Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat

Ep 172: The Top 15 Reasons NOT to Start a Diet Right Now (If You Want Sustainable Fat Loss)

May 14, 2024 Philip Pape, Nutrition Coach & Physique Engineer Episode 172
Ep 172: The Top 15 Reasons NOT to Start a Diet Right Now (If You Want Sustainable Fat Loss)
Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
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Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
Ep 172: The Top 15 Reasons NOT to Start a Diet Right Now (If You Want Sustainable Fat Loss)
May 14, 2024 Episode 172
Philip Pape, Nutrition Coach & Physique Engineer

Have you ever wondered what’s sabotaging your fat loss? Could it be one of these common scenarios? Should you start your fat-loss diet now?

Today, Philip (@witsandweights) breaks down the roadblocks to achieving your fat loss goals. He explores the top 15 reasons why dieting may not be the best decision right now. He highlights a range of scenarios that can hinder your fat loss efforts, emphasizing the need to address these factors before starting a calorie deficit. From high stress levels and poor sleep quality to inadequate nutrition and inconsistent training, each reason is thoroughly dissected to guide you toward sustainable fat loss. Philip also emphasizes the importance of mental health, supportive environments, and life events that can influence your success in a dieting phase. He discusses considerations such as hormonal imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, and significant life transitions, providing a holistic view of the potential challenges you may encounter on your weight loss journey. He encourages you to assess your current circumstances, manage stressors, and have contingency plans ready to navigate challenges effectively.

Today, you’ll learn all about:

0:00 Intro
3:00 High stress levels
4:00 Low sleep quality
5:03 Poor nutrition
8:58 Inconsistent training
10:44 Injury or illness
12:23 Pregnancy or breastfeeding
13:45 Prioritizing mental health
15:58 Unsupportive environments
17:07 Underlying hormonal imbalances
18:13 Nutrient deficiencies
19:02 Upcoming major life event
21:30 History of eating disorders
23:13 Period of intense training
25:14 Significant life transition
27:20 Medication side effects cause weight gain
31:28 Outro

Episode resources:

Related episode:

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🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

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✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever wondered what’s sabotaging your fat loss? Could it be one of these common scenarios? Should you start your fat-loss diet now?

Today, Philip (@witsandweights) breaks down the roadblocks to achieving your fat loss goals. He explores the top 15 reasons why dieting may not be the best decision right now. He highlights a range of scenarios that can hinder your fat loss efforts, emphasizing the need to address these factors before starting a calorie deficit. From high stress levels and poor sleep quality to inadequate nutrition and inconsistent training, each reason is thoroughly dissected to guide you toward sustainable fat loss. Philip also emphasizes the importance of mental health, supportive environments, and life events that can influence your success in a dieting phase. He discusses considerations such as hormonal imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, and significant life transitions, providing a holistic view of the potential challenges you may encounter on your weight loss journey. He encourages you to assess your current circumstances, manage stressors, and have contingency plans ready to navigate challenges effectively.

Today, you’ll learn all about:

0:00 Intro
3:00 High stress levels
4:00 Low sleep quality
5:03 Poor nutrition
8:58 Inconsistent training
10:44 Injury or illness
12:23 Pregnancy or breastfeeding
13:45 Prioritizing mental health
15:58 Unsupportive environments
17:07 Underlying hormonal imbalances
18:13 Nutrient deficiencies
19:02 Upcoming major life event
21:30 History of eating disorders
23:13 Period of intense training
25:14 Significant life transition
27:20 Medication side effects cause weight gain
31:28 Outro

Episode resources:

Related episode:

Send me a question for Q&A!

Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

📞 Send a Q&A voicemail

Philip Pape:

