How To Overcome Dieting Obstacles

fat-loss-obstaclesYesterday Erik Ledin shared some of the biggest fat loss mistakes to avoid in part 2 of our 6-part interview.

Taking things one step further, today you’ll discover what the training and nutrition consultant had to say when it came to night eating, meal frequency, and pesky co-workers who try to sabotage your fat loss diet.  If you’re participating in a body transformation contest, these tips, along with many others, will be invaluable to you!


Craig Ballantyne:  What about for people that are maybe stuck at a desk job or other type of job where they have a hard time sticking to the meals every few hours.  So a couple questions here. One, you talked about social support.  Maybe if you could explain that.  And then how do people contend with coworkers that really aren’t very supportive of what they’re trying to do?  They want them to eat junk.

So a bunch of questions in there.  How to deal with social support – or what is social support?  How to deal with people that kind of try and sabotage your stuff and then how do you kind of stick to the plan at work?  Just to plan ahead and pack I

Erik Ledin: The first thing I’m going to address is the issue about meal frequency at work.  I don’t really think that it’s necessary to eat every two or three hours if you can’t.  Some people just simply don’t have the time to do that at work for whatever reason.

I think it’s MORE IMPORTANT in the day that you have eaten the right total amount of food.

Whether that comes in four meals or six doesn’t matter.  So on days – maybe someone’s schedule they know for a fact that their schedule just does not permit six meals a day.  So they don’t have to eat six meals a day.  They could do it in four meals.  Four larger meals.  It’s still going to come down to how much you ate at the end of the day.

So if you do have the luxury to eat frequently throughout the day including at work at your desk then that’s great.  If you don’t, it’s not really something I would stress.  I would make the non-work meals bigger for starters.

Craig Ballantyne:  Okay.

Erik Ledin: Because again it really comes down to how much you’re eating.  At the end of the day did you eat the right amount of food for your body?  If it comes in four meals, if it comes in six meals, it’s still going to be the same amount of calories.fat-loss

In terms of the support and the people at work, I think again this still comes back to there’s going to have to be some – there’s a cost to this to getting in shape.  There’s a reason why more people aren’t in better shape.  There’s a REASON WHY most people in North America are overweight. Because it’s EASY to be overweight. It’s easy to grab fast food.

It’s hard to actually make the difficult choices.  It’s hard to exercise restraint.  It’s hard to plan.  We have busy lives.  We operate fast.

So I think people have to realize that there’s going to be times and that’s just a normal part of working and living is that people are going out for dinner and going out for lunch and meeting up with people with food.

I still think you can still have that social interaction.  It doesn’t mean you have to like eat horribly when you eat out.  You can eat well at any restaurant.  You just have to ask.  The biggest thing I often say with people when it comes down to TRAVELING is control the meals that you can control AND control the portion sizes of the meals you can’t control. While making the best choices.

So obviously you have full control over some meals.  If you have an engagement where you’re out with friends or whatever, one, you make the best choice you can.  Two, you control how much you eat of whatever it is you get.  And that will go a long way.  Because it comes back to that whole thing about quantity trumps quality.

So of course the less healthy food is more calorically dense so you unfortunately don’t get to eat as much of it before it adds up but portion control at that point makes the biggest difference.

But with the PEOPLE AT WORK that want you to get to EAT JUNK….

…You just somehow gotta put a stop to that and stay focused on your goals and remind yourself why you’re doing this and how important it is to you and basically what you’re going to feel like when you succeed and look back and look at all these little victories that you overcame.

You’ll say, “This is what I used to look like.  This is what I look like now.”

Lyn for example, when she’s finished that’s going to be an amazing story and inspiring to tons of people.  People that know her.  Her family.  Her friends.  I mean her mother hadn’t seen her in about a year.  She was shocked.  She didn’t recognize her.  Her mouth hit the floor.  It was unbelievable.


You have people – and I think people need to remind themselves how good it feels when people notice their improvement. You make progress.  Someone says have you lost weight or you’re looking better, you’re looking leaner, or whatever, that feels good.

Those types of comments and feelings that they have to harness and hold on to.  They have to remind themselves why they’re doing this.

Everything you eat either takes you one step closer to your goal or one step further away.

Craig Ballantyne:  Excellent.  What about the people that struggle with EATING AT NIGHT?  Do you have any recommendations or rules or tips or tricks to help people stay on track or even some special – do you have any special insight on what to eat at night?night-eating

Erik Ledin: I don’t think that you need to stop eating at any certain time.  I don’t necessarily think that you have to avoid carbohydrates in the evening or even that you can’t eat in the evening.

Craig Ballantyne:  So really just stick to your plan sort of thing?

Erik Ledin: As long as your calories at the end of the day are where you want them to be.  If you ate more food after 3:00 than you did before 3:00, it’s still okay.

When we talk about post workout nutrition, I have a different philosophy on that than a lot of people do.  I don’t really care what the carbohydrates are after the workout as long as they’re low fat.

So if somebody was able to actually set up their program so that they were training in the evening they could have their protein shake and some kind of fun, low fat carbs in the evening then because I mean it’s basically the safest time to have carbs.

When I was dieting last year my post workout carbs were Breyer’s low fat ice cream sandwiches.  You know?  It really didn’t matter.  It didn’t make any difference in my results.  I got some quickly digesting carbohydrates and they were low fat.  I had them in the evening.  You don’t need to cheat when you’re eating ice cream.

