Early on when I started weight training I remember lying on the leg curl machine and right before I was about to perform a set this gentleman looked at me and said "remember one thing, anyone can become fit, but staying fit is a whole different ball game.” At the time I gave him a perplexed look and thought he was doing his best to sound like Plato.
Fast forward to years later with a big smile on face. Why? Because I know now what he meant. He was telling me that the most common thing most people denote when they embark on their fitness journey is they unfortunately stamp an expiration date on their goal. The truth of the matter is turning fitness into a lifestyle is what matters most.
The blueprint to truly turning your fitness goals into a lifestyle lies on three steps.
These three steps are habits, health and fat loss.Let’s examine habits first.
Habits can be like a long life love affair. Most of us know that creating new habits is one of the most difficult things to do.
However where most people fail to realize is “losing” a habit is even more challenging. Eating fatty foods, smoking and drinking could be doing harm to one person. Now try taking these habits away and see how this person reacts to both physically and mentally. I always suggest whether you're going to add or lose your habit, you must make small incremental steps.
But creating and losing habits can be very difficult especially when one doesn’t see results right away.
Sometimes this leads to them to self diagnosing themselves. According to a study done in the APS medical journal, when it comes to changing habits, starting small is the key. For instance if you crave potato chips every night when you’re watching TV, instead of completely getting rid of them maybe you eat the chips every other night as opposed to stopping cold turkey. These steps are small accomplishments. They count as results. And then instead of every other night it could be every night and before you know it you lose this bad habit.
Even striving to food prep is a good way to put yourself in the right direction to making good eating choices. Once again instead of prepping for the whole week, you might consider prepping for half the week and build from there. Just remember when it comes to habits always think of one word baby steps.
The next approach is health. We must fix our health first before we can focus on fat loss, muscle-building and longevity.
For instance someone who currently works out and thinks their eating well and they might actually be eating well are not losing body fat. The number one thing that make people quit their fitness journey is not seeing results.
So if they’re not seeing results they have to get to the core of the problem and in this case the problem is their metabolism.
Before one can embark on a fat loss journey we have to fix the metabolism first. Maybe your hormones are off and that’s what’s manipulating your metabolism. My suggestion is always first to go to your physician and get blood work done. Next you can make some changes on your diet.
Another problem you have is that you’re constantly feeling tired. If you’re feeling tired, you tell yourself you are lazy and too tired to workout.
It’s not that you’re too lazy to work out, it’s your lack of sleep and your choices of food are not precipitating the right energy.
Another issue is that you could be an emotional - stress eater. When there’s too much stress in the body your adrenal glands releases cortisol and when there is a sufficient amount of cortisol in the body it can manipulate your blood sugar which can lead to cravings.
Speaking of cravings it’s almost impossible to embark on a long fitness journey with the sole purpose of losing body fat if you’re constantly craving food.
Food cravings in most cases is mataralized by large amounts of carbohydrates. Carbs affect your blood sugar levels which affects your cravings.
Staying away from refined carbohydrates and focusing more on vegetables usually does the trick.
Now comes the grand finale, fat loss. Having habits and health firing in the right direction, fat loss becomes the easy part.
Why does fat loss become easy? Because now everything feels organic and it becomes a lifestyle with no expiration date.
You can focus on going into a caloric deficit, cycle your carbohydrates, go keto, low carbs and even add intermittent fasting. And best of all no cravings.
This of course will be accompanied by some exercise, preferably resistance training.
Resistance training will help preserve and build new muscle tissue and we all know when there’s new muscle tissue our metabolism goes up and when we have a metabolism operating on four cylinders it becomes a fat burning furnace.
Before you know it, your fitness routine will be as common as putting toothpaste on a toothbrush. Why? Because you fixed your habits, enhanced your health and lost your tummy.:)