If you're anxious to get started with your diet so you can lose fat. Hold that thought, because today I'm revealing the top 15 reasons why now might be the worst time to begin a calorie deficit. discover exactly what you need to address first to set yourself up for sustainable long term Fat Loss Success, no shortcuts, and no regaining all the weight back. This is about the long game. Welcome to the wit's end weights podcast. I'm your host, Philip pape, and this twice a week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self mastery by getting stronger. Optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition will uncover science backed strategies for movement, metabolism, muscle and mindset with a skeptical eye on the fitness industry so you can look and feel your absolute best. Let's dive right in Whitson weights community Welcome to another solo episode of The wit's end weights podcast. In our last episode 171 Big Butts, strong butts, we love them all, how to train your glutes with Sue Bush, we talked about a fun topic, especially for the ladies out there. And that is how to build strong, functional and aesthetically pleasing glutes. Why do we love butts so much? What are the benefits of glute development beyond just looking good? And what are the most effective training strategies, exercise selection and programming considerations for optimal results with those glutes Sue and I were contributors to the March issue of body by science. So she had me on her show recently, the physique development podcast. So if you missed that, go look her up and give it a follow. That's again, the physique development podcast today for episode 172. The top 15 reasons not to start a diet right now. If you want sustainable fat loss, you will discover the critical factors that can make or break your fat loss efforts. We're going to explore all of it how stress, sleep nutrition training, health issues can impact your results. And why addressing these is imperative, before starting a calorie deficit. You'll also learn about the importance of mental health supportive environments, navigating life events, and transitions, all the things that impact you when you're pursuing fat loss because they affect your chances of success and making it last, I want you to listen all the way through to make sure that you don't miss a scenario that could be relevant to you. And then you'll have the confidence to know that you are ready for fat loss when the time comes. And to help you on your journey. I actually made a free video on how to set up everything in your pre diet phase using macro factor. And this video is from the macro factor mastery course in Whitson weights physique university, but I'm giving it to you for free as a podcast listener. It's an unlisted YouTube link in my show notes, just check it out under episode resources. Alright, let's jump into the top 15 reasons not to start a diet right now, if you want sustainable fat loss, and the first reason, potentially, the most important reason is high stress levels. Chronic stress can lead to increased cortisol production, right? And cortisol is not always bad. It's a very important hormone that can benefit us. But chronic stress can increase this over time and make it to a level that it actually hinders fat loss and negatively impacts your adherents to a diet, mainly because your body starts to conserve energy. And as it conserves energy, it reduces your metabolic rate. And that just simply makes it harder because now you would have to cut on lower calories. And it would cause a vicious cycle of making you even more stressed out. So if your stress is really high, right now we're talking chronic stress, you haven't dealt with it, you don't have any techniques in place like breathing, you know, meditation, walking, it doesn't have to be anything fancy, just stuff that is for you on a daily basis, even 20 minutes a day, can go a long way in reducing that stress and give you a more favorable environment for fat loss. So high stress, that's number one. Number two is poor sleep, quality and quantity. All right, you knew these would be on the list, but they're really at the top of the list. For a reason. inadequate sleep can disrupt your balance of hunger hormones, the leptin and ghrelin, your satiety hormones, right, hunger and satiety, I should say. And then that leads to increased cravings. Difficulty adhering to the calorie deficit. We also know that poor sleep quality leads to fat storage in the places that we don't want it. And for both of those reasons, it is good to get locked in on a consistent sleep schedule. Even if you can't get eight or nine hours if you can get seven, even if it's six and a half, but it's consistent the same sleep time and wait time that is going to go a long way. And then all the other optimal sleep hacks related to having a dark cool room having a pre bed ritual avoiding blue light before bed, blue blocking glasses. There's a very long list of things we could get into. But really, if this is a big red flag for you right now it's going to make fat loss It's harder, so at least shifting it in the right direction is going to help. Alright, number three is poor nutrition, you knew some of these things would be near the top, especially for me, as a nutrition coach, I understand the importance of nutrition when it comes to fat loss, not just the calorie deficit itself, but the actual foundation of what you're eating in terms of macro composition, but also micronutrients and nutrient density. So if we can have a flexible approach, right, we talked about flexible dieting a lot on this show. But not a purely If It Fits Your Macros approach, meaning if I give you a target for calories and macros, and say just eat whatever you want to serve those macros, that is not going to serve you when it comes to fat loss. Because the quality