Who isn’t chasing that “perfect” bikini body?! We all want to lose body fat, maintain a healthy weight, and build lean muscle, right? Let’s just agree, for the purpose of this blog, that toning up is the same as building lean muscle. (Because it is!) Gaining lean muscle mass while losing body fat leaves your body looking much more shapely and toned, not bulky.
So many people start off on a plan that may or may not be well-suited for their goals and lifestyle. They desperately grab onto the idea of a plan or fad diet that a friend had brief success with, and then wonder why it didn’t work for them. Does that sound familiar? Be very intentional and very selective when choosing a plan to follow – fad diets are just that, fads. In order to be successful long term, keep in mind that you need to look into a plan that you can and will maintain for your lifetime. Set a realistic goal for yourself.
Eight reasons that people fail with weight-loss plans:
1. They don’t eat enough. Yes, I said enough! You cannot starve yourself; your body needs fuel.
2. People don’t eat enough of the right foods. Make sure the plan you follow allows for you to have the right amount of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and green vegetables. Do NOT avoid complex carbohydrates or green vegetables! Your body needs all the good things in vegetables AND fiber!
3. Most folks rarely drink enough water. Remember that all drinks (sweet tea, sodas, and most energy drinks) have calories, among other things; water does not. We should all take in a minimum of 64 to 80 ounces of water each day.
4. People tend to rely too much on pre-packaged, processed foods. Avoid, or at least cut way back, on processed foods. Especially the ones labeled as “healthy” or “diet” because they tend to have more chemicals and preservatives than natural, whole foods. This includes granola and energy bars.
5. Many people tend to simply give up when they encounter obstacles rather than to keep going. Consistency will get us so much farther toward our goals than perfection! Just keep going; if you hit a “speed bump,” get over it and get back on track.
6. Almost everyone who begins a new weight or fat loss regime relies on the number on the scale. Yes, it IS the standard we use to measure weight, including the losses and the gains. Keep in mind that your body composition is not broken down in a standard scale. If you’re consistently getting in healthy meals and good workouts, you’re still making progress even if the scale number does not move as much as you believe it should. Look for the NON SCALE victories! Are your clothes fitting differently? Are you sleeping better? Are your balance, flexibility, mobility, and strength improved? Are your energy levels higher?
7. Believing that one can “outwork” bad eating habits is certain sabotage. Working out is definitely crucial; however, hours well spent in the gym will be wasted if your nutrition is lacking. We all need to fuel our bodies properly in order for them to function at their healthiest.
8. Comparing your progress, your physique, and/or your life to someone else is never helpful. Comparison is truly a thief, and can certainly be deadly to your goals. YOU alone have your specific God-given genetic blueprint, and YOU alone live your life with YOUR personal goals and obstacles. Be kind to yourself, and stay in your own lane! Keep your eyes on your prize, not on anyone else!
Read these again, keeping YOUR habits and YOUR lifestyle in mind. Which of these pitfalls are your obstacles? Be intentional with planning your meals, and be very intentional about eating enough! Skipping meals will never get you close to crushing your goals.
Be very intentional about every bite and every sip you put into your mouth: Is this healthy? Is this a waste of calories? Is this a lean source of protein? One way to be accountable to yourself is to track your meals and water intake. Create a journal for yourself, or use an app like MyFitnessPal on your phone. Track everything! You’ll know what you’re taking in each day, and which macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate, fat, and calories) you need more of each day.
There are also many apps available to track your workouts. Apple watch, FitBit, Samsung, etc., all have watches that sync with phones and track your movement and calories you burn daily.
If you find this a little daunting, or you feel that you need more accountability, I highly recommend you seek the help of a certified, experienced personal trainer. Ask friends for recommendations! There are many personal trainers out here – some are amazing and some are less than great. Interview potential trainers, and know that even though you get great recommendations for two or three, only one of those might be the best fit for your personality, your goals, and your schedule. Please feel free to email me at FitTeacherMom@aol.com or contact me via my Contact page at http://FTM-Wellness.com. I’m always here to help!
Don’t just make a resolution for the New Year – commit to making a permanent lifestyle change. I guarantee you won’t regret it! In addition to the aesthetics of losing body fat and becoming more fit, your overall health will benefit! Being healthy is the fountain of youth, for sure.