My 5 Keys to Kickstart Fat Loss
How is your 2020 going?
We are nearly in Feb!!! (But you don’t need me to point that out).
There’s no denying that each New Year we are bombarded with so many messages about solutions to our diet and fitness needs.
I’m sure you’ve felt as confused as I used to about the best way to achieve your goals. No doubt sometimes after purchasing some of these various solutions, you may have been left feeling if maybe getting fit and losing some excess kgs just really isn’t for you.
Being told that you have to: cut carbs forever, eat the lowest calories possible, workout for hours each day, eat 6 times per day or even take particular supplements to reach your goals is just overcomplicating things. Since joining the fitness industry by chance 5 years ago, and recently becoming a certified nutritionist too, I’m making it my mission to cut through the crap for my clients and simplify their lives so they can get on with it and stop the stress!
At the start of the year, I hosted an interactive online kickstart group that was open to anyone to join.
My aim was to lay out as simply as possible, what I consider are the most doable steps to getting started on your fitness goals, which don’t even require you to set foot in a gym (if you don’t want to!).
Since reading James Clear’s Atomic Habits more than a year ago, I was inspired to adapt some of his really simple techniques into coaching my clients when needed. Of course I tried them myself first. Some of his ideas are included here. I highly recommend his book for any habits you want to establish in life.
Of course you realise that 5 days is not long enough to undo weeks or months of a DGAF attitude towards your health or fitness, but every mission has to start somewhere – so here are my 5 keys, summarised for the blog of course!
- Goal Setting (But not as you know it).
Most of us set our goals as a point of achievement off in the future somewhere. We can see them, we know what we want… hopefully we’ll get there if we try really hard. Have you ever thought what it would REALLY feel like if you achieved your goal? Or do you get caught up in the detail of getting there? Just like a business needs a strategic vision, you need to really connect with your end result. I’ve been coached to do this myself, and I’ll admit, I was a little resistant at first, but the more I practiced it, the better results I got. I want you to WRITE OUT YOUR GOAL AS IF IT’S DONE. That’s right, take the time to sit and think what it will really look and feel like when you get there (not if). Write it down, and keep reading it. You need to instil this vision into your mind. Your vision could include trying on a smaller size in your favourite shop and feeling absolutely amazing and confident as it fits just perfectly!
No it’s not “The Secret” or manifestation. It’s simply that, the more you focus on where you want to be, instead of hating where you are, the more likely you will be driven to do the steps to get there.
- The difference between motivation and achievement – is ACTION.
Of course you can’t just wish yourself thin, fit and healthy and you’ll get there – otherwise we all would do it! The difference between those you may admire for their commitment, their physique or their ability is not luck, but action. I’m not telling you anything new here – but how do we commit to action? With a clear plan of course. Just as a business needs a strategic vision – the only way to get there is to break it down into operational plans (stay with me!). Let’s keep it simple. Look at your vision. What ACTIONS does the person in your vision, your ideal self do daily to be there? It might be: a daily workout, eating vegetables with every meal, meal prepping for the week every week….. write out the 3 key actions this ideal you does. Now commit to when and where you will do each action. For example: On Monday after work, I will go straight to MetaPWR. In the morning, I will pack my lunch for work with a cup of salad or veg. On Sunday, I will cook 3 meals for the week.
Once you make these definitive commitments to yourself, you will find them harder to ditch. It’s not fail proof, but you’re removing the: hopefully/maybe/if I can’s that until now have always gotten in the way. Try it for yourself.
- Let’s Get Real.
You’ve probably tried it before, and you’ve done ok for a while, but invariably end up back off the wagon and into your old ways. If this sounds like you, you need to clearly identify the barriers that come up for you. Match a common barrier to getting each action above done. Now write an alternative course of action. For example: If I forget to pack my vegetables for work, then I will grab a microwave bag from the freezer section. Instead of: “Oh damn, I forgot to do that, guess I’ll just have a takeaway”……
- Wake Up!
The only real way to change undesirable habits is to be aware of them in the first place. As a coach, I know it is impossible to help someone who will not face and identify their own self-destructive behaviour. There is no way I can follow you around and smack the cupcakes out of your hands. You need to own it. If you are constantly struggling with some extra weight you just can’t get rid of, then there’s some extras getting in there. Mindless eating is a common problem when we have so many calorie dense treats available at our fingertips while we’re sitting on our butts for hours. The simplest place to start is to commit to writing down what goes in your mouth for a week. You will quickly identify your reasons for eating other than hunger (boredom/stress/social/habitual). When you look back on your week, pick the easiest eating habit for you to “delete” from your week. Do that and see what happens. If the scales and cm’s start to move within a week or two, you’re on the right track. Keep it up.
- Track, Repeat, Improve the System…… It’s that simple! You now have identified your end result. You’ve selected the 3 main actions that will get you there. You’ve set out a plan, and a plan B and you are looking at your “data”. You need to keep it up! When it comes to diet & fitness solutions, most of us suffer from Magpie syndrome, always looking for the next shiny thing. The truth of the matter is that any plan will work, if you stick with it. The number one reason that any plan fails is that people fail to carry it out. Create yourself a daily checklist with your actions. Each day you follow the plan, tick it off. This is a great visual motivator for you to keep going. See what happens in a week or two, notice how you feel about it. Because, what’s the alternative? Continuing to take no action? That is not you in 2020, you’ve got this!
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