and the balance and the types of foods actually impact your hunger, your satiety, your mental state, your performance, all of the things that then make fat loss easier, or harder. So there's some simple rules here, not even rules, just guidelines that will help you with your fat loss. One is to prioritize nutrient dense options. And I am a fan of additive nutrition, adding things in to displace other things that are less important, not necessarily cutting things out or reducing things. Taking a positive additive approach tends to be more in line with human psychology. And it's more fun, inviting approach to actually putting on your plate what you want and need, rather than shaming yourself for things that you quote unquote, should not have. So think about lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, you know, fats from whole food sources, all of the things High fiber foods, plants and vegetables, or fruits and vegetables, even dairy as long as it's lower fat because they're in fat loss that you know, every calorie count every calorie matters. Things that improve satiety things that make you full, right, it might be more like vegetable soups, and it could be having more salads for lunch, having harder foods that take longer to chew and digest and therefore send your body a signal that it's more full. All of these things along with hitting your macros, of course, hitting your protein and getting the right balance of fats and carbs. To support muscle maintenance will make you feel better during fat loss, not just from a mental and fullness perspective. But you want to avoid nutrient, you know vitamin and mineral gaps that can occur because you're at lower calories, because some of those gaps that wouldn't occur when you're at maintenance or in a gaining phase now occur and then all of a sudden, you start getting symptoms that surprise you, you know, low energy fatigue, all these kinds of symptoms. And it could be tied to your thyroid health, it could be tied to your other hormones. But it's a cascade that could have been caused simply because you're nutrient deficient. You're deficient in zinc and selenium and iron and copper and whatever other thing that you really need right now vitamin D. And it's simply because you reduce calories and aren't having the right level of nutrients in there, which may require supplementation. But more often than not, it's a simple shift in some of your food choices. So yes, we're trying to be in a calorie deficit, if you want to think of that as nutrition. But really, I think of nutrition as eating the things that satisfy you in all phases, and are sustainable and allow you to perform in the gym, even when calories are low. So we want to be tracking your macros and micros, we want to be tracking what we're eating, tracking our biofeedback, like hunger, digestion, or energy or mood or recovery. All of these play together, if any of these things are off, if the balance is far off on any one of these that makes fat loss harder, like I can't really go another day doing this, then we reevaluate, reassess, and we make adjustments. All right, and that'll set you up for the long term, because you don't want to force yourself doing this. You want it to feel fairly natural and a little bit easy. So I feel all the way easy, right? It's hard to do fat loss, but a little bit. So that's nutrition. That's number three. Number four. The fourth reason you wouldn't want to be dieting, is if you had inconsistent, or lack of training, right? Resistance training, walking, these are crucial components of a successful fat loss phase because you have to hold on to that muscle if you're going to lose primarily fat. So engaging in regular strength training, with the right intensity and execution that preserves lean muscle mass helps maintain your metabolism helps promote fat loss. And then the cardio as long as you're doing it strategically led by walking but also by other forms of cardio that are at the appropriate level for you. And your recovery can also contribute to increased caloric expenditure, not to mention the health benefits of all of that, right. So I would suggest that you have a regular training, schedule your training, let's say three days a week, four days a week, whatever it is, you've gotten to the step count that you are comfortable with. Maybe it's eight, maybe it's 10, maybe it's 12,000 steps, and you're incorporating whatever cardio you want before you go into fat loss phase, they just like with the nutrition, you want to establish all of the tracking, the macros, the food selection, before you go into fat loss, don't let fat loss, don't let a fat loss phase be the thing that triggers you to all of a sudden change all these things, because that's definitely a recipe for disaster. Okay, so there we go. If you don't have a consistent training routine, if you're not training to build muscle progressive overload all the training principles, then you're not going to be successful during fat loss. Yes, the training may shift in terms of volume or recovery a little bit. But for the most part, most people can keep training, just as they were when they were at maintenance as they go into the fat loss phase if it's an effective program for them. All right, the number five reason you don't want to be in fat loss is injury or illness, injury or illness. I can't tell you how many times I've had people say, Well, I'm sick, so I'm not eating. And I'm also not building muscles. So why would I eat more. And it's kind of a backward thinking, when you're sick, you need as much resources you need as many calories coming in as possible, to help your body recover from that injury or illness. And who cares about scale weight during that time, we're usually only talking about a few weeks, I mean, maybe it's a few months, if it's after surgery, in which case, there's