Whenever you start something new, the obvious first step is to organize a plan of action for achieving your goals. However, more than 60 percent of people don’t create a well thought-out plan. This is the number one reason most people never achieve their New Year resolutions or reach their weight loss goals.
It’s not enough to say that you want to lose 20 pounds, you have to realistically determine how you are going to work toward the goal, measure the goal, and make sure that it fits into your lifestyle.
Create a Plan That Works
If weight loss, or simply healthy living, is your goal, you need to follow these steps toward achievement.
- Hold yourself accountable. True accountability comes from you. You don’t need to rely on your co-worker, your spouse, or your best friend to achieve success. Instead of asking your friends and family to join your crusade, be the inspiration for their success. I see this over and over where someone relies on a partner to go with them to the gym. When one of them doesn’t go, the other one also doesn’t go. You must have an unstoppable desire to conquer your goals no matter what.
- Set realistic expectations. Your new healthy habits have to fit your personality and your schedule. If you are not a morning person, don’t commit to 5 A.M. workouts. If you hate running, don’t join a running club. Find activities you like and times that fit your schedule. If you don’t like protein shakes or you hate broccoli, don’t make those food options part of your plan. Find recipes that fit your taste preferences and keep you on track with your goals—there are plenty of options, part of good planning is to find them.
- Choose your program carefully. Guidance from an expert can give you a blueprint for success, but make sure you choose a credible program that includes a maintenance plan. You can almost be certain that any “quick-fix” miracles are not putting your health first, nor are you going to achieve sustainable results. Consider the fact that 95% of people that lose weight do not keep the weight off longer than 12 months. Do you know why this statistic is so poor? Because the methods used to lose the weight to begin with were not sustainable methods for an attainable lifestyle. Alternatively, programs like the HoffmanFit Lean Body System were specifically developed to be practiced as a lifestyle.
Why “Quick Fixes” Don’t Work
Most of you know how I feel about gimmicks that promise and deceitful advertising that promise a quick fix to your body. You have seen the banner ads, magazine covers, TV programs with quacks I won’t mention, and diet bestsellers proclaiming things like, “Lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks!” And, if you are like most people, you rush to find out what miraculous diet, pill, or exercise will change your body in such a short timeframe. Whether it is the cabbage soup all day, every day or miracle pills that claim to boost your metabolism, you are doing more harm than good to your body.
Your metabolism is a very efficient machine. It is designed to ingest nutrients, such as fresh, whole foods, sourced from nature to sustain energy for basic biological functions and activities of daily living. When you introduce supplements that “support” your metabolism or eat a severely restricted diet, you tell your metabolism to slow down. So, when you stop taking the pills or start eating a variety of foods at a normal, healthy calorie level, your metabolism does not function as well. Your metabolism is effectively impaired.
Successful Weight/Fat Loss Management
Once you reach the 40+ middle-age stage of life many hormonal changes take place not only in females but also in males. Your body is losing muscle mass at an accelerated rate and your body composition is changing by increasing fat stores.
To make matters worse fat storage is increasing in all the wrong places such as the belly. This type of fat is termed visceral fat and has serious consequences if not addressed by taking meaningful action.
To support a healthy metabolism, you need to fuel your body with complete nutrients from fresh, whole foods at a calorie level that allows you to maintain metabolic efficiency and maximize performance. Skip processed foods that clog your system (the body doesn’t process fake ingredients well). Eliminate sugar and refined carbs that cause spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels (blood sugar balance significantly influences your metabolism).
Though nutrition is more than 80 percent of your success, physical activity—particularly resistance training with weights—contributes to a metabolism that burns fat 24/7. Your body requires more energy to maintain muscle and is the type of tissue termed “metabolically active.” Fat tissue, on the other hand, is dormant tissue. Fat cells don’t contain small cellular organelles called mitochondria which are the cell’s “power house.” Energy is produced in the mitochondria and muscle tissue has infinitely more mitochondria than fat cells.
This is why I’m such a strong advocate of lifting weights; because when you change your body composition to one of more muscle, your metabolism functions at an increased rate. There’s no better way of increasing lean muscle than by working out with weights.
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Philip J. Hoffman
Certified Sports Nutrition
Certified Fitness Trainer
Expert Fat Loss Coach