Craig Ballantyne:  So what about for people that – going on the other side of this – struggle with the night eating which a lot of people do.  I mean obviously that goes back to you just want people to get on a plan and that sort of thing but that’s where the temptation really hits.  Do you have any help what’s worked for clients in the past to change the mindset about food or to change the routine so that they’re not eating mindlessly at night?

Erik Ledin: I guess people eat out of boredom.  That’s probably what you mean with the mindless eating.  Right?

Craig Ballantyne:  Yes.

Erik Ledin: They sit around and they watch TV and they just kind of eat.  I think in some respects it comes back to that tip about not getting too hungry and because if you’re full, I mean if you’re satisfied you’re probably not going to feel like snacking and munching.

If your calories are way too low, and the evening comes around, and you’re bored, you’re not preoccupied with work or tasks or whatnot, you’re just kind of watching TV, it’s very easy to snack.

If this is a problem for some people I think shifting more of your food to the evening than it is say earlier in the day.  Again, just kind of playing with the size of different meals.  Maybe having a bigger early evening meal will help out with that or something like that.  Having more – you can still be able to snack on things but vegetables.

I would just basically, honestly I told some people of mine they just gotta suck it up to be honest with you.  That’s pretty blunt but you just – you can’t do that.  There’s a sacrifice.  There’s a cost.

And these little things, they add up.  People might not think that this extra ounce of nuts Tuesday matters but if they have an extra ounce of nuts Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, it matters.

Craig Ballantyne:  Okay.

Erik Ledin: So, you sacrifice.  You can say okay, I’ll work out in the evenings so that I can have a bigger meal after I train.  Which is closer to bed and it can still be a little bit fun like I said.  Or a bigger dinner or moving your calories more towards the evening.

Craig Ballantyne:  Okay.  Well, there were actually some pretty good tips in there.  So basically it sounds like you just basically don’t get too hung up on anything.  There’s no magic to this.  It’s really just a routine. Understanding that there is some sacrifice to it but at the same time understanding that it’s not as much sacrifice as some people think it is.

Now what about – I’m just going to get a little off topic here and go back to first thing in the morning again.  Now do you have any thoughts on whether it matters if you do your workout on an empty stomach?

And also if someone’s not working out in the morning, but isn’t really like a breakfast eater.  A lot of people wake up and just aren’t really hungry for a bit.  Do you insist on them eating within an hour or if they’re not hungry for two hours can they wait and have breakfast two hours later after they wake up? workout-nutrition

Erik Ledin: I discourage training on an EMPTY STOMACH especially like weight training or interval training.  I don’t agree with it at all obviously.  It’s like training on an empty tank. Performance is usually lower.  I mean you haven’t eaten for eight, nine hours and you go and work out.

The other side of the coin you’re talking about eating every two or three hours during the day so it doesn’t really make sense.  It’s not necessary.

As far as like doing like steady state cardio, like just doing it to top off their expenditure or some people just like to get up and go for a walk sometimes.  It just gets them going.  You know what I mean?  They just like that daily activity.  That can be done fasting or it cannot.  I don’t really think it matters.  It’s not necessary to do it fasting to get better fat burning or anything like that but if someone doesn’t want to eat and they just want to do some low intensity stuff, it’s totally up to them.

Craig Ballantyne:  Okay.

Erik Ledin: There’s no pro or con to either.

Craig Ballantyne:  Sure.

Erik Ledin: The other question.  I would like someone to eat as soon as they get up obviously but if, you know, someone’s really not hungry first thing in the morning and they gotta wait a little bit then I mean that’s fine.

This is really about making this fit into your lifestyle. If someone just is never hungry as soon as they wake up and they’re not hungry for a couple hours and you force them to eat first thing in the morning it’s just not going to last.

There are basic principles that need to be a part of any plan but there still has to be some kind of adjustment.  If some of those optimal principles or whatever, they don’t fit into this person’s lifestyle, you need to tweak it a bit.  It’s really about compliance.

So if that doesn’t work for this person, and if you try to enforce that, they’ll just fall off the wagon.  Yet if eating a couple hours later will keep them on plan, then you need to let them eat a couple hours later.

Craig Ballantyne:  Great.  What about supplements for people in transformation programs and changing their body?  Do you have any recommendation?nutritional-fat-loss-supplements

Erik Ledin: I’m not really a big supplement pusher.  I would say that someone could use a protein powder if they wanted to.  It’s more for convenience than it is for requirements.

The basics of setting up a diet require you to set your calories.  You set your protein.  For a lot of people that’s a lot of protein.  More than what they’re used to eating from like solid food.

If they have a difficult time eating it, then I just suggest they drink it.  It might work with work as well.  That situation where they can’t actually sit down to a meal but they can have like a protein shake and a handful of raw nuts.  For convenience.

I think fish oils are mandatory, essential fats.  Omega 3 fats.

Craig Ballantyne:  What brand do you use?

Erik Ledin: I just use Costco.

Craig Ballantyne:  Yeah.

Erik Ledin: It costs me like 12 bucks for 250.  I don’t really think it makes a big difference.

Craig Ballantyne: Okay.

Erik Ledin: A multivitamin maybe for an insurance policy.  If you’re eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables you probably don’t even need one.  And that’s really about it.

I don’t really recommend a lot of supplements.  I mean if someone wanted to use creatine, that’s a good supplement.  If they wanted to get a little boost to their workout performance and maybe help them add a little bit of muscle or strength.

But other than that, I usually get people off most of the stuff that I see them using.  When I ask them why they’re using it, they don’t really have a good reason.

Alright, so let’s now check out some advanced body transformation tips.