It’s that time of the year again! New year, new you! Hopefully, you kept a few of last year’s resolutions and are looking for new ones. Unless you are starting over as most people do. Then, you should ask yourself why can’t I accomplish any of them? Why didn’t it work out in your favor? Maybe you’ll find a few answers here. Let’s have a look at what most people try to do and why they fail.
Obviously, that’s the most common resolution there is. Well, the weight gain from the holidays might be showing, but the bigger issue is probably the bad habits leading up to it. Here is your real problem, you can’t erase six months of junk food and bad habits in a few weeks. It just doesn’t work that way.
“I’m gonna lose my extra 10 pounds.”
Sad to say that this, but your little 10 pounds is only water. The real fat loss starts after that little temporary weight loss. The challenge is to keep the same good habits which are where most people make mistakes. In other words, they try to twist every little detail to fit their needs, while in fact, they should try to understand that those personal needs are what is messing things up in the first place. Hear me out…
EVERYONE is ready to go kill themselves at the gym because it is what most people believe they should do to lose weight and lose it fast. But the gym moment counts for only one freakin’ hour of your day! You still have 23 more hours to deal with. During that time, you need to eat well, relax, work, digest, and sleep perfectly. People mess up the 23 hours they have left, ALL THE TIME!
You actually have to keep those 23, plus one, hours of the day on point. And do it for at least three months to make it work and to see lasting results. That’s more than 90 days, more than 2000 hours, which 64 of these hours would be workouts if you don’t skip.
Also, a vague goal will bring no results. Everyone can lose weight, which is fairly easy to do. You could lose 10 pounds in a week, just starve yourself and “voilà”! Aim for measurable results. You need to lose fat, that’s what you need to do. In fact, that’s what we all need to do. Get someone to measure your fat. It could be with a caliper and a specific formula, by bio-impedance, or just measuring a few skinfold pinches. At least, get something that will validate if what you are doing is actually working.
“I’m gonna start a new diet.”
Insert “starve myself” in a bubble over there heads. The sad thing is that most people think they will have to starve in order to lose weight, which can create such a bad emotional relationship with food. Eating well, meaning healthy meals, should never be a job. I entirely eradicate the word “diet” from my client’s mouth. I don’t remember having heard that word in my gym for a long while.
What I do is trying to induce better habits. I aim at changing the one thing that will give me the most results. It also depends on the ability of the person that sits in front of me to adapt to change. I start by modifying one or maybe two habits. Let’s say they were only eating once a day. I will try to increase that to two or three meals. Then, I work on a protein goal. I don’t even go over numbers. Simple eyeballing. Three meals with 1/3 of the dish as protein and the rest as veggies.
Some might eat junk all day and might be resisting to change because “they can’t prepare lunches, etc.”. In that case, I focus on eating meat and nuts for breakfast and I let them eat whatever they want for the rest of the day. Just by implementing this little change, it should bring enough results to convince them to try and make more effort later. Baby steps.
“I’ll try fasting.”
Always fun to hear people talk about how they fast. All I see is people twisting the reality of fasting to fit their needs. It just doesn’t work that way. It is not because you never had breakfast that you can call it fasting. In this case, fasting might not be what you need in the first place. I see fasting as a really good method for detox, to pause the digestive system and let him do what he does best, metabolize nutrients and get rid of toxins. Eating regularly puts a toll on the body. It adds stress to it and bad nutritional habits. Your body might start to fail you in many little sneaky ways, one of which is impaired digestion.
Fasting will always help, that’s how we were designed for. The word “break-fast” says it all. You break your nighttime fast in the morning. Unfortunately, people sleep less and less, which is why fasting once in a while might become important. Don’t see fasting as a way to lose weight. Don’t get me wrong, you probably will. However, see it as the result of cleaning out your body and letting it rest and regenerate.
“I’ll get a gym membership.”
I have seen people come and go when I was working in big box gyms and they all made the same mistake. Everyone goes all out, working out for two hours every day, no rest. Plus, they rely only on the gym to lose weight while they still eat crap. And guess what? They really do expect different results.
The first mistake, they have no plan. They do whatever seems right, which basically is what they feel like doing. Probably some cardio, a bit of abs, arms, and glutes, and call it a workout. Boredom settles in, ‘cause they repeat the same things over and over again. Some will choose bodyweight exercises, which are only as good as your conditioning goes. Meaning that as you get better at them, less effective they become.
The principle of accommodation states that the response of a biological object to a constant stimulus decreases over time.
In this case, as a certain training load is repeated over time, the performance gain decreases and the body’s response to the training program diminishes. Especially with bodyweight style circuits and exercises. You become stronger, but the load stays the same, or even decreases as you probably lose weight in the process.
Get a program, get fully evaluated, bodyfat and some kind of muscle testing that will help discover some kind of underlying issues that could slow down your progress.
When you buy a gym membership and hire a trainer, you invest in yourself. If you invest in stocks, you would like to see a return for your money, right? The same goes for when you start looking for a trainer and a gym membership. Would you invest in stocks if you were sure to lose money? Do you see where I’m going? Exactly. If you do it right the first time, you won’t have to keep investing and losing money.