No time? No energy? These are just two of the excuses I hear from people trying to ‘lose weight’, ‘get fit’ and ‘tone up’. For those who do make the time and effort, there’s still often the horrible question, ‘Why am I not losing weight?’. There are plenty of factors that determine the answers to these questions, but you can make some lifestyle changes that will help you even on your down days. You need to create a life filled with habits that blast fat!
Ok, so many of you are not looking as lean and trim as you imagined you would, even if you’re training regularly. Why is this? From my experience, the top reasons this could be the case are:
1. You are doing the same thing over and over.
2. You are sitting down for the most part of the day! Yes, your desk job and sitting in your car are not doing you any favours.
3. You destroy your healthy habits with poor food choices, stress and a frantic, alcohol-filled social life.
Whether you’re training, or haven’t yet started, these key habits will help you blast fat and get you to your goals.
1. Move it!
Even if you train every day it is vitally important that you move regularly during the rest of the day to prevent chronic lifestyle diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Try doing a squat every time you hang a piece of clothing on the line and get into other small habits like this one to make sure you fit enough incidental exercise into your day.
2. Fill up right
Don’t sabotage your efforts with goal destroying food habits. Rather than the daily sugar-laden breakfast cereal or take-away, have ready-to-go, healthy options in your pantry, fridge and freezer to set yourself up for success. If the items are there, then it becomes an easy option.
3. Get fit in your sleep
Lack of sleep or poor sleep quality may see your stress hormone levels rise and this is not great for promoting a healthy and trim body. My tips to assist with good sleep patterns are:
4. Stick to a schedule
Rip up the never-ending ‘to-do’ list and replace it with a schedule with allocated time to get specific activities done. As a priority, map out your exercise for the week. The first thing that goes in my schedule is my training and I commit to short, 30 minutes 5-6 days per week.
Of course, life happens and sometimes a session will get missed. But, because it’s in my schedule for the next day, I ensure it doesn’t happen very often. Also set aside time in your schedule to plan and prepare meals for the week.
5. Repeat for success
A great way to get into good habits is to repeat an action over a period of time. This doesn’t just start and stop at your exercise routine. When looking at your diet, one way you can ensure you stay on your healthy eating plan is to repeat the types of meals that you eat each day. We don’t mean that you should get rid of every ounce of variety out of what you eat, but your breakfast choices should be limited to about three different types of breakfast. The same goes for your lunches and your dinners as they should almost always consist of the same types of ingredients and macros. Repeating your meals will mean you’re more likely to start a healthy eating habit more easily.
6. Never skip breakfast
Whilst on the topic of food, one of the most important meals of the day is your breakfast. Fit and healthy people will always have breakfast. One theory of why breakfast leads to a healthier lifestyle is that you are getting much needed nutrients early in the day, are feeling fuller for longer and are less likely to overindulge when it comes to lunch time (or morning tea time). You don’t have to have a huge breakfast meal, you just need to eat enough to fit within your diet goals and enough to make you feel satisfied until lunch time.
7. Drink water
Don’t fill up on sodas and iced teas or even, coffee. If you’re thirsty, reach for water. Your body needs enough water each day in order to function correctly so it’s highly important to ensure you’re drinking enough each day. A lot of fit people will drink at least six glasses of water each day. It is important to note that it’s possible to drink too much water, which can lead to dilution of the system’s electrolytes. Unless you have electrolytes to replenish, don’t go overboard on your water consumption, but make sure you’re getting enough each day.
8. You can still eat your favourite foods… sometimes
Anyone that is focussed on their health and leading a fit lifestyle will tell you that they still enjoy a pizza or ice cream. But, it’s not all of the time. Food is there to be enjoyed, but the key is in moderation. It is possible to be fit and healthy and still enjoy a burger on the weekend. The thing to consider is that food is to be enjoyed but not overindulged. By allowing yourself to eat the foods you love in moderation and sparingly, you can enjoy a treat once in awhile all whilst staying fit.
9. Start with small steps
If you want to change any kind of habit, whether it be to get fit, use social media less or quit smoking, one of the keys to getting to a stage where you have accomplished your goal is to start off small. It is a lot harder to make a change to your lifestyle if you try to go from one extreme to another in as quick a time frame as possible. If you want to make big changes, you need to start small. If you want to increase your water intake, you can work on drinking six glasses a day if you start by substituting one of your sodas for a glass of water instead and gradually increase this amount every day and week. If you want to get it done, do it slowly and you’ll get there in time.
When setting your goals, ask yourself ‘If I push myself (and I mean really give your best) what can I achieve today? This week? This month?’ Create healthy habits and stick to them!