a period at which you're, you know, maybe still in pain, maybe still recovering, maybe still mobile, but eventually we're gonna start moving again. And then you would go back to whatever phase you plan on doing. But you don't want the stress of a calorie deficit on top of the stress of injury, or illness, just get the rest, get the nutrition, you know, keep yourself moving. If it makes sense, depending on the type of illness or an injury, and support the healing process as best you can. That's the way to do it. And just quick story on that right, you guys might have heard probably a lot about my left shoulder rotator cuff surgery I had last year. And it got better and better and better. And then I had a little bit of a setback a few months ago. And I was in a fat loss phase, I immediately switched out of it and went to maintenance, right and the macro factor, one little hack you can do there is if you're in a fat loss phase, and you want to go to maintenance just for a short while I set the rate of loss down to almost zero, instead of setting a new goal, leave it as a fat loss goal, but set the rate of loss near zero. And that'll keep you close to maintenance. And then you could just overshoot that by like 100 calories every day to be definitely at at least maintenance. Alright, the sixth reason you don't want to be dieting, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, I had to include this in here, just in case there was any ambiguity about it. But um, pursuing any sort of weight loss or fat loss during pregnancy absolutely is not advised. Pregnant women should be gaining on average 35 pounds, but it varies tremendously from person to person. So I'm not going to give give you that as a target. I'm just saying, you know, you would expect to gain weight because you're building an entire person inside of you supporting that developing fat reserves for afterward for breastfeeding, whether you're breastfeeding or not. I mean, that's just how the biology works. And then if you're breastfeeding, for sure, you don't want to be losing weight, because of all the extra nutritional demands needed to support the development of the baby after it's born. So here's where you know, I'm not giving you medical advice. I'm just saying that it probably is a good idea not to be dieting until you're past that phase. Right? I know there's a stigma, for whatever reason around women, you know, getting back to how they were before pregnancy. I think pregnancy is beautiful. I think it's this wonderful, natural thing and women who have, you know, a little bit of extra fat or skin because they were pregnant. Come on people. Why would we shame anyone for that? That's what I think. I think it's a beautiful thing for you to support that, again, whether you're breastfeeding or not, and that everyone can wants to whatever the reason is, so pregnancy or breastfeeding is not a good time to be dieting. The next one is mental health, if you have any mental health issues or struggles. So this is a wide spectrum, any sort of concerns that you feel our needs to be addressed from a mental health perspective, whether it's anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, whatever. I think that prioritizing mental health itself is going to trump fat loss. And I think fat loss can make those things worse. We know that mental health is improved with when you have more energy in your system, like in terms of calories and food. When you have more movement like walking, when you strength train, all of these things are beneficial to mental health and they are segregated by having lack of calories coming in. So I would say, don't exacerbate it. Make sure to work with a qualified health professional mental health professional on your well being and that you know, then you know that that variable is not in the mix. Hey, this is Philip and I hope you're enjoying this episode of Whitson weights. I started with some weights to help ambitious individuals in their 30s 40s and beyond, who want to build muscle lose fat and finally look like they lived. I noticed that when people transform their physique. They not only look and feel better, but they also experience incredible changes in their health, confidence and overall Quality of Life. If you're listening to this podcast, I assume you want the same thing to build your ultimate physique and unlock your full potential. Whether you're just starting out or looking to take your progress to the next level. That's why I created wits and weights physique University, a semi private group coaching experience designed to help you achieve your best physique ever. With a personalized done for you nutrition plan, custom designed courses, new workout programs each month, live coaching calls and a supportive community, you'll have access to everything you need to succeed. If you're ready to shatter your plateaus and transform your body and life, head over to Whitson weights.com/physique or click the link in the show notes to enroll today. Again, that's Whitson weights.com/physique. I can't wait to welcome you to the community and help you become the strongest leanest and healthiest version of yourself. Now back to the show. The next reason you wouldn't want to be dieting is if you have an environment around you, that is just way too unsupportive and sabotaging, right. And granted, we all live in a house or apartment or somewhere where there are temptations. And there's not a we can't control everything, there's things we can and can't control. And we want to create that supportive environment. We also know that it's okay to have things there that tempt us if we also build the resilience along the way where it's less of a temptation. But sometimes there are too many things that are just too many snacks sitting out on the counter in the office, you know, so much stress in your