If the scale isn’t moving – is your meal plan working?

 

Let me set the scene:

You’ve been eating clean, nutrient dense foods for like 6 whole days…

Literally shoving your face full of chicken breast, broccoli, and sweet potatoes every 3(ish) hours.

You’re guzzling water (and peeing) like every five minutes.

You spend insane amount of time in the grocery store and in the kitchen shopping for and prepping REAL FOOD.

AND you find yourself stepping on the scale 7 times a day to no avail – literally not a single LB has budged.

SOOOOOOO… you automatically assume your nutrition plan isn’t working, it was a waste of your money and a waste of your time – you literally inhale a bag of shitty stale goldfish that belong to your child while you’re cursing whoever it was that you paid for your plan.

SCREW IT, you’ll never lose this weight. It’s over. You’re done.

Sound familiar?

 

WELL – let me drop a little truth bomb on you right quick: the scale rarely marks the milestones along the path to body transformation.

 

REAL TALK.

Our bodies are crazy complex.

They change in a grip of ways – many of which are totally subtle and completely intangible.

Long before we start droppin’ LBS, tiny signs of progress appear.

 

Think about it like this:

It’s been 3 long months of winter…

You’ve hired a nature guide to take you to the highest point of a mysterious mountain in search of the first signs of spring.

Together you’re seeking out the peek-a-boos of color through the slow, but steady ice melt.

Tiny patches of grass and flora are totally there – there few and far between, but they exist.

And once your eye is trained to find the spring amongst all that winter, you start to see spring more readily – it’s easier to see and feel and you start to trust that spring is on the way even though it’s still COLD AF outside.

Being a skilled nutrition coach is a lot like being a skilled nature guide.

Which means that being the client trying to change your sweet bod is a helluva lot like being an explorer in a new territory.

Together we’re seeking the first signs of spring – trying not to be fooled by the feeling that nothing is happening because spring isn’t coming as fast as you would like it to…

GET IT?

 

Ok – so now that we’re on the same page and you’re picking up what I’m putting down via my fancy little metaphor, let’s get to the BIZNEZZ.

I’m going to give you SEVEN ways to know if your nutrition plan is working that DO NOT involve the number on the scale…

SERIOUSLY, keep your ass off the scale!

 

  1. You feel SATISFIED after meals:

Ok, so we’ve all been there – just “hungry” as all hell. Literally the willpower to close the Doritos bag just doesn’t exist.

Here’s what’s up; as we digest our food our gut sends signals to the brain about how much energy we’ve consumed to trigger satiation (better known as the feeling of fullness) so we know we’ve had enough and can stop putting food in our face hole.

Unfortunately – as it turns out, all it takes to override the sweet little relationship between gut and brain is a bag full of chemical shit storm (eehhhem, CHEETOS).

 Processed food tells our brain that we’ve hit the calorie jackpot:

“EAT UP SISTER! EAT UNTIL IT’S GONE…NO HARM HERE, JUST KEEP SHOVING THAT SHIT IN YOUR FACE.”

The problem: You’re left eating and eating and eating with zero satiation and almost zero actual nutrition.

BUMMER and a total recipe for weight gain.

 

So what’ does PROGRESS look like:

 

With your new nutrition plan you’re eating slowly. Choosing real, fresh foods. Leaving less room in your diet for processed foods that rev up your appetite and never seem to fill you up.

Fresh fruit, veggies and lean proteins are taking up new space in your body. You’re nourished. You’re feeling satisfied. These foods signal your gut and your brain to chill out on the food intake – you’re fed, you’re full, you can stop now.

The feeling of being SATISFIED is the first sign that you’re on the right track.

You’re not full and busting out of your pants. You’re not pacing in front of the fridge and pantry looking for your next fix…

 Your gut and brain are calm. You’re just…done. Without any worry. You’re satisfied and satiated after your meal and it’s AWESOME.

 

2. You have more ENERGY:

 Can you remember a time when you didn’t feel exhausted?

Seriously – your alarm is your nemesis. You don’t hit snooze, you literally throw the damn thing across the room and as soon as you’re up you’re dreaming of when you can go back to bed.

By midafternoon you need a caffeine break to keep your eyelids propped open.

You literally drudge through your day – your brain feels like mush and your body is molasses.

Essentially you’re a modern day Eeyore.

WELL – I hate to say it, but the above is all too common thanks to modern diets chalked full of carbage (carbs + garbage).

 

SO what does PROGRESS look like:

You start waking up BEFORE your alarm goes off. Your eyes are actually OPEN all day and you feel…kind of… HAPPY?

You don’t need seven shots of espresso to cope with your life.

You’re present. Alert. Even ENERGETIC.

A solid nutrition plan gives you ENERGY – constant, steady, all-day energy.

 

3. You’re SLEEPING better:

You know those nights when you just can’t seem to fall asleep? I mean you’re literally EXHAUSTED – but you can’t seems to get your mind/body to cooperate.

