Oh, it’s the start of the New Year when the stampede to the gym begins. People want to knock off all those unwanted pounds to make their new year’s resolutions a reality.
Most people start with the greatest of intentions but when they don’t see a dramatic change in a month or so, it’s back to the same habits that plagued them in the first place.
Because it only took them all year to gain this weight and it should all be gone in a month, correct?
That’s what they said on the TV. It boggles the mind what people will believe during the crazy weight loss season. Remember the shake weight and the thigh master? I rest my case.
Sustainable fat loss takes time and patience. It never happens overnight but if you stick to your guns and pick up some better habits, you’ll be more likely to succeed.
And you need to realize that’s it going to suck because you’re going to be hungry and way outside your comfort zone. That’s why easy isn’t in the title.
Please use the 5 tips below when you’re starting your fat loss adventure. I’m taking the view from 10,000 ft, so you can fill in the details to fit into your current lifestyle.
These (hopefully) will be the building blocks to a sexier you.
1.Find a method of exercise you enjoy
Strength training is my bag baby and my number one choice for anything exercise. Strength training builds muscle, burns calories, helps form stronger bones, ligaments and tendons and makes you tougher.
And because life is tough, lifting weights helps prepare you for whatever life throws at you.
However, lifting weights and getting sweaty is not everybody’s cup of tea. I get it. But even if you don’t like weights, that doesn’t give you a free pass. You need to find a movement you enjoy and stick to it.
And if you don’t know what that is, you need to experiment, like an exercise scientist to find out what you like. Because exercise isn’t just for fat loss, it’s great for your overall health also.
2. Find your why (besides vanity)
There’s a quote by Zig Ziglar that goes “If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time.”
The responses below reflect aiming at nothing when it comes to fat loss. I want to
“ lose weight.”
“ feel better.”
“ look better”
“ don’t recognize the person in the mirror anymore.”
However, it’s okay starting point, but it doesn’t really get to the bottom of things.
The question is ‘why’ do you want to lose fat? Because when you find your big ‘why’, you have some real skin in the game that can sustain you when the scale number stalls.
To keep you on track ask yourself the 5 whys to get to your why.
Here is an example
Why now? – To lose 20 pounds.
Why 20 pounds? – Because I’ll get down to my old high school weight.
Why is that important to you? – Because I want my energy and bounce back, like when I was in high school
Why is getting your energy back important at this time? – My wife is about to have a baby.
A baby, fantastic news. Why will losing 20 pounds help? – Because I want to be the best help and role model for my child.
Boom. Now you do the same.
3. Eat like an adult
What do I mean?
Think back to your childhood and all the crap you used to eat
Chicken nuggets, pop tarts, sugary cereal, donuts, candy, chicken strips, fish fingers and frozen pizza. Yeah, all the good stuff. But this combination of sugar fat and salt is exactly what you DON’T need if your goal is fat loss
Because you got away with it while you were young because you had the metabolism of a Ferrari. You burnt off those calories even before it hits the stomach.
But as an adult, your Ferrari metabolism morphs into tortoise. So, stop being in denial. It’s time to eat more like an adult.
You need to eat more single ingredient/whole foods like meats (sorry vegetarians but you get the point), fruits and vegetables and less of the foods that come out of a box or bag.
Anything that draws its nutrients from the earth and is not entirely put together by someone in a lab coat is better for you.
This doesn’t mean all processed food is bad for you. What it means is when fat loss is your goal, you need to limit these foods
And when you eat more like an adult, you’ll like what you see in the mirror.
4. Consistency and Adherence
To avoid confusion, here’s the definitions of consistency and adherence straight off Google.
Consistency is ‘conformity in the application of something (fat loss for example), typically that which is necessary for the sake of logic, accuracy, or fairness.’
Adherence is ‘attachment or commitment to a person, cause, or belief.’
Take note of the bold words. Because when come to losing fat or anything that’s difficult, these words come into play. But I’ll sum it up in 4 words.
“Stick to your guns.”
Fat loss is hard. You go without things that you really like. You’re tired, hungry and placed way outside your comfort zone. And when the scale isn’t moving in the right direction, it’s easier to quit.
And when you quit, you get no closer to your goals. So, staying true to your fat loss path, even when it seems NOT to be working is key. Because when you don’t, you’re a quitter.
And you’re no quitter, right?
5. Get more sleep
Getting more sleep can help you boost your fat burning efforts and help prevent weight gain. Several studies have found an association between getting more sleep and weight loss.
A study of 68,183 women showed those who slept five or less hours per night for over 16 years were more likely to gain fat than those who slept for longer than seven hours per night (1).
Further studies showed that improved sleep quality of 7 hours or more sleep per night led to the increased likelihood of successful weight loss (2).
Although most people need different amounts of sleep, most sleep studies concluded have found that getting at least seven hours of sleep per night is associated with the most benefits when it comes to body weight.
So, sticking to a regular sleep schedule, limiting caffeine (stopping before 12 pm is helpful) and minimizing your use of electronic devices before you go to bed will help you sleep better.
Fat loss is hard but when you start with 5 things above, it will make it a little easier. And then you’ll be a little easier on your eyes and others.
If you need help with your fat loss, please click here.