helping you get the ball moving forward, I recommend working in a refeed day once every 7-14 days.
This is also helpful if you’re under 25 pounds of body fat left to lose. If you have more weight, you can get away with dieting for longer periods of time.
A refeed day is a PLANNED day where you eat around maintenance calories. Roughly 15 calories per pound of current body weight.
I love refeed days over an all-out cheat day because it is controlled and won’t slow down progress, but rather, help more significantly mentally and physically. Then you’re right back with your diet the next day.
Use these strategically, whether it be a social gathering or on a workout day. That’s more beneficial than having one if you’ve been in the house all day not doing much.
This is your last option 🙂
If you’ve exhausted all the other strategies thoroughly, this probably means you need to take an extended time of eating back at maintenance calories.
I would suggest anywhere from 2-8 weeks depending on your current situation.
It may seem like you’re losing progress by stopping but you’re not. Remember, nothing thrives on calorie deprivation. You’re doing your body a favor by giving it what it needs to thrive and adjust itself at its new bodyweight.
Your “diet break” is not a full blown, eat whatever you want, stop working out, etc.
Everything should stay the same, that’s including the new habits you’re trying to work in, your gym routine, and eating routine/ food choice.
You’re simply eating a little more calories. Chances are, if you keep things around that maintenance range, you’re NOT going to gain tons of body fat.
You need to be eating in a calorie surplus to do that.
Sure the scale may go up a little at first, it’s from the extra food, water, more glycogen in the muscles, etc...
You’re still moving forward and making progress because you’re getting to your goals correctly. As opposed to forcing yourself there through tons of restriction. 9/10 this always ends with a nasty rebound to where you started.
Dieting breaks are only helping you do things right. The first time. This makes fat loss troubleshooting that much easier.
If it’s been around 2-3 weeks and you’re not suffering from insane hunger and cravings, trouble sleeping, low energy, low sex drive, etc...
You can most likely resume eating fewer calories how you had planned 🙂