Whether you are looking to lose fat or put on muscle there is one key element to ensuring you achieve your goal…being consistent!
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a quick fix. If you want to see a lifelong change in your physique it’s going to take time, so you need to make sure that you are ready for the journey ahead by being mentally and physically prepared, by working out how to overcome any barriers that may be blocking your path, and by being consistent!
“But my friend Emma lost a stone in just 3 weeks!” Well, yes she may well have done but in all likelihood she would have been on a very restrictive and very low calorie diet…this has 3 effects: firstly, she will not be able to continue eating such a restrictive diet for months and years to come (meaning she will cave in to temptations at some point and ruin all her hard work); secondly, her basal metabolic rate (BMR) is likely to have dropped by being on such a low calorie diet, meaning that when she does start eating a more ‘normal’ diet she is more than likely going to pile all the weight she has lost (and probably more!) back on again; and finally, her weight loss is most likely to be a combination of fat loss (great) and muscle loss (not so great) so whilst she may have lost weight she may not have the physique she was aiming for.
So, instead of following Emma’s weight loss journey, it’s far better to go on your own journey…it might be a longer one but the end destination will be a better place, both physically and mentally, and you’ll be able to stay there for longer. No restrictions on food groups, no crash dieting and feeling miserable, no missing out on social events. Just a consistent approach to eating and exercise; a lifestyle change, rather than a quick fix, crash diet!
Research has shown that when people follow a regime for slow steady fat loss the weight is far more likely stay off in the long-term. This is because your BMR stays nice and high, and therefore the foods you do eat are quickly metabolised and they don’t linger in the body to be turned into fat; and surely it has to be a good thing to be able to eat more and still lose weight??
By following this slow and steady route you can continue to enjoy your favourite foods (albeit in moderation if your favourite foods are pizza, cakes, and chocolate!) whilst still losing weight. Not only that, but you can go out with friends and enjoy your evening in the knowledge that one night of overindulgence is not going to send you back to the start of your journey, it’s merely a kink in the road that can be ironed out by getting back on track the next day.
“OK! I’m ready to start my journey towards long-term lifestyle changes by using a consistent approach to both exercise and nutrition, so where do I start?” Making these long-term lifestyle changes and breaking old habits can be daunting but here are some tips to help you:
- It takes the average person 21 days to break/change a habit so give yourself time and don’t give up if you slip up along the way…just pick yourself, wipe yourself down and get back in the driving seat
- Rather than completely overhauling your exercise and nutrition on day 1, make small changes each day or week…maybe start with changing the breakfast you eat, then think about adding in one more form of exercise each week, then focus on hydration…once you are on a roll you may find you can start to make changes more quickly
- Focus on your goal – is there a physique you are aspiring to? Or a particular distance you would like to be able to run? Whatever your goal is find a means of keeping this at the forefront of your mind…maybe a picture on your phone or a note on the fridge door? Whatever means you use, a regular reminder will help to keep you motivated and on track
- Track your progress – the form of tracking will depend on your goal but try to think of a way that you can keep an eye on where you are relative to your goal; and if you go off track, try to use number 3 above to bring you back on track…remember this is about long-term changes NOT what happens on a given day or week!
- Plan, prep and track your food choices and exercise. By planning and prepping your food you are less likely to make poor food choices when you’re hungry, or in a rush; and by planning when you are going to exercise you are more likely to stick to your self-imposed timetable
- Make sure you don’t undo all the hard work you’ve put in Monday to Friday by consistently going crazy at weekends! The odd overindulgent weekend is fine but ideally you want to be consistent 7 days of the week if you want to achieve your goal
For more information on calories and their impact on weight loss please read my other blog “A Chapter on Calories”
And for more help on how to implement nutritional changes please contact me for information on my monthly nutrition guidance packages and Eat Well Lose Fat course
p.s. have you grabbed my free guide yet? In it I share 5 tips to help you lose weight whilst still enjoying the foods you love…some of them are shared in this vlog but there are others too! You can grab your copy here
p.p.s. are you in my FREE Facebook group yet? If you’re not then I’d love for you to join us. I host live workouts, share allll the knowledge bombs, set monthly challenges to help you embed some new healthy habits and help you work towards hitting your own health and wellness goals. Join us here