A lot of people go into a fat loss phase with the mindset:
“I’m going to follow this diet for this limited frame of time. And then once I’m done with my weight loss or my fat loss, I will go back to my regular life.”
When you think in this manner, you go hunting for short-term solutions like diet plans.
“Where can I get that diet plan which will let me drop 10 kgs? And then I can go back to my regular life.”
The problem with this style of thinking is that you assume your current lifestyle. The one you have before you hop onto a program. Will be able to sustain the body that you end up with once you’re done with your fat loss.
But that is a misconception. Because that cannot happen.
If you go back to your present lifestyle, you will go back to that previous body.
It won’t be sustainable.
The primary mindset shift that needs to happen in this case is you understanding that whatever changes you make to lose body fat have to be changes you make for life.
It is not a change that you make only for the next couple of months but for the next couple of decades. Or at least till the time you want to maintain a decent looking physique and you want to maintain good health.
It is not a change for a few months, but it’s a change for forever. And this is why I’m against short-term fixes like diet plans.
The progress we make with our body and physical health. It never stops.
It is something that is forever ongoing. Whatever you achieve after three months, it doesn’t stop there.
You’ll want to improve on what you’ve achieved. And you would want to get better and better.
And even to maintain what you achieve in three months, you cannot stop the workouts that you did to get there.
You cannot stop going to the gym. You cannot stop tracking your nutrition.
These things need to be incorporated in a permanent manner.
If you’re assuming that for the next couple of months:
“I’ll stop going to all these family gatherings. I won’t go to any kind of birthday parties.
I’m just not going to go out with friends.
And I will give my one hundred percent till I get done with this weight loss.
And then I will enjoy life.”
That is not going to happen.
Instead of thinking in that manner, think:
“How can I reach my goals while at the same time I have time for these parties and gatherings?
How can I make that a sustainable part of the process?”
Because unless you are able to do that. You will not maintain this long-term.
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The way I like to handle clients on the Workday Physique team. I guide them through the process.
When they’re going out for something that is planned for the weekend. I will show them how they need to plan throughout the week.
If you have a party coming up on a weekend, you’ll make sure that during the week you maintain your food intake in such a manner. That you have some extra calories saved for that weekend.
So that you can go out and have some kind of flexibility. If you don’t do that prior planning, you will not have that kind of enjoyment on the weekend.
If you go the route of a diet plan where you have fixed food items. And where you cannot incorporate these party situations. You will never build the skillset that is required.
And when you finally are done with your fat loss phase.
When you finally have to incorporate those parties back into your life. How are you going to do that?
So you cannot only think short term. That:
“For three months, I will do everything that I can. I’ll cut out everything that I need to.
But after that, I don’t know. We’ll see after that whatever happens.”
This causes a dependency on these so-called diet plans and other short-term methods.
You don’t want to be dependent. You want to be empowered.
So look for solutions which empower you with the tools. Not solutions that make you dependent on them for life.
I often see people hold themselves back from enjoying life experiences just because they are not of a certain body weight.
I hear this a lot:
“I’m not able to wear certain clothes because I have too much body fat.”
“I hesitate to go to certain places.”
“I don’t feel comfortable doing this. I don’t feel comfortable doing that.”
“I don’t want to get into dating because I am fat.”
But you have to understand that a lot of people who you think have these very ideal bodies you see online. Influencers who are always flaunting their bodies. Or, bodybuilders or any kind of bikini models.
All of them at a certain level have some kind of body image issues. Especially people in the bodybuilding community.
You look at them and go ‘Wow!’. But when they look at themselves in the mirror, all they see are flaws.
So if you think:
“After I get into shape, I’ll be able to do these activities that I now hesitate to. I’ll be able to wear that bikini.”
If you don’t work at the same time on these mental image issues that you have. Even after you have lost all body fat, you’d still feel like that old person inside. You will not be able to enjoy those things.
So my point here being. Instead of holding yourself back from enjoying life experiences and thinking that “only once I lose my body fat, I will go and do these things”.
You should do these things alongside your weight loss journey.
Go to the pool party. Go to the beach.
Wear that bikini. Get into dating.
You don’t have to hold yourself back because you have too much body fat
Understand that certain outfits will not flatter your body as much as they would someone with lower body fat.
And be realistic about it.
But at the same time, you are improving on that aspect.
So you will end up with a body which looks much better in that outfit.
But that process has to start while you’re working on your body.