What’s even worse is that weird toss-and-turn in a weird hallucinogenic sleeping, but not REALLY sleeping state…

More often than not, clients don’t even know how tired and sleep-deprived they are – because five(ish) hours of fitful sleeping is their normal.

Shitty sleeps can be a side effect of multiple reasons: stress, aging, hormonal changes, jet lag, an overdose of cellphone scrolling or a Netflix binge sesh…

BUT nutrition and exercise can totally plan a role in your exhaustion; overtraining, overeating, under-recovering, too much booze, too much caffeine, too little protein (to make the right neurotransmitters), too little vitamins and minerals (ditto).

You may even have disrupted hormones (such as cortisol, growth hormone, thyroid hormones, estrogen and testosterone) from stress and poor eating habits – all of which are important for good and restful sleep.

 

SO what does PROGRESS look like:

Now with your nutrition plan you’re getting enough of the good stuff to make all the awesome brain chemicals you need to feel FANTASTIC.

You’re conking out easier and staying asleep all night.

You wake up feel RESTED and no longer catch yourself nodding off in your 3pm meetings.

You are AWAKE and ALIVE and feelin’ like the boss that you are.

 

4. Your clothes feel just a little LOOSER:

Let’s keep this one short and sweet: muscle and bone are denser than body fat.

When you’re building lean mass you may notice that the scale says you’re heavier (OMGAHHHH you’re gonna have a shit fit in .2 seconds!) – but, all your clothes are feeling and looking like you’re in a Missy Elliot music video.

Yet ANOTHER reason to keep yo’ ass off the scale.

 

SO what does PROGRESS look like:

When you start your nutrition program find an article of clothing that makes you feel like a busted can of biscuits.

Try it on weekly and when it fits…THAT’S PROGRESS!

 

5. You’re in a BETTER MOOD:

HANGRY is a real thing.

Hungry + Angry is a freakish phenomenon as of lately and here’s why: you’re not your best self when your deprived of the nutrients your brain needs to keep sailing on an even emotional keel.

 

SO what does PROGRESS look like:

Improved mental and emotional outlooks with good nutrition can show up in surprising ways…

If feeling any of the following emotions in uncommon for you, but you find yourself thinking/feeling or saying the following then you are making PROGRESS…

 

“I feel…

  • -more confident
  • -less fuzzy
  • -more aware
  • -happier
  • -motivated

In part, these changes can come from the experience of changing habits. When we try something and succeed, we get a little shot of inspiration that encourages us to keep doin’ the damn thing.

But these changes can totally also come from the bomb ass nutrition you’re putting in your sweet bod.

Our brains and bodies have nutrients and chemical tools they need to do their jobs – to regulate our emotions, to make our “I’m HAPPY” neurotransmitters and then send them where they should go…

When you’re fueling your body with the GOOD stuff, it’s inevitable that you’re gonna feel GOOD.

 

6. You’re STRONGER and have more ENDURANCE:

Training while consuming a diet that’s lacking in nutrients can leave you feeling week, uncoordinated, slow and generally like you’ve been hit by bus…

 

SO what does PROGRESS look like:

 

  • You’re using the same weight with more range of motion

a month ago your version of a squat was more like a curtsy, and now you’re bending and movin’ with some flare.

  • Your muscles aren’t as sore.

…intense exercise and new movements create micro-damage (tiny tears in muscle fibers) that we must rebuild. This process of repair is what helps us get stronger, fitter and more muscular – but in the early stages it hurts.

As you make progress, and give your body the nutrients it needs to rebuild, the repair process speeds up.

  • You can do more work overall

…again, you’re giving your body the stuff it needs to do its job of making you stronger, faster, better and more fit. Your cells are sucking in oxygen, dumping waste products and making more enzymes – overall, high fiving and fit pumping like maniacs.

 

7. It feels like a LIFESTYLE and not like a diet.

 “Diets” are some BS. Seriously. Being “ON A DIET” is just another boring, strict, overly complicated task that you can’t wait to quit…

Then when we DO quit – we’re right where we started. Back “off the diet” and back on processed foods, never ending hunger, frustrated and totally chubby yet again.

 

SO what does PROGRESS look like:

Progress is when you’re just LIVIN’.

Eating well stops being A THANG and just starts becoming part of your day-to-day life.

You start gravitating towards the REAL foods – you pick the salmon over the pasta without even thinking about it…

 You eat real, nutrient dense foods most of the time – and when you don’t, (cause let’s be clear: smashing on cupcakes on your birthday or inhaling popcorn at the movies is a normal thing to do), you don’t freak out.

 

You’re living a BALANCED life, and that my friend, IS PROGRESS

 

 

So, stay off the damn scale…

Celebrate the small wins…

And be persistent in your quest to feel AMAZING.

 

Tasha (the food coach)

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