Fat loss is a marathon not a sprint
The runners have taken their place. The shot has been fired, and the runners are off. With January 1 upon us, the gyms are filling up, the challenges are being issued, and the folks carrying extra body weight are sweating and moving more than they have in months.
I am a champion to these fat loss warriors. It's a race I've run. Sixty pounds of fat, for me, was not an easy thing to lose. However, I have run my race and have enjoyed the fruit of my labor (no pun intended) for years now. Being able to keep the weight off is the ultimate goal of this race. Unfortunately many of you who work hard to lose the fat will put it back on soon afterward. Why? Well, it's all in how you run. Let me share some strategy with you that will help you reach your goals and enjoy the rewards forever.
1. Treat fat loss like a marathon, not a sprint.
The New Years brings about all this excitement of change and resolution. We are bombarded with images if physiques that we want to look like. We can't wait to get started! But, we want those physiques today. And so we we go as hard as we can, right out of the gate. Cutting calories, running on a treadmill, swallowing supplements, just throwing everything we can at ourselves. Yes, quickly we see a reduction in fat. But the new routine is wearing on us fast. Food cravings are torture. Muscles ache. We are getting tired. By March we have lost some weight but don't have the willpower to go on. Goodbye gym membership. There's always next year.
A proper strategy for winning this race is to treat like marathon. Taking it slow out of the gate and finding your pace is going to help you respond to the changes you will be making to ensure a win. Your body needs time to adjust to any change. Don't shoot for 5lbs a week. Just start looking for any change. Consistency is key. Start slow but be consistent. Maybe start walking fasted in the mornings. Cut out soda. Get better sleep. Don't cut too many calories.
2. Keep your eyes on the finish line.
Gimmicks won't cut it. You're going to hear about the latest drink, the magical pill, or some get fit quick supplement that will do all the work for you. These are distractions. They don't work. Remember, our goal isn't to lose it all right now. We are in it for the long haul. There is no such thing as a quick fix to this. Don't be fooled by network marketing pitches or "to good to be true" claims of products. Keep your eyes steadfast on the finish line and continue on. Eat real food, mostly veggies, and not too much. You will pass all the other runners who are swallowing gimmicks.
3. Log your miles
Slower progress may be the way to go, but it can become discouraging when we don't see the results as quickly as we want. It doesn't mean we are not getting results. Take pictures once a week. Weigh yourself every morning and record it. And measure yourself with tape monthly. You will see fluctuations but these fluctuations will consistently travel downward as you see your body take shape.
4. Keep motivated
Where does your motivation come from? You probably started with a motivation found deep inside of you that wanted real change for very sincere reasons. Our brains are wired with very finite resources. Meaning, willpower and motivation are limited due to our physiology. It takes coaching and reassuring throughout this process. Follow fitness bloggers or YouTubers that you enjoy. Keep pictures up around you that help to motivate you. Buy yourself some workout clothes that make you feel motivated. These things will make big differences when you need them.
With these strategies in place you will be sure to enjoy the gym all to yourself come April and May when everyone has gone home. You will fit into that bathing suit or new suit and rock the look you've been wanting. More importantly you will feel good about yourself for having stuck it out and changed your life. Remember, fat loss is about adopting new lifestyle habits consistently, not making hug changes quickly.
Happy New Year! Go get'em!