You cannot hold yourself back from doing that until you achieve your goal body. Because once you reach your ideal image, you might still not see yourself that way in the mirror.
Because there’s a psychological component associated with it.
When we talk of putting your life on hold for reaching your fat loss goals. You also have to consider things like your lifestyle.
For example, a lot of people are what you would call party animals. And they’re partying every weekend.
They’re partying maybe twice a week, eating out multiple times a week.
And this kind of lifestyle is not conducive to sustaining a great looking body; a body that is healthy. It’s not possible.
Even if you have a decent body right now. Maybe you’re not shredded. You don’t have a six pack. Maybe you don’t have a bikini body.
But you’re of average weight. You don’t have health issues
If you keep up this lifestyle. Sooner or later, these health issues are going to creep up.
In this case, yes. You cannot sustain that lifestyle and you’d have to sacrifice those things forever.
Because that kind of regular partying, regularly eating out. Is not something that can sustain the physique you wish to have.
You don’t have to cut these things out for any amount of time just to reach your goals. It’s not required.
In fact, it is detrimental.
Because you will not be able to adjust your habits once you’re done reaching your fat loss goals.
You should incorporate these activities into the process so that you learn how to adapt your lifestyle to the systems that you’re learning (in terms of your nutrition and your exercise).
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Many people are also confused regarding the timeframe it can take for them to reach their fat loss goals.
This depends on a number of different criteria.
Firstly, whether you are male or female.
Males tend to have a bigger frame. Males tend to be taller. Hence they can eat more food even on a fat loss phase.
Amount of food many males eat on a fat loss phase will be the amount of food that a woman would eat while trying to build muscle or trying to gain weight. So it is drastically different.
From that perspective, it is much easier for males to drop weight. And another advantage that males usually have is that they don’t have to deal with hormonal fluctuations
So they don’t have to deal with things like cravings.
Staying in a calorie restricted diet can be made harder by hormonal fluctuations.
Things like cravings can slow down your progress. To mitigate this, you’d need a little bit of prior planning.
You need to put some effort in understanding your body and knowing at what times of the month you have those cravings. So that you can plan ahead.
So if you’re a man, you can usually drop your body weight pretty fast without any repercussions. But women may take longer.
Especially if you’re a shorter woman. Because shorter women need even fewer calories on a day-to-day basis. You will have lesser food to consume.
And that can be difficult. Especially to meet your protein needs. While at the same time eating enough foods to keep you feeling energized.
So you will have to work on increasing your activity levels.
You have to increase your cardio, your step count, and all of these things can help the process. These are factors that you have to keep in consideration.
Instead of thinking that you’ll get this done in three months. Be a little realistic about it.
What I recommend is if you’re trying to lose body fat. Give yourself the timeframe of at least one year.
At least mentally, you need to have that timeframe in mind.
It doesn’t matter whether you have to drop 2 kgs. Or if you have to drop 10 kgs.
Until you have the mindset that it’ll take you a year. You will not be able to resist the temptation of just picking some diet plan getting done with it.
But if you think of it in terms of 1 year. You would know that it’s a long-term thing and you will plan better.
What it means is.
You will be able to incorporate things like:
“I’ll have to attend this wedding.”
“I also have a party coming up”
“How do I adjust all of that into this plan that I’m trying to follow?”
So the point here:
If you’re trying to reach your fat loss goals. Or any goals for that matter. Putting other things on hold for an infinite amount of time.
Or thinking that I’ll attend to those other things only when I reach this goal. Is a bad strategy.
The ideal way to tackle this would be to assume that this is a lifelong process. And that it could potentially take forever.
“The only way I can get through this is to learn how to adapt my lifestyle to incorporate this new thing that I’m trying to do. Alongside the other things that I already do.”
The exception being that. You’re a party animal with a crazy life. Which is not conducive to your fat loss goals; conducive to maintaining a physique like that.
Then you may need a drastic lifestyle change where you cut out a lot of your “fun activities” per se.
But if you’re an average person with an average lifestyle; you enjoy day-to-day activities and the occasional night out with friends.
You don’t need to cut out anything. That sums it up.
If you have been trying to reach your weight loss goals for a while now, but are struggling a bit in the process.
It’s probably because of a lack of consistency, a lack of guidance or a lack of support.
If you’d like a 24×7 support system to hold your hand and guide you through the process till you get to your goals, you should consider 1-on-1 coaching with Workday Physique.