Raise your hand if you’ve had trouble losing weight. Now look around the room.
You aren’t alone! Weight loss is hard, and so is eating right. So often, we focus on the results and take steps to get there by any means necessary. Those steps aren’t always safe and sometimes cause us to gain the weight back.
We talked to Evelyn LeVasseur from ReShape the New U about the role of nutrition in weight loss and staying healthy.
Tell us about yourself.
First and foremost, I am a happy wife and proud mother. I’ve been married almost 13 years and have 9 and 6 year old daughters.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Education. I taught English in middle school for 11 years. I resigned from teaching two years ago to pursue my passion: fitness. I got certified in nutrition and personal training over 5 years ago. I always lived a healthy, active life. When I had my second daughter I joined a running club and would run 5 miles, 3 days a week….. but couldn’t lose the weight. That’s when I decided to work with a hormonal fat loss coach.
She literally changed my life. Not only did she teach me to pair my foods in a way that retaught my body to burn fat, but she also inspired me to get certified and learn how to live this way forever. Shortly after being certified in three levels of nutrition coaching, I couldn’t help but want to learn the path for personal training as well.
Losing weight can mean changing your lifestyle, which can be overwhelming. Where do you start?
Changing your lifestyle: that’s a tough one!! Change is hard; routine is comfortable. That’s why we get stuck in a circle of bad habits; it’s familiar.
To change your body, choices, and health, you need to start small. You can’t decide, “Hey! Tomorrow I’m going to cut out all sugar, all carbs, and I’m going to work out six days a week”. That’s why we fail. Our expectations are extreme, and so are our changes.
Make sustainable changes. Implement them slowly. Start by drinking more water. Then make sure to prioritize getting enough sleep (7-9 hours is ideal ). Next, start cutting back unnatural sugar. Then add in some leisure walking, etc.
I know people want to lose weight immediately, but rapid weight loss diets just aren’t effective for the long term. You’ll lose weight quickly, and gain even more back. Your body gained weight over time, and it will have to lose it the same way: over time.
Food has a huge impact on your body. You can change your body by changing your food. However, if you’re really looking for a complete change in physique then pairing healthy eating and exercise (especially weight training) is key.
To lose weight it’s important to eat a good amount of protein, fiber (veggies and low sugar fruit), starch (sweet potatoes, rice, etc) and healthy fats (coconut oils, almonds, olive oil, etc). There is no magic formula. Reducing (not eliminating) starch is helpful, especially in controlling blood sugar and insulin levels.
A similar approach is effective for muscle building; however, also consider pre and post workout meals. To burn fat, eat protein after a workout (shake, deli meat or chicken with veggies). To burn fat and build muscle eat protein, fiber, and a little starch (chicken, green beans, 1/2 sweet potato for example).
Don’t be afraid to weight train. Weights build lean muscle. And no ladies, you won’t just “bulk up”.Healthy eating is the same for everyone. FALSE! There is no formula that works for every individual. For some, drinking a diet soda once in a while helps keep them on track. For others, the diet soda brings on cravings and leads to binging.
Always choose low fat or low sodium foods. FALSE! Very often diet, low fat, and low sodium foods remove certain ingredients and replace them with others. Avoid things you don’t want in your food and drinks, you’ll have to make choices that come from whole foods, not cans or boxes.
Diets don’t work. You lose weight and regain it.
We have to change our relationship with food. So many of us attach emotion to food: this food is “good”, I ate this cookie so I’m being “bad”. I’m in a terrible mood so I’m going to eat a ton of junk food and alcohol. I’m celebrating so I’m going to eat a ton of junk food and alcohol…. and so on.
Food is good. Food shouldn’t control our emotions or our lives. Eat the foods you enjoy in a way that benefits your body. Don’t attach emotion to food or decide that you are “good or bad” depending on what you’ve eaten. If you want an occasional cookie or brownie, eat it and move on.
Of course, you probably shouldn’t have those things everyday. But when you do, enjoy them and keep it moving.
I eat lots of protein, fiber, and healthy fat. A few days a week I add in starches like rice, potatoes, and yucca. I save my wine for the weekends…. and I enjoy the hell out of it. I don’t feel bad when I eat sweets or have alcohol. My life is meant to be enjoyed and I won’t punish myself for doing so.
To wrap it up- stop dieting, listen to your body, pay attention to what keeps you satisfied, and stop doing what works for other people. We are all unique and our bodies need different things. Focus on finding what works for you….
For more information on services Evelyn offers, check out the Reshape The New U page.