The gym is extremely busy around this time of year so my hands have been full at work, between training clients, putting together programs and managing my own training/cardio/eating schedule LOL...
The good thing about my line of work is that it's very hands on and I get to help guide people in the right direction when it comes to their fitness and nutrition. This gives me an opportunity to see what approaches work best when a person is trying to lose weight and keep it off for good! There are a LOT of quick fixes and fad diets out there that deliver short term results but that are very hard to maintain and can leave an "initially" motivated person feeling defeated towards the end when they start to yo-yo and regain the weight that they worked so hard to lose!
I won't go into TOO much detail, so let me fast forward and give you guys 5 simple fail-proof tips to losing fat and keeping it off for good:
1) EAT!! Focus on eating at least 5 small balanced meals a day (One serving of complex carbs, One serving of healthy fats and One serving of lean protein). Too many people make the huge mistake of NOT EATING ENOUGH when trying to lose fat and in turn end up burning muscle and slowing down their metabolisms.
2) INCREASE YOUR ACTIVITY LEVEL!! Start with small steps. Commit to doing 2-3 activities a week that involve getting out of the house and moving, this can be: going to the gym, going for a walk/run, taking a dance class, walking your pets; just don't think too much, GET UP AND GET MOVING for 30-45 minutes 3 days a week.
3) FOCUS ON PROGRESSION, NOT ON PERFECTION!! Slow and steady wins the race. If you set goals that are way too challenging you are shooting yourself in the foot and not allowing yourself to enjoy the journey and travel with hope. Set a weekly goal and monthly goals, yearly goals etc... plan ahead and plan to succeed.
4) LIFT WEIGHTS!! Weight training helps improve your body's ability to manage insulin and stabilize blood sugar levels. Building lean muscle helps speed up your metabolism and reshape your body, burns calories and helps you achieve a toned, lean look.
5) FOCUS ON YOUR OWN PERSONAL JOURNEY AND DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS!! We are all in a different phase of our lifestyle transformation journey. Everybody has to begin somewhere and comparing ourselves to other people or striving to achieve the results that other people have only distracts us from our own fitness journey. In the end, we ALL want the same things: progress, good health, change, education, balance and results!!!
And last but not least, BALANCE IS KEY! I eat healthy, I exercise daily and I have a personal life which includes socializing, having a few drinks here and there, indulging in all-you-can-eat events; and I am only human, there are days where I'm really busy and don't get to work out. The bottom line is, try and stick to your healthy lifestyle routine 75-90% of the time depending on what is realistic for you at the present time. As long as your mind is set to making change and you are doing as much as you can, results will come. Being TOO strict and depriving yourself of having a balanced life will only make your fitness and nutrition lifestyle less enjoyable.
In all honesty, 80% of the pictures I post on my facebook have been snapped after a night out with friends (drinks and tons of food) and I can finally say I have found a way to have my cake and eat it too! I may not be depleted and under 10% bodyfat but I manage to stay lean and in alright shape and still have a social life. All thanks to sound nutrition, a high activity level and good stress management!
Everything in moderation, including moderation ;)
Alex L. :)