Everyone is looking for that one missing link that will melt their fat off over night. Unfortunately there's no magic bullet. Like most things in life, it is a consistent balancing act that actually gets the job done. This is a much less sexy approach than the latest fad diet. But the sooner you accept this reality and start making the necessary changes in your outlook and behavior, the sooner you will reach your desired goals. This is part 1 of a 3 part series on some of the most important keys to fat loss. Today I will talk about 3 crucial behaviors that will help set you up for success.
1. Make a plan
If your body isn't where you would like to be, then there are behaviors that need to change. The behaviors that got you to this point are different from the behaviors that will get you to where you want to be. I want to be clear, I am NOT saying you should blame yourself and feel ashamed. Beating yourself up is counterproductive. There are many factors that contribute to fat gain, some of which are in your control and some of which are out of your control. My challenge to you is to focus on the factors that are IN your control. That being said, behavior change is hard. It's much easier to continue what you've been doing than it is to try something new that's outside of your comfort zone. If fat loss is truly important to you, it is ESSENTIAL for you to make a plan. You won't accidentally fall into new behaviors. You have to make a conscious effort. This means planning out meals for the week, scheduling time for sleep and exercise, and prioritizing stress management. This blog series will give you some practical tips to start making a plan today!
2. Get Healthy!
The first step to losing weight in a SUSTAINABLE fashion is to get super healthy. You can crash diet and lose WEIGHT for a short period of time, but there are some issues with this approach.
a. This type of diet usually very restrictive, which makes it impossible to sustain long term. Believe it or not, you actually NEED nutrients from food to support your life. So when you inevitably stop to crash diet, the weight usually comes right back.
b. Usually the weight you lose with this type of diet is water or muscle weight, not fat. The number on the scale DOES NOT matter nearly as much as your body composition. When people say "weight loss", what they REALLY want is fat loss. More muscle and less fat looks more aesthetically pleasing and will help contribute to a much healthier body.
A healthy body is in a state that it WANTS to lose fat. Your hormone profile is the main thing that determines how much fat you carry. The hormonal balance in a healthy body ENCOURAGES fat loss, while the hormonal balance in an unhealthy body DISCOURAGES fatloss. It doesn't matter how hard you workout or how many salads you eat, if your body doesn't want to get rid of fat it won't.
I actually would argue that prioritizing quality sleep is the MOST important behavior for fat loss. Sleep helps accelerate fat loss both directly and indirectly:
1. Sleep DIRECTLY aids in fat loss by changing your hormone expression. Healthy hormone expression is crucial for sustainable fat loss. As I said above, you want your body to be in a state that it wants to BURN fat instead of STORE fat. You cannot have optimal hormonal balance without adequate sleep, in which case your attempts at fat loss will always be an uphill battle.
2. Sleep also INDIRECTLY aids in fat loss. When you're sleep deprived you crave unhealthy food, get hungry more often, and have worse decision making abilities. All of these factors make it very difficult to implement the will-power necessary for fat loss. Also, when you're sleep deprived you're tired. When you're tired you have less motivation to workout. And when you do workout you can't perform at the same intensity,
so you don't get as much out of the workout.
In part 2 of this 3 part blog about the keys to fat loss, we will get into some of the practical tips to help accelerate fat loss. These are the checklist tips most people are looking for when they want to lose fat, however the tips themselves might be different than you're expecting. Again, there is no magic bullet for fat loss. It is balancing multiple behaviors that actually yields results. Mindset, movement, and nutrition are 3 behaviors that are necessary in this balancing act. Start implementing these tips today and start noticing the changes you've been looking for!