The faster we want to see results, often the more we set ourselves up for long term failure.
Because we ultimately implement habits and routines that simply aren’t sustainable.
And by trying to rush our results we also often create metabolic adaptations and hormonal changes that work against us or make rebounding back to what we started at even easier.
And while our lifestyle can, and should, change as our goals evolve, we have to stop going to extremes and instead focus on creating the healthiest version of our PERSONAL lifestyle.
In the end, this leads to not only the best results because we allow those results to compound and snowball, but also the most sustainable results.
Because we don’t want to look and feel our best for just a day! We want to maintain those results long term.
That’s why I wanted to share 3 tips to help you lose fat and create those habits that will help you KEEP the weight off!
But before I dive into the tips to help you make sustainable habit changes I do just want to point out that making any change to start may not feel easy, comfortable or even sustainable.
Often changes feel exactly the opposite no matter how much they may evolve into our new routines and habits.
It’s because what feels easy, what feels sustainable and instinctual is what we’ve always done.
And what we’ve always done hasn’t moved us forward.
If we want a new and better result, we have to make a change and that means we have to embrace being a bit uncomfortable.
We have to give those changes time to become our new normal.
And then to KEEP that result, we have to keep replicating those habits. You can’t just simply achieve your goal then go back to what you were doing.
And that’s why these 3 tips are really so key.
They help you implement changes in a way that helps you build while also staying focused on what is realistic for you to do LONG-TERM so that the foundation of the new lifestyle you want to create is there.
Tip #1: STOP Saying Food Is Just Fuel.
So often when we’re striving for fat loss, we try to see food as just fuel. We eat for function. We willing cut out things and restrict.
We even except super bland meals and tell ourselves to “suck it up” and eat things we don’t really enjoy.
And while food for sure is fuel, that isn’t truly all it is for most of us.
It’s consumed because it often tastes good and is part of our social gatherings and events.
It’s part of the fun of traveling and experiencing a new place.
And honestly there shouldn’t be guilt for eating food for enjoyment purposes.
The more we try to deny that food is more than just fuel in our modern society, the more we hold ourselves back from creating a true lifestyle balance.
And that’s why ultimately often our fat loss results are short-lived.
We don’t know how to balance eating to just fuel, eating for function, with actually living the life we enjoy.
So at some point, when we either…
A. Can’t stand it any longer or
B. Have reached our goal and want to go back to normal…
We end up indulging in foods that don’t fall on an arbitrary clean “approved list” and then can’t reign things back in.
We almost REBEL against the restriction we’d self-inflicted.
Instead we need to recognize and understand what role food plays in our life.
Do we like having that happy hour out with friends on Friday?
Do we enjoy cooking for our extended family as we get together and celebrate around the table?
Do we enjoy a date night out with our special someone?
We need to strike that balance between aesthetic goals and the lifestyle we ultimately want to lead if we not only want to lose fat but KEEP IT OFF.
And while your exact balance will shift as your goals shift, the key is not forcing restrictions on yourself that only lead to rebellion later.
We need to LEARN how to work in the things we love.
Sure we may find there are foods we can’t have just one of so don’t include those as often, or we may find more macro-friendly variations at times to work into our macros, but we’ve got to embrace a balance.
Instead of restricting, work in things you love FIRST to your macros to balance everything else out around it.
This can help you not feel deprived of the things you love while embracing the ratios and habit changes along the way.
It can help you learn to include your bread or dessert to actually build a lifestyle change you know you can maintain!
Tip #2: Build Off Of Your Current Lifestyle.
Stop searching for a fad diet. A quick fix.
Stop just cutting out foods because someone said to.
If you have an allergy or intolerance, sure, you may not include certain foods in your diet.
But too often we cut out foods in a desire to “eat clean” to ultimately only end up eating more of those things over the year after feeling so deprived of them and restricted.
We feel guilty because we aren’t hitting someone else’s standards of what a healthy diet should look like.
But we’ve got to stop caring what other people think.
One size doesn’t fit all. And while I hear a ton of people preach that, I see those same people trying to make people feel guilty for eating foods they enjoy that aren’t as healthy.
And all this does is hold people back from ever making any sort of change.
We have to meet ourselves where we are at.
If we’re eating fast food for every meal and pizza, we’re only going to set ourselves up for failure by trying a diet that cuts all of that out immediately and forces us to eat chicken and broccoli.
Instead we need to take a look at our current lifestyle and make small swaps and changes to that.
To get the best results and then keep the weight off we have to stay focused on creating the healthiest version of OUR personal lifestyle.
This is why I encourage clients to stop just cutting out whole food groups but instead embrace the learning process and count macros.
By tracking what we are currently eating to start, without even making changes, we can see things we can tweak and adjust.
And then, from there, instead of cutting out the thing you love the most first, think about adding in something good. Or swapping out something easy