you wanted and more?
This isn’t a late-night infomercial that will show you before and after photos, along with folks in bikinis imploring you to buy their boxed set of workout DVDs for three easy installments. But since you’re here and still reading, I think we need to give you some knowledge bombs of awesomeness that will help you drop body fat, increase muscle tone and feel amazing in 2017.
There is no magic weight loss hack:
Almost without exception, when I consult with a new client (and even some longstanding clients) I’m asked two things.
1. What’s the best exercise to lose weight?
2. What foods should I eat to lose weight?
There isn’t a specific food (how many people are eating hot peppers to boost metabolism?) or one exercise (crunches) that will expedite fat loss or help you lose inches around your waist. This is a diet mentality — and it’s one that will sabotage you before you even begin your weight loss journey.
Repeat after me: There is no diet, only lifestyle choices!
Right now, you are a product of your environment and your habits or behaviors. Of course, it’s hard to fit exercise into your already over-
programmed life, and if you’ve never meal-prepped, jumping into the realm of healthy eating will be overwhelming. Start small.
The all-or- nothing mindset has derailed more lifestyle modifications than can be measured. In a perfect world, I would have you chose one — and only one — “thing” to work on beginning Jan. 1, 2017, but I know you’re an overachiever so I’m going to let you splurge. You can
select two lifestyle strategies.
Why only two?
1. You are a flawed, messy human. (Don’t worry, I am too, so don’t take that as a slight. It’s fact.)
2. Most research shows you have an 85 percent chance of making one strategy successful. Add two strategies and your success rate plummets to 33 percent. (That’s why slow-change strategies are so important.)
Our clients sometimes think we’re crazy when we suggest they implement a strategy like eating breakfast three days a week (when
they used to not eat breakfast at all). Most of the time, they look at us with a slightly puzzled look and reply, “But aren’t there seven days in a week?”
Right you are! But seeing as you haven’t been eating breakfast on any of those seven days, show us you can eat something worth 20 grams of protein, along with a piece of fruit, on three of those seven days! If you can be successful with that strategy, we’ll consider something crazy …like asking you to eat breakfast four out of the seven days.
The exercise question is even more of a quandary, because all notable sources say you should be getting 30-60 minutes of exercise three to five days a week. But there have been times I’ve started a new client with sessions as short as five minutes. Why? Because if they’re telling me they have no time, we have to discover together that making time and adding physical activity minutes as appropriate can and will work for them.
Your program isn’t only a set of processes. It’s a living, breathing plan that will need to be adjusted as you progress. Don’t box yourself in to only one strategy, but don’t overwhelm yourself in the beginning, either. Unlike walking into a salon and getting a new cut or color, I
promise you’ll look exactly the same after workout number one. Stop thinking with the diet mentality, and start focusing on the lifestyle
What does your system look like?
If you look at anyone who’s lost a significant amount of weight, runs marathons, looks amazing in a bikini or appears to dominate in the
gym, I promise you, they all have one thing in common that produces success. They have a personalized system of processes they implement — either daily or weekly.
Folks from the outside looking in use words like “will power” and “discipline,” but the root cause of success isn’t as much about those
things as it is about having definable action plans with tasks that are performed routinely (daily or weekly).
1. She exercises with purpose. Never does she walk into the gym without a plan for that specific workout session. Whether cardio or weights, she knows what she’s going to do when she walks in the door. It’s simple, efficient and productive.
2. She “preps” her meals. On Sunday Christy cooks a lot chicken, beef, pork or other lean protein, and she makes five lunches and stacks them in the fridge. She doesn’t fret about lunch during the work week and is never forced to grab something from the cafeteria or vending machine. She simply grabs lunch as she walks out the door each morning on her
way to work.
3. She tracks things. I see her writing down important stats, thoughts and other miscellaneous notes in a small journal. I suspect it helps her measure her success — And if you can measure it, you can improve it. If it works in your department, I promise, it will work for you.
How do you develop a system as detailed as Christy’s process? First, you may never get to that stage. Christy’s goals are probably way
different than your goals, so clearly identifying your goal or “why” is numero uno. Second, pick a tiny strategy (for example, I’ll drink 20
ounces of water five days a week) and implement it. Third, continue doing that strategy until it’s second nature and then consider strategy number two. As you continue down this path, your plan will create itself.
develop a plan, but you are scared, have no time, are overwhelmed (or all of the above), this is what we do for a living.
Call us at 314-807- 8634.
Intended vs. realized result
How patient are you? I ask only because implementing two small lifestyle strategies most likely won’t do much to change the way you
look and feel in the beginning. This is about building the groundwork for a personalized program, developing base conditioning and building confidence. Once that happens, and the more strategies you can assimilate, you can assume you will see greater results.
Here’s the one thing I’ll guarantee: If you employ a series of positive lifestyle strategies and are consistent over a four- to eight-week
timeframe, you’ll get a positive result. What will that result be? I have absolutely no idea. Of course, the intended result is to lose body fat, increase muscle tone and feel better. Chances are, that’s going to happen — but at what rate? That depends on factors such as the
volume of exercise you perform, how/when/what you eat, age, gender, genetics, etc., but once you’ve deployed your strategies over a
definable period of time, you’ll be able to assess your actual or realized results.
If you got exactly what you wanted, then awesome. If you need to add more of something, cool. However, you also need to understand that if work, life and other commitments only allow you to exercise three days a week for 30 minutes, you probably won’t have the physique and fitness level of someone who works out 60 minutes five days a week.
Then you need to come to peace with that fact.
Doctors practice medicine. We practice fitness. This means we apply a dose of physical activity, along with a script for a nutrition strategy, and see how it works for you. If we need to increase the dose, we’ll consult with you and adjust accordingly.
The good news is you don’t have to do this alone. The exercise professionals and registered dietitians at Integrated Wellness Concepts
Personal Training and Coaching are here to help you modify your lifestyle and help you develop your personal process. If we can be of
assistance, we’re but a phone call away.