Losing weight takes time and dedication, but more importantly, it takes discipline. Hard work doesn’t stop once you reach your goal, you have to work just as hard to maintain it. It is estimated that around 80% of people who have lost a significant amount of body fat will not stay in shape for more than 12 months.
One woman who is dedicated to maintaining her weight loss is Caylee Cooper from Oregon. After years of failed diets and insecurity about her body, the bodybuilder lost over 80 pounds in less than 8 months, and she didn’t even have to sacrifice one of her favorite foods during her weight loss journey.
Cooper told Newsweek that after trying several times to lose weight with no success, things changed last May when her friend challenged her to a 75-day viral challenge, where she had to do exercising twice a day and drinking a gallon of water, which gave him enough discipline to start his own diet afterwards.
She said: “For this challenge you have to take a picture every day and also read 10 pages of a self-help book, and if you fail you have to start over. So if you miss any of the tasks, you I have to start over from day one. For me, my problem has always been that I lacked consistency and discipline. I didn’t mind working out and I would always continue these diets, but I would never continue, I would always fall disabled.”
After completing her viral challenge, Cooper decided to keep going, finally achieving the shape she had desired all her life. So, aided by her personal trainer, she started a new workout routine and a new diet that didn’t exclude any of the foods she likes to eat, making it easier for her to stay focused on her goal.
She said: “My trainer put me on what’s called a macro plan, where you count all the nutrients you have throughout the day. You can use any kind of app like My Fitness Pal, where you put your food, or you can even scan the barcode, and it’ll count your macros for you, and at the end of the day, it’ll give you a list of how many you’ve had.
“For example, (my personal trainer) started me off with 180 grams of protein a day, 160 grams of carbs a day, and 60 grams of fat a day. So I could pretty much eat whatever I wanted as long as I at the end of the day, I hit those numbers.”
When counting macros, or even calories, whether your portions are large or small mostly depends on the foods you choose to eat, as 100 grams of kale does not have the same nutritional value as the same amount of cake. .
“It’s just about balancing the healthy amount of all the right foods,” Cooper said, “if you choose a cupcake, it’s going to be high in fat compared to an avocado, which means you won’t have than eat a smaller portion if that makes sense.
She added: “I had to weigh all the food to make sure everything was in the right numbers, and I think that’s the mistake a lot of people make, they don’t think about proportions, I don’t I’ve never done it. So it’s fair to know what an actual serving size is and not overdo it. But I ate six meals a day, all day long, and I never been to a point where I got hungry by some means, it was just kind of craving food that I wanted to have.”
And when she craved junk food, Cooper allowed herself to eat it in smaller amounts, or in a healthier version, that way she wouldn’t feel completely left out or overwhelmed by her diet.
“If I was really craving a cheeseburger, I could go there and I could take a few healthier options and make one and I could still eat it and it was fine, so it was helpful with all those cravings. I was allowed to give myself a little taste of what I wanted, and it was satisfying. If you really want a cupcake, get a mini one instead.
How to count macros, and does it really work?
According to Tara Bassi, nutritionist and health writer at the Botanical Institute, counting macros is a better version of the traditional way of counting calories because it promotes the consumption of a healthy balance of all the macronutrients your body needs, and is specifically based on the individual.
She said: “Counting macros is a great option if you want to make sure you’re eating enough and sticking to your macronutrients based on your specific health goals, such as building muscle, losing weight, or losing weight. weight gain.
“For example, if you’re aiming to build muscle mass, you might have a greater need for protein, so counting your macros can help you achieve that goal.”
However, she cautioned that counting macros may not be for everyone, as it involves weighing and measuring every ounce of food you eat, so it may not be ideal for people. who have an unhealthy relationship with food, as this can lead to food fixation. .
“There are better dietary approaches for this, such as focusing on food quality and/or elimination diets,” she added.
According to Medical News Today, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to counting macros, in fact, each person needs a different amount of nutrients, depending on their age, weight, gender and gender. activity level. the individual. This suggests that counting macros has certain benefits, such as preventing health problems including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and helping people maintain a moderate weight and achieve their fitness goals.
But while some people may benefit from macro counting, others, such as those with a history of eating disorders, should avoid the practice because it can lead to other eating disorders.
“My personal trainer didn’t believe in me at all”
Another important aspect of Cooper’s weight loss journey has been the emotional support she has received from friends and family, and especially her partner who she trains with regularly and who encourages her every day to give the best of itself.
“I was really unhappy with myself like my whole life. I was bullied at school and as a result I was always extremely insecure. kind of reanalyzed the people in my life and the energy that was around me and realized that it was kind of a toxic situation for me personally I wasn’t getting the positive reassurance that worked best for for me, it was a bit like a difficult love situation.
“I tried so hard that all my friends and family were so used to me being like ‘Oh yeah, I’m on this diet’ and then it happens the same way every time. It’s not just that. ‘they didn’t support me, I felt like they didn’t believe in me. My coach didn’t believe in me at all, so I decided to hire someone new, and as soon as that I hired her, all of a sudden she just pushed me and encouraged me and she kept me on track.”
“My next challenge is to prepare for a bodybuilding competition”
After eight months of sacrifice and hard work, Cooper has achieved her goal and she almost can’t believe she’s finally got the body of her dreams. Motivated by her results, she embarked on another even greater challenge, a bodybuilding competition.
“I’ve always dreamed of doing this. Now I’m preparing for a bodybuilding competition in 10 weeks, so it’s a little more intense now than at the beginning of my journey because I was not in preparation for bodybuilding contest.
“I lift weights five days a week, and we do three lower body days and two upper body days, and then I do cardio six days a week. It’s not an extreme thing to do anymore. for a few weeks, it’s not something that I think people have to do to get these results or anything like that, it’s something that I personally have to do to achieve the goals that I have now.”
“Once that’s done, we’re going to slowly cut out the cardio that I’m doing right now, and then slowly add more and more food into my diet. But like I said, I’ve only gone to that extreme. that because of the competition, I didn’t do that during this weight loss. You don’t have to do that!”