Edit: The 12 Days of ChristMASS competition is over. Thanks for reading and be on the lookout for any future competitions.
Define your why.
Asking yourself "why" is a great thing to do in any aspect of your life. When dieting, you already know what your're trying to accomplish. You may even know how you're going to accomplish it. But why? What you're doing isn't the motivating factor. You're eating less and working more. If you focus on that, you will stall out and eventually give up. Instead think why. I want to feel better. I want to reverse what being overweight has done to my health. I want to feel good in my clothes again. I want to be more confident. Focusing on these will keep you motivated when the going gets tough, on your fat loss journey. Before I opened Treadaway Training for business, I wrote my why on a legal pad, tore it out, framed it, and its hanging on the wall in front of me as I type this. (On this topic, I would suggest reading Start With Why by Simon Sinek.) This is the first, most important step to becoming one step closer to who you want to be. If you have no reason for doing something, does it really mean anything in the first place?
Don't put the cart before the horse.
When people decide they are going to go on a diet, weird things start to happen. They start taking exotic supplements, drinking detox teas (that's a topic for another day), wearing trash bags, and strapping themselves in to machines designed to vibrate the weight off.
When it comes to fat loss, there are no shortcuts. Ask yourself this one simple question. Am I in a Caloric deficit? In other words, are you burning more Calories that you're consuming? If yes, you will lose weight. If no, you will not lose weight. There are other important considerations such as how your macronutrients are divided up, fiber intake, micronutrient intake, etc. If you are consuming more Calories than you burn, you're going to gain weight, even if everything else is on point.
Where is your deficit coming from?
Let's revisit the question I just posed to you. Are you consuming more or less Calories than you are burning? Notice there are two variables available to manipulate in this equation: Calories consumed and Calories burned (Energy Balance = Calories consumed - Calories burned). This gives us two options. We can increase Calorie burn or Decrease Calorie intake. Which one is better? That's contextually dependent. Do you love eating? Do you hate cardio? How active are you already? What types of foods are you eating? If you're already very active but eat a lot of Calorie-dense foods, you should start by decreasing Calories. If you don't eat much but are inactive, you should start with adding exercise. If you eat a lot of Calorie dense foods and are inactive, you should probably do both. Personal preference is also a big factor here; however, I will say, there will come a time where you can no longer reasonably cut Calories any further or add any more cardio. You will have to incorporate both variables at some point regardless of your preference.
Consistency is key.
Do not let two days of a weekend ruin your whole week's progress. You could very easily take one step forward during the week and two steps back on the weekend, if you decide you want to go hog wild and pig out because it's the weekend. Refer to my previous eating out example here.
How are you going to keep the weight off?
People put a lot of thought into weight loss, but they do not think about weight maintenance. Are you going to diet forever? What comes after the diet? The post-diet plan is equally as important. If you were overweight to start with and go back to the same thing you were doing before, you're just going to gain the weight back. You have to adjust your intake to your new body weight. Lets use the example of a 200 pound man who previously maintained his weight on 3,000 Calories per day who lost 20 pounds. At 180 pounds, his maintenance Calorie intake is no longer 3,000 Calories. It would more likely be around 2,700. When we lose weight, our bodies simply do not need as much energy to move around as they did when we weighed more.
With the ever-popular New Year's resolutions right around the corner, I hope this helps you get an early jump on your new goals!
Thanks for reading! At the end of the 12 days of ChristMASS, I am giving away a $100 Amazon gift card! There are multiple ways to enter. The following things will give you one entry each:
- Like the Treadaway Training Faceboook page.
- Share the Treadaway Training Facebook post containing any 12 days of ChristMASS article.
- Like any 12 days of ChristMASS post on Facebook.
- Tag 3 people on any 12 days of ChristMASS Facebook post.
- Repost any 12 days of ChristMASS intagram post (and tag me so I can see it).
This gives you 5 possible entries each day with 1 additional entry for liking the Facebook Page. God Bless and I'll see you tomorrow for the 12 Days of ChristMASS Day 9!