What Should You Do If You’re Not “Naturally Lean”?

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Articles about the “Habits Of The Naturally Lean” piss me off.

This is what I’m talking about:
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I won’t link to each of these articles. Because this is my site. You can use the Google Search if you wish to peruse them.

They all follow the same basic format, though.

It goes like this:

  • There are habits that naturally lean people tend to have.
  • And you should have them, too.

To which I call BULLSHIT.

Trying to take your current lifestyle and imitate someone else makes no sense. Especially when the person you’re trying to imitate doesn’t need to work at maintaining a healthy weight.

Most of us aren’t so lucky. Most of our online training clients would roll their eyes at this “naturally lean” nonsense.

Naturally lean people have lots of variables which are tipping the scales in their favor. It would be a difficult task to mirror them all.

So, don’t even bother.

Instead of forcing yourself into a daily routine you cannot accomplish, you may want to think outside the box and create a different approach.

Here are a few helpful strategies if you’re not “naturally lean” – and you never will be.

Tendency #1: Naturally lean people are more active.

This isn’t to say they work out more or train harder. This means they are on their feet for a longer duration during the day and are often not confined to their desk at work.

The difference between a sedentary person at their desk and someone who is up and walking for their working shift can result in hundreds of additional calories burned per day, if not more.

There are small changes you can make which will burn more calories long-term such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther away from the front door of your office building.

Utilizing this alone as a strategy for change makes no sense. Naturally lean people DO burn more calories via activity, but they also don’t overeat as a result of their activity.

Most of us (myself included), become hungrier when introduced to additional activity, and eat more as a result.

The odds that simply trying to be “more active” will be the catalyst of true, lasting change are slim to none.

What you should do instead:

If your job has you sitting for long periods of time, you’re going to need to attack another angle for fat loss.

You can become more active and burn more calories, or watch your intake and consume less.

Find an appropriate macronutrient intake, or begin to utilize other healthy, non-counting fat loss dietary habits.

Asking your boss for a standing desk or taking frequent breaks to walk around the office will help.

But focusing your attention entirely on your diet will help get you over the hump and shed the fat more effectively.

Tendency #2: Naturally lean people hate the feeling of “being full”.

Have you ever seen a naturally lean person eat?

There are exceptions to this rule, but most of those who effortlessly maintain a healthy level of body fat are nibblers.

They are always leaving their meals half-finished and they rarely go back for seconds on desserts.

Some of us are wired differently than that.download

If you’ve never met a buffet you couldn’t crush, trying to eat 6 small meals per day without ever feeling true satisfaction will set you up for epic binges.

It’s only a matter of time.

What you should do instead:

The myth of meal frequency as it relates to fat loss is still alive and kicking.

Although it’s been proven many times over that the number of times you eat has almost nothing to do with your rate of fat loss, many are still clinging to the thought of eating frequently to “stoke the metabolic fires”.

Instead of eating many, small meals, try eating 2 or 3 large meals and eliminating snacks and liquid calories completely.

If you work a normal, 9-5 job, try skipping breakfast, eating a light lunch, and eating a large, satisfying dinner.

If you like to eat, then set up your diet to reflect this. Eat big, just eat fewer times over the course of a day, or even a week.

No reason to pretend to be a “nibbler” when you’re actually a blood-thirsty carnivore.

Naturally lean people eat a wide variety of foods.

This characteristic tends to go hand-in-hand with the “nibbler” tag.

Naturally lean people like to eat “just a bit” of many different foods.

They can go into a buffet, get one plate, and get a small taste of 15 items.

100_4999Meanwhile, the rest of us do the same, but on a much larger scale. It’s not uncommon for me to make 3 trips to the buffet line for the first round of food – a plate for each of my favorites.

This is a huge reason why I only to go buffets a few times per year.

When faced with many choices, naturally lean people can make solid decisions.

The rest of us, not so much.

What you should do instead:

The case for boring is a strong case.

Your diet shouldn’t be bland or disgusting to you. If you’re forcing kale down your gullet because you read it’s a “superfood”, stop that nonsense immediately.

On the flip side, there is no reason you should be creating culinary masterpieces to eat on your lunch break on a random Tuesday.

Simple is often better – and a lunch meat sandwich with a slice of cheese and an apple is an easy, nutritious lunch that nearly all of us will find palatable.

If you have a wide variety of goodies tempting you at home, do a purging – and clear out your pantry. Out of sight, out of mind.

Most of your meals should consist of a protein source, veggies, and some carbs and fat to taste. Make it mostly whole foods and spice it up if necessary.

Enjoying the ease and simplicity that “boring” will bring you can be your ally when trying to lose fat.

Naturally lean people regulate their intakes effortlessly.

Nobody likes the feeling of being stuffed to the gills.

When a naturally lean person makes this mistake and eats too much at one meal, they will find themselves compensating for their overage by making the next few days on the lower end of the calorie scale.

Perhaps they will skip a meal or two until their equilibrium returns. After eating a large feast for breakfast, the naturally lean might find themselves skipping lunch and eating a light dinner.

After a large feast, those of us who aren’t naturally lean (like myself) are seeking out a spot to get a post-breakfast donut.

If your “stop” reflex is non-existent, you will need to be more strategic, or the pounds will pile on quickly.

What you should do instead:

Instead of relying on your instincts to atone for your dietary sins, plan for your splurges accordingly.Huge-cheeseburger

Going out to eat a large dinner with friends? Make lunch lean protein and veggies to make room for your large meal.

Planning on a Thanksgiving feast? Fast up until the dinner, and make that the only meal of the day?

Mothers’ Day Brunch? Skip lunch and make dinner a light salad with some chicken or tuna on top.

Being aware of the impending “feast” and planning accordingly will allow you to be “on plan”, even when you’re not diligently tracking.

This can give you a feeling of control, which will enable you to have confidence in navigating your dietary terrain.

 

Some people start the race on the finish line.

Whether it’s through genetics, environment, or a combination of many factors, those who can remain lean naturally are envied by most of us “normal” people.

Instead of copying the moves of the “naturally lean”, you could be better off admitting that you will never be “naturally lean”.

Once you are at peace with this admission, you can begin to form your gameplan to conquer your circumstances – and your waistline.

 

Yours in true health,
Jason

 

 

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