When it comes to fat loss, most people fall into the trap of desperation and wanting a quick fix. They jump from one “miracle weight loss method” to the next or go on and off fad diets indefinitely. As a result, their monthly weight bounces up and down – which is not healthy! Even worse, their average weight climbs steadily up each year. However, while this is the norm, you can be the exception to the norm. There is a much better, long-lasting and healthier path to getting and staying at your ideal body composition.
The Most Important Habit:
Forget about short-term drastic changes and start thinking about gradual, but permanent changes. To do this, pick one habit, stay with it until it is normal, and then move onto the next one. Over time you will be effortlessly living a lean, healthy lifestyle.
When it comes to your body composition, nutrition has by far the biggest impact (as a trainer, I hate to admit it, but it’s true). Don’t seek a training solution to a nutrition problem.
Choose whole, natural, unprocessed foods most of the time – no one ever mistakenly polished off a bag of apples while watching TV
Eat to feel good after your meal
Don’t let yourself get too hungry
Learn to question your hunger – it can be physiological or psychological.
When you eat, actually focus on tasting, chewing and enjoying your food
Avoid meal distractions (e.g. TV)
Stop when you are satisfied, not stuffed
When you have an occasional treat, make it a good one worthy of the calories. Enjoy slowly and mindfully. Savor each bite without guilt.
Avoid foods/meals that leave you starving shortly after eating
Choose healthy fats, but eat sparingly – the calories still add up
Cook your own food – you need to be in control
Set aside time in your week for buying healthy food, washing & chopping vegetables, cooking, meal prep and of course washing dishes – make it part of your new, healthy lifestyle
Make water your beverage of choice
Prioritize sleep – get as much sleep as you reasonably can – it works for athletes and movie stars and it will work for you.
Gradually reduce non-essentials to make time for what is really important in life (this includes taking care of yourself).
minimize sitting. Go for a walk most days per week– especially days you don’t train
If you have a desk job, choose an active leisure pursuit (e.g. recreation activities, fun sports, playing outside with your kids, dancing, etc.)
What if I don’t get to my ideal weight?
One thing you have to realize is that your body’s ideal weight may be different than your mind’s idea of your ideal weight. Your true, ideal weight is likely not the same as when you were in middle school, not the same as that anorexic model or the starving movie star with skinny genes. While some people are obese because of their poor eating and lifestyle habits, others have a higher than average body composition than most people despite having excellent nutrition, training and lifestyle habits. Focus on the habits and let your body find what is right for you. Resist the urge to take desperate measures. Extreme weight loss measures such as drugs, surgery, crash diets and cleanses can cause health problems, healthy habits will help not only your waistline, but also more importantly – your health and quality of life.