Ramona’s Trainer: ‘I’m Starving and I’m not Losing Weight’

By Peter San Nicolas

Have been or are you at the point in your weight loss that you’re hungry all the time and are still not losing weight?

I hear this all the time from clients and members at the club. You may have heard of something called starvation mode. Some may say if you eat so few calories that your body goes into a state where it doesn’t want to burn anymore fat off and basically stands still.

OK, I hear you my friend. Weight loss and getting in shape is tough. Being hungry is no fun. Shouldn’t we just eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die?

The resounding answer is NO for a number of reason, but are not part of this coaching session. Let’s review some basic facts about weight loss:

•Energy cannot be created or destroyed but is transformed from one form to another. This is a Scientific Law.

•In human terms, this means that calories are either stored or expended: NO EXCEPTIONS!

•All calories count—calories are fuel for the body. “If you’re wearing it, you ate it!” Neal Spruce, founder of Apex and Bodybugg

•Down Regulation—A slight reduction in metabolism in response to a very low calorie diet.

•Exercise-Weight Loss Paradox: Being in better physical shape causing the body to run more efficiently, costing fewer calories to operate. The primary benefit of exercise is to improve health. Improved health may cause a lower resting metabolic rate (RMR). Additionally, fewer calories may be burned while performing normal daily activities. Part of this is due to an increase in cardiopulmonary efficiency (e.g., lower resting heart rate).

•Adaptive thermogenesis: A change in metabolism because of environmental, psychological or other influences.

•Plateau: Calorie intake and calorie expenditure are equal, causing a stall in fat loss.

So with these facts in mind, what do we do? My approach to this is to utilize The 5 Components to Fitness:

1. Food Intake

•Always Log

•Over estimate. Most people under report up to 40 percent. Even food labels can be off by 300 percent.

•Watch eating out

I have one client who was down to her last 10 pounds and was really dragging and having a hard time pushing through her workouts with legendary intensity. My recommendation was to do what I call “Cyclical Calorie Consumption,” CCC. One day I had her eat a 500-750 calorie deficit, the next eat her daily calorie needs, or exactly what she burned. In other words she was able to eat an additional 750 calories every other day, but at weeks end she was still in deficit and those extra (not surplus) calories gave her tons of energy to plow through the intense sessions.

2. Cardio Respiratory Exercise

•Find your target heart rate. I supplied a basic chart to get started.

•Vary the type of cardio you do.

•Vary the target heart rate from zone to zone

3. Resistance Training

•Mix this up as well. Our bodies are fantastically designed to adapt and adjust to stress. If you’re not doing any type of resistance, now is the time. This is truly one of the few ways to keep your BMR, basal metabolic rate, up. When you try to lose weight, it is inevitable that you will lose some muscle. We must curb that loss by resistance training.

4. Dietary Support

•This is also known as supplementation. If you are not taking a multivitamin, start now. JAMA, the Journal of American Medical Association, urges all people to take a multivitamin. Please remember not all are created equal. It’s highly likely that the top three multis that come to mind are the ones that independent research show that you absorb only 35 percent.

•I recommend one by Apex that has a proprietary alfalfa coating that aides in time release and helps you absorb 85 percent of the micro nutrients.

5. Professional Assistance

•Put your ego aside and get some help, for goodness sake.

•Personal trainers, life coaches, nutritionists, registered dietitians all can be helpful, but PLEASE make a wise choice. There are many unqualified people out there who can hurt you.

•Make sure they are the right fit

•As always, “To educate is to motivate.” Educate yourself with books, proper websites and groups.

Please visit me on Facebook at Ramona’s Trainer and Ramona Fitness and post questions and comments. I and my team of fitness professionals can be contacted at the club at 760-789-3500 or visit www.ramonafitness.com for more information.

Related posts:

  1. Ramona’s Trainer: Back to school, back to fitness
  2. Ramona’s Trainer: Vacation Workout
  3. Ramona’s Trainer
  4. Ramona’s Trainer: Traveling Trainer, Part Two
  5. Ten tips from TOPS for a holiday without weight gain

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Posted by Karen Brainard on Sep 30 2011. Filed under Columnists. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

3 Comments for “Ramona’s Trainer: ‘I’m Starving and I’m not Losing Weight’”

  1. [...] on Sep 30 2011. Filed under Columnists. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this [...]

  2. Erryn Torr

    Good article. Just a couple things to add that I’ve found to be beneficial. When choosing your foods, try to eat organic. Calories are calories but organic food is typically more nutrient dense (more nutritional value per calorie) than non-organic, meaning you can meet your nutritional needs with fewer calories. Also, if you are having a seriously hard time dropping weight – especially if you are older – it would make sense to have your insulin and leptin resistance tested as well as your thyroid function. With the rise in pre-diabetes, type two diabetes and failing thyroid function also on the rise many are finding weight loss difficult until these problems are addressed.

  3. Anita Reney

    Lol exactly me back in the day! Starving and still the same weight (I even think I added 2 pounds lol)

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