job that and you never meal plan and you never meal prep, you don't have the food in the fridge or the pantry. So now you're tempted to always go out to eat, all of these little things add up. And my point is if the overall environment is just so overbearing in terms of its lack of supporting your goals, address that address that first, to an extent, right to the extent that you think okay, it's all set. Now, there are a few things left that I can deal with no big deal. I'm ready for fat loss, but definitely deal with an unsupportive environment first. All right, number nine is going to be underlying hormonal imbalances. And we're talking about actual disorders. And I was gonna say medically diagnosed, but I know with the state of the industry, it's hard sometimes to get things diagnosed, even if you do have them. So it's really your call. And if you're working with a functional doctor, medical doctor, whatever. But things like thyroid disorders, right? Hypo hyperthyroidism and Hashimotos PCOS, because they affect your metabolic engine, they can impact fat loss by simply making it harder to lose weight, because your metabolic rate drops more significantly than for someone else. It's not impossible, I definitely have worked with clients who have the underlying issues, and have had medically diagnosed issues like Hashimotos, and they still can lose weight, they still lose fat, it's just everything has to really, really be dialed in. And so if you've got these issues, and you're trying to address them medically, go ahead and take care of that and monitor the data and the variables and your blood work to make sure things get where you want them first independence of fat loss, and then you're in a much more favorable metabolic environment for fat loss. Alright, number 10. Reason reason number 10. You don't want to be dieting is I kind of alluded to this already in the nutrition section. But it's nutrient deficiencies, like when you know for sure that you have nutrient deficiencies that have to be corrected. Okay. And these are, these are nutrient deficiencies when you're not in fat loss. So the last one I mentioned was, you know, when you cut calories and then become deficient, this is you have them even when you're not in fat loss, and there are either food choices or supplementation choices for iron, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, whatever, that will solve some other things going on. Maybe you have low energy, maybe poor sleep, right? Could be anemia, whatever symptoms you have addressing those first, and then going into balance. Again, we're not trying to compound multiple stressors here. That's the point. All right, the 11th reason you wouldn't die it is if you have a major upcoming life event that is high stress. Now, one of those life events you might realize is something like a wedding. And a wedding is like probably the number one reason somebody says I need to lose fat. Okay? Now there's other things like okay, work is ramping up, and you have this huge project coming up. And it's just stressing the heck out of you. I had a client who went through clinicals. And it was like 12 hour days, you know, third shifts all this stuff, right. And it was a temporary state. It's kind of the worst time to be dieting during those periods because your stress goes up. And what's going to happen is your metabolism comes down, and you have to cut calories more and now listen, you're just sapped of energy. And the stress is ramping up is a vicious cycle, right. But something like a wedding. This is where I think you want to have a long term plan if possible. Now, if you're getting married in six weeks from now or eight weeks from now, and you feel you have fat to lose that's your call, right? That's your call, if you want to buckle down, pull out the willpower and discipline card and just make it happen. That's up to you. That's not sustainable, right? That's not a long term approach. But I get that a wedding was once a lifetime thing, and you're just gonna make that trade off. Okay, I understand it. But I actually have two clients right now that, that I know of who have weddings over a year from now. And they're like, What am I going to do for that, and my first response is good for you for asking, with plenty of time, because this is going to make it very easy, what we would do is we would take the wedding and we would reverse engineer it. And if there's any fat loss needed, which generally there's some fat loss that they want to get, because they want to be, you know, very, very lean, and shredded or whatever, not shredded, but you know, they want to have just the best physique ever for their wedding. Right, it's understandable, to fit in that dress fit in that suit, whatever, we would then put the fat loss phase far before the wedding in a time when it wasn't too stressful, you know, like me usually takes like a year to plan for wedding. And, you know, the stress tends to ramp up toward the end before the wedding. So we fit that fat loss phase in the middle, somewhere of that 10 month period. And then get back to like, just maintaining that, for example, or at worst, have like a mini cut closer to the wedding, but not a very long stressful cut, you know, something moderate, that's also short in duration, then that's an approach. But anyway, if you have an upcoming major life event in the short term, like in the next two to three months, and just not even that long, but like the next month or so and stresses ramping up, that's not a great time to be dieting. All right, the 12th reason you may not want to be dieting is and this is an important one, but I wanted to include it in here for completeness, if you have a history of eating disorders. Now, I'm not talking about someone who has an active eating disorder right now, if you do, please, please seek medical help, I