When it comes to burning body fat to obtain a leaner body composition, it's about understanding basic principles of fat loss. Where people get confused is in the minor details of the following steps that cause the biggest changes.
STEP 1: Nutrition
When you embark on a journey to reduce your body fat %, this first step is by far the most important one to focus on. Nutrition can be a very confusing topic if you try and read everything about anything and focus on all of those areas.
The only way you will succeed at changing your nutrition habits is by understanding the following key points.
- Cut out all added sugars. These sugars will spike insulin levels resulting in extra insulin circulating the body, which then clings on to fat cells, causing extra body fat storage.
- Reducing carbohydrate intake. This is an important one for 2 reasons. The first reason is that you will stop over eating empty calories. The second reason is that you'll be adding in a lot more of the other macronutrients like protein and fat which will help the body build lean muscle.
- Making food a priority. Eating meals is not a chore. It's a necessary part of life. So it's time to start treating it that way. Take time out of your day, just like you do to watch your favourite TV show or scroll through endless cat videos on Facebook, and spend it preparing meals that are ultimately going to help you achieve your goal or prevent you from doing so. I know which one I would rather.
- Let go of your dietary luxuries. No more of this "I've earned it", "It's fine in moderation" rubbish. Stop rewarding yourself with food. It's an unhealthy relationship you're creating with food that needs to stop. If you choose those foods over your goals, then your goals aren't aligned with what you're willing to do to achieve them. So go back and change your goals or change your attitude towards it.
Nutrition is about fueling your body to allow it to perform at its peak. Without the proper nutrients entering your body, it simply can't perform the tasks you are demanding it do. Take a step back and look at what you're actually putting into your body, and if you'd be ashamed of writing it down in a food diary, stop eating it.
STEP 2: Exercise
All exercise is not created equal. There are certain types of exercise best suited for a type of person, body shape, goals and other factors. There is rarely a one size fits all method when it comes to exercise. Sure, the basics still apply, but after those, your training may need some fine tuning to ensure you're getting the right fit for you.
Strength training wins 99.9% of the time for body composition goals. If you're not getting stronger and building muscle, you're not lowering your body fat & and "toning up". Your ultimate training goal should be to become as strong as possible in all areas of your training to ensure muscle balances and a total lean body. Eg. don't neglect your legs, arms, abs etc.
Perfectly execute all of your movements to ensure proper muscle development and to train good habits and muscle memory. Rushing through your reps or "half-assing" them is good for nobody. "You're only cheating yourself" is the perfect saying in this case.
Quick fix workouts that are all the craze right now simply don't work long term. Taking the personal out of Personal Training is not the answer. It's like going to Woolworths and having to do your own check out. Am I the only one that thinks we're now paying the same prices for less service? So if your personal trainer, is not personally training you, it's time to leave them and go to someone else who values you higher and takes care when helping you construct your new dream body!
Find a good quality trainer (like at Revive ;) ) and allow them to work with you and progress your training on a day to day basis. Get stronger, build muscle, get leaner, stay leaner.
STEP 3: Mindset
A strong mind WILL create a strong body. Without one, you can't focus on the things that really matter in creating change.
Are you embarking on a journey that you're not ready for and haven't thought about yet? That's called 'Setting Yourself Up For Failure 101'. If you're not in the right headspace to do something, you can't think it's ever going to work. For example, try telling an 18-year-old to start saving for a house instead of partying with friends. Won't happen right? Same goes for you when you try and tell yourself you're not going to drink wine for the next 6 months because you want a flat stomach. You've got 2 engagement parties, 3 dinners with friends and a stressful life where sometimes wine IS the only answer. I'm not saying to go and drink more wine, but I am saying that your lifestyle MUST mirror image your goals.
Controlling your mind to make better choices, crave different foods and to change bad habits is your #1 focus. If you can't do those things first, nothing else will work. Control your mind, control your body. Fuel your mind with all the right foods, the right amount of water and you'll start to feel the positive shift in your life.
STEP 4: Implementation
This is a key step in the process. Without proper implementation, it's simply a dream.
If you feel you would never be able to implement all of these new changes, you are going to need a good coach (like us at Revive PT) to help guide you along the way. We will also keep you accountable for your actions. We will teach you how to stay on track when it feels like everything is falling apart.
We'll be there to make sure you are not falling back into bad habits when times get stressful. We are there every step of the way to make sure you succeed and we get to see you happy!
We'll start you off with preparing breakfasts, to cooking for leftovers to changing how you think about the processes involved with a lifestyle change. It can be this simple, all the way up to getting you active again, incidental exercise throughout your week, whether at work, on the weekends with the kids, or just after work each night, committing to 15-30 minutes of exercise at a minimum.
Whatever you life may look like, implementing these healthier strategies into your life is what will either make you successful or not.
STEP 5: Consistency
This is not a 4 week change. This is your new life.
How would you feel to never have to worry about your body weight, shape, look/feel?
What if you could wear anything you wanted any time of the year? Bikini, dress, singlet, whatever it may be.
What if you had unlimited confidence because of the hard work you put in day-in-day-out, week-in-week-out, year-in-year-out? What would that mean to you?
Do you know how to achieve that? CONSISTENCY! I always tell my clients, consistency is KING! Without it, you'll achieve nothing long term. They will simply be short term results, if any at all.
Creating and sustaining long term changes are all about consistency. So it's time to become more consistent.