Before I went on my calorie counting diet, I admit that I was just shoveling anything and everything into my mouth. I was addicted to ridiculously sugary coffee drinks. I loved pasta and ate a lot of it.
So, my diet worked for two reasons: One, I really cleaned up what I was eating and, by all definitions, I was eating “healthy”. Two, I ate way fewer empty calories.
My problem? Once I lost the weight, eating less and focusing on “healthy” wasn’t working anymore!
The Real Reason For Rebound Weight Gain
I’m going to pick on traditional diets first because it’s important for you to understand why they don’t work long-term.
Bottom line? None of them are sustainable!
With Weight Watchers or Dr. Bernstein or other low-calorie programs, you will probably lose weight at first and keep it going for a few months but, in the end, you’ll regain. Because the philosophy behind them is that, the lighter you get, the lower your caloric intake should be.
Which means that eventually you’ll hit a point where your super low-calorie diet (aka basically anything below 10x your body weight) will start working against you.
With keto diets, you basically get the same thing. Eventually your super low carb (aka daily net carb below 50 grams) will work against you.
Because when you aren’t eating enough food OR you’re not getting enough fuel from carbs, your body’s stress response kicks in. Cortisol spikes, triggering insulin spikes, and thus, fat storage and a slower metabolism.
So, eating enough of the right foods is key to sustainable fat loss!
How To Lose Fat in the First Place
Maybe you’re not even at a place to start worrying about rebound fat gain. Maybe you’re simply struggling to lose fat because nothing seems to be working!
This is how I felt after I lost 40 pounds and dropped 3 dress sizes.
Yes, I was struggling with rebound fat but in a different way from not eating enough food or carbs.
My problem was that I was trying to eat the right amount of “healthy” foods…at least according to the fitness magazines and pros I followed.
Yet, despite doing everything “right” (or so I thought), I struggled every single day.
I regained about 10 pounds and a couple of inches that wasn’t related to muscle in the 5 years post-diet. I was so frustrated and lost. I felt hopeless.
What I finally figured out was, my “healthy” diet was totally working against me!
Generic Healthy versus Personal Healthy
Popular nutrition resources tell us to eat a balanced diet. We’re supposed to have lean protein, abundant fresh fruits and vegetables, adequate whole grains and some healthy fat.
Yet, for so many women with extra body fat, this just doesn’t seem to be working!
Because the real reason for this is that the balance is all wrong for the goal…If you want to lose body fat and learn how to keep it off, your first step is to eat to reduce chronic low-grade inflammation.
That means looking at those whole grains and any other carbs (whether healthy or unhealthy).
Over the years, most of us have been taught to eat a lot of carb-heavy foods. And over the years, this has led to a carbohydrate sensitivity, at least in women struggling with unwanted body fat.
Women with a carb sensitivity tend to also have insulin resistance. And, they often have chronically high levels of cortisol due to the inflammation the carbs and high insulin levels are causing.
High levels of both cortisol and insulin cause fat storage. Both also cause cravings for more carbs and excessive hunger. Artificial sweeteners produce the same insulinogenic effect in the body as normal carbs, too.
Thus, eating “healthy” – whole grains, potatoes, legumes, beans – can actually be making you fat!
Your Guide to Fat Loss
The best place to start is to keep a food and symptom journal for 3-4 weeks. Eat normally and record how you look and feel every day. Start to notice patterns associated with your carb intake.
Next, begin removing carbs, especially at breakfast and keep track of your symptoms for another few weeks. Do this with lunch and dinner, and try to replace whole grains, beans and legumes with healthy fats instead.
If you want help figuring this out faster and getting you started on hormonal fat loss, then check out my 40 or Less Method. In 90 days, you’ll get rid of your cravings for carbs, you’ll have way more energy all day long, and you’ll begin to see fewer inches of fat.