hope you're getting treatment for that. But if you have a history of eating disorders, and you're not dealing with eating disorders today, you know you've processed, you've come up with some solutions for that that work for you, I would still approach fat loss with caution. And under the guidance of either a mental health professional medical professional dietician, or well qualified coach even because again, we're not talking about people who currently have a disorder. But some of you may have had it in the past where there's a little more opportunity for being triggered by certain foods and certain behaviors. We want to prioritize that healthy relationship with food, with body image for long term success. And so one thing that comes to mind is if and when you resolve all the other things, and you're like, No, I'm ready to go. My only caution here is take a conservative approach, right? Don't go aggressively, give yourself time, give yourself a lot of buffer, take it very, very easy. So it's almost like you're not really dieting, you're just shifting in the direction to release some fat. And then you're tracking the data. And when you're tracking, use something like macro factor, and you're tracking your biofeedback and you're lifting weights, generally, those come together in a very healthy way to give you so much awareness that it helps with the relationship with food, without even any other factors involved. And then other factors like, you know, mindful eating, and journaling and listening to your hunger cues. And all of the other things we talked about can be helpful. All right, the 13th reason you don't want to be dieting, is when you're in a period of very intense training, such as like preparing for a powerlifting meet, or a marathon, something like an endurance race. This is where nutritional periodization comes into play. Because the worst thing you can do is starve yourself going into something that requires performance, right, and endurance activities and powerlifting meets both meet that criteria. Because with a powerlifting meet, for example, yeah, you want to make weight, but you don't want to do it at the risk of, you know, tons of pounds off of your total, right, and energy and performance and chance of injury. So you've got a time the cut, and the duration of the cut at the right point, or ideally not having to cut at all like the way you set yourself up is to almost gain into the weight class if possible. You know, especially for most lifestyle power lifters or people who are recreational kind of competitors and not super hardcore about it. You're probably not wanting to do water cuts and all this extreme stuff anyway. And so you can phase it in just the right way. If you're an endurance athlete, kind of a similar deal. You don't want to be like, I know you want to be light on the scale because of the what am I trying to say, strength to weight ratio for speed. But you don't want to be doing that at the risk of your energy. And, in fact, a good prep protocol nutritional protocol leading up to something like a marathon, a very long endurance event is going to be increasing carbs and lowering the protein as you get closer and increasing calories quite extensively, which is the counter of being in a diet. So if you need to get to a certain weight for your racing, it should be done well ahead of time, just like with the wedding example. Same thing with the powerlifting meet. It's done ahead of time and you periodized the things. So you have a dedicated fat loss phase at some point, you have your offseason, right where you're also gaining or you're gaining skill and performance, you have a fat loss phase, but you also need to recover and get ready and prep for this event. Okay, number 14 out of 15. Here is if there is a significant life transition. So this is a major life change. This isn't the so before I talked about an upcoming event, this is more something that mentally or emotionally taxes you in, you know, can be a big move, you're moving to another state, you have a new job, maybe your income dropped, maybe, you know, there was death in the family, there's just so many things, even just having a child. I mean, we talked about pregnancy and breastfeeding, just having a new child where both the husband and wife or you know, the father and mother are potentially losing sleep and their whole schedule gets up ended their work schedule, their stress, right, all of those things, maybe your kid is going to college, whatever, any change that taxes you mentally and emotionally, where it's just very, very difficult to adhere to a fat loss diet. And again, we could always make trade offs, you could always say, well, I'll just go more conservatively, or I'll do refeeds or diet breaks. My whole point with this episode, is to have like a dog whistle for you. If you meet one of these scenarios, your ears perk up and you're like, Okay, Philip, I am in that scenario, I want to hear what you're saying. And maybe I should be very crystal clear with my goals and why I'm trying to do what I'm doing. And if one goal, one priority Trumps another, and that's fat loss, and you want to do it, that's your choice. That's obviously your choice. And in which case, which case nice little plug here, go back and listen to episode 170, which is how fast to lose weight for fat loss. And then you can pick the right rate of loss that might make sense for you. But back to the life transitions. It's a stress, it all comes down to stress, and not only adherence to your diet. But oftentimes when we have a major life change, we are disrupted from our routine, we're disrupted from our food access, like we don't necessarily have access to the same food potentially, or the schedule to make or prep that food, we might end up going out more often out of convenience. And we could develop some more unhealthy