If last week’s blog was about telling you where you were going wrong, this is the slightly more constructive version where I tell you what you can do to correct the mistakes!
Just to recap, why I believe many of us struggle to see our weight loss journey through to completion is because we fail in clearly identifying one (or several) of the following elements before we start:
- Motivation (What we want to achieve)
- Information (What method we are going to use to make this happen)
- Preparation (How we integrate these changes into our daily lives)
- Acts Of A Higher Power
So how do we make sure that doesn't happen? Well we plan and we plan and we plan some more…
My first piece of advice is DO NOT simply make the aim of your health kick a weight loss goal.
Our weight fluctuates on a daily basis and you’re going to have good days and bad days. Making this about the number on the scales is going to lead you through a roller coaster of emotions and, more often than not, lead you to some very disheartening moments where you will question why you are doing this and whether it is worth all the effort. It will also give you some false data too such as, when I eat less I lose more for example, something that is not true in anything other than the short term.
Instead have targets that are numerous, a mixture of big and small, positive and wide-ranging goals. A weight loss goal in there is fine but it should be checked monthly (not daily) and it should be one of many rather than your raison d’être.
For those of you that are familiar with the notion of SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Framed), I think it is good to have some timeframes and hard numbers in there but I don’t think everything needs to be SMART as this runs the risk of becoming an unachievable stick that you beat yourself with and then give up on.
Try and find a mix of training, nutrition and physical aims too with a blend of low, medium and high bars so that it is something that you can check in with and keep ticking them off the list as you go. For example:
- Do 15 press ups in a row without a break
- Perform a pull up
- Weigh less than 95kg
- Run 5km without stopping
- Row 2km in under 8 minutes
- Fit into size 12 jeans
- Hit the gym 3 times per week
So get your list together and if you ever have any questions about it, you know where we are!
Knowing what it is you need to do can be one of the trickiest parts of a fitness kick but, at the same time, it can also be one of the simplest.
In all fairness, just doing SOMETHING that is better than you are doing already, such as eating fresh fruit and vegetables (rather than processed rubbish) and training more frequently will get you some gains.
My first piece of advice here would be to speak to a professional. It may seem obvious that I say that but I see so much lazy, shoddy and incorrect information touted in fitness magazines, on social media platforms and passed on from ‘your mate who goes to the gym a lot’.
That is not to say that you can’t find some good info online but make sure that you are thorough and take a real interest in what it is that you intend to do to improve your body.
If you want my 10 pence worth, I would advise you to eat as simple and natural as far as possible. No shakes, weight loss products or gimmicks, simply making your meals yourself using a lean form of protein, a low GI carbohydrate with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit thrown in there.
As for training, this should be varied and challenging, containing both cardiovascular exercise and weight bearing exercise with some mobility in there for good measure too!
Possibly the easiest part to programming but also the hardest part to deal with sometimes as it requires us to cut back on social activities and perhaps face the honest truth that you can’t always have your cake and eat it.
Now I love my social life (as many of us do) but if I want to tighten up my waistline, eat better and train more, I have to acknowledge that that is going to be difficult to do if I am out boozing with friends three plus nights a week.
I am not suggesting that you have to become a social recluse but you do have to recognise that time spent eating out and drinking with friends is going to get in the way so you may have to manage that, at least until you are where you’d like to be physique-wise.
Therefore I’d suggest cutting the nights out down to once per week until you’re closer to you target and also managing interactions with friends so that you are in control of where you see them for dinner or coffee. For example, if you meet them in a burger joint or pizza, you’re going to be up against it from the off and more than likely after a few encounters like this, you will be wolfing down chips or pizza.
Acts Of A Higher Power
Some things we just can’t prepare for and they knock us off our stride. For the most part though this only happens if we let it.
Having a binge or an impromptu night out can make us feel like we have gone backwards but the truth is that whilst one gym session doesn't make you ripped, a bad meal doesn't make you obese either.
If something really huge happens and that changes the ‘rules of the game’ for you then you need to change the rules of your plan to fit the new constraints, adapt and go again.
So if you get knocked down, you have to get back up, dust yourself off, change (or don’t change) and keep moving forward.
I hope that has been of help to any budding ‘health kickers’ out there and if any thing is unclear, please feel free to drop us a line.
Enjoy your week,