I have a client who started with me 8 months ago with the goal of losing weight, regaining health and mobility. Since then, he has lost a total of 44lbs (20kg or 3.2 Stone), exercises daily, feels healthier, moves better, and is not struggling with the process.
Looking at the results so far, we are losing an average of 5.5lbs (2.5kg) monthly. Considering the consistency of these results, I believe we will reach the goal area in about 12 more months.
Why am I writing about this?
Well, there are several important factors to this ongoing success, in my opinion, and I feel it’s crucial to bear these in mind when contemplating a weight loss journey.
Here are the things that I feel are essential to success from my experience:
The primary reason for your weight loss must be to improve health, function, and longevity.
Targeting these outcomes is a lifestyle change, whereas targeting a specific look tends to make people work hard for short periods of time, ultimately leading them back to their bad habits. What you look like is a great side effect of the process but not the sole reason for losing weight.
If you try too hard, you will fail.
Small changes over time work best slowly introducing new habits and gradually increasing exercise. Remember, this is a lifelong commitment. Choosing exercise you like is also key, don’t feel obliged to jog, jogging sucks.
You will fail from time to time; this is part of the process, and it’s fine. The key is to be aware of what went wrong and own it.
If you can’t monitor it, you can’t measure it. Weigh yourself every day, keep a photo diary or log of what you eat and what exercise you do. This makes it easy to see what’s been working and what has not. It’s also great to know the impact of a day filled with delicious treats had on your progress, so you can factor these days in and make adjustments accordingly. In my opinion there are 3 great weekly results, you lost a little weight, you stayed the same or you gained a little due to having some food/alcohol based fun. As long as the the latter is monitored and does not hinder your overall progress then that’s great.
Eat a lot of the things you like.
This is not punishment. You are never going to wake up one day and suddenly love salad. Factor in a lot of the things you like and measure your progress. Over time, you will likely gravitate towards better choices, but the things you enjoy should remain to keep you sane and satisfied.
Work as hard as you can when it is the easiest.
Don’t force yourself to get up at 5 am and jog unless you genuinely enjoy doing that. Exercise when it’s more convenient and enjoyable for you. If you can’t find an hour, do lots of little bits here and there – remember that every bit of movement adds up.
No structure is the best structure.
Work out everyday and try to keep your diet in check everyday. I find that having specific days scheduled to have time off usually means that the following day something crops up that stops you again from doing your workout or eating as well as you hoped, this then can lead to the “oh ill just start again next week mindset”. I train everyday and eat well everyday and there is always something that prevents me from doing this at least once a week. I get more done this way and can enjoy those sporadic fun moments involving cakes and no cardio.
Don’t eat when it’s easiest not to eat.
Find a meal schedule that works for you and aligns with your hunger patterns. Some people prefer intermittent fasting or eating fewer meals during the day and having a larger meal in the evening. Listen to your body and find what suits you best. I don’t eat breakfast or much during the day, this is easy for me, in the evening however when all the jobs are done my brain turns to food and if I’ve done well during the day I can’t usually eat to much.
You don’t have to work hard all the time. You can still enjoy social occasions, go to the pub, and eat anything you like. Have fun, but remember to monitor it so that you know the cost and can factor it into your plan.
Don’t Join in.
On the other hand, don’t feel pressured to join in if you’re on a roll. Sometimes, you might opt for a lighter meal or skip certain indulgences if you feel like it. Remember not to worry about what people think of your choices. If you are visibly working hard on yourself, most people will respect that, if they don’t, it’s usually because they know they should be doing the same.
You are not going to fix your love of food and suddenly not be hungry anymore.
This will be your new process forever, so get used to it. Embrace the journey, celebrate your wins, enjoy your failures and learn from your occasional setbacks.
Congratulations again to the client I talked about today! I’m very excited to see this journey through with you.
Private Personal Training Studio Peterborough
07704 319 430