eating habits that then make it harder for fat loss. Right. Okay. And then the last one number 15. is, this is kind of a corner case, they call it in the biz, but medication side effects, medication side effects, so certain medications can impact weight management, they might increase your appetite to weight gain. And I'm not talking about GLP one agonists, which is a whole separate topic that I'm going to get into on some other episodes. Although, because in fact, if you're on one of those, then the whole point is it makes fat loss easier by reducing your hunger. But I'm talking about things that might increase your appetite might increase your weight gain. And they're kind of known side effects, or you notice that they're happening. This is where fat loss can be harder, because it's just very hard to adhere to it, it's going to be very individual, it depends on the side effects depends on the medication, this is where you should be working with a medical professional as well as potentially a coach who can if you still want to do fat loss could at least understand that there's this variable in there from your medication. So that wraps up the top 15 reasons that now may be the worst time to start a diet. So you know, when is the right time for you is probably when you're not facing any of these scenarios, to any large effect. And that's the key, it's a matter of degrees, we all have stress we all have sometimes poor sleep, we all have life events, you probably resonate with many of these scenarios. So it's really a matter of degree, if something like this is fairly ever present in your life, it may not be a good time to go into a dieting phase. Now the desire to start a fat loss diet may be strong, right? The force is strong with this one, I get it. But it's even more important than you think to, you know, always be assessing your current circumstances, and then address any potential roadblocks before diving in. That's all I'm asking you to do. So this may not be eliminating some of these things from your life that may not be possible. But you can either mitigate them, mitigate their impact on you, or set yourself up so that you have if then plans of action, right? If this happens, I can do this. If this happens, I can do this have little, you know plans in your back pocket. So that if one of these things that are in your life, ramp up to a point that might not be sustainable, you have a backup plan. So for example, you know, if my stress gets unbearable, due to my work obligations, I am going to increase my calories by half to eliminate increase to have to read a loss. Or I'm gonna go up to diet break for one week. But you can have these little things that you tell yourself it's okay to do it. I'm going to do that. And it's the trade off that's worth making. came from my health. And then of course, you're always going to be prioritizing things like stress management, sleep quality, nutrition, training, all the things that affect your overall health, right? All of these are important anyway, for sustainable fat loss. Even if everything's going quote, unquote, smoothly, you still want to do these things. Because the long game done right is actually the fastest path to success. Most of us have no problem losing weight. We've done it many, many, many times in our life. But many of us have not done it the right way. And we've had trouble keeping that weight off. So let's do it the right way. Right? If you're smart about it, you're going to take the time to prepare yourself mentally, to prepare yourself physically, and then you're just going to be better equipped to handle the challenges that come with a calorie deficit. Okay, and as I mentioned before, if you want my free video on how to set yourself up for a pre diet maintenance phase, so that you know exactly what your metabolism is, and what calorie macro targets to hit, when you are ready to get there as efficiently as possible, and no reverse dieting needed. That's an inside joke. For those who follow the podcast. Click the link in my show notes under episode resources for that free video. And if you want to get a head start right now, just go download macro factor from your app store, enter my code Whitson weights and start using it for free. My code will give you an extra three weeks on the trial period. That's Whitson weights all one word when you download and set up macro factor and that is all explained in the video too. So if you just want to go click the video, my show notes, you can do that. Alright, in our next episode 173 Why mindset alone won't solve your food and hormone struggles with Tanya Shaw, we're going to explore the limitations of the mind over matter mentality. You've heard it before. It's mind over matter. It's all in your mind. We're going to explore the limitations of that because it's not what it's cracked up to be. We're going to talk about how combining mindset with the understanding of body science is key to not just achieving results, but loving your results. You'll even learn how thoughts and emotions affect our body's physical functions, especially your hormones, and some simple techniques to help you actually shift your mindset to better support your health goals. So as always, make sure to hit follow right now in your podcast app to get notified when that episode comes out and to support the show. As always, stay strong. And I'll talk to you next time here on the wits and weights podcast. Thank you for tuning in to another episode of wit's end weights. If you found value in today's episode, and know someone else who's looking to level up their wits or weights. Please take a moment to share this episode with them. And make sure to hit the Follow button in your podcast platform right now to catch the next episode. Until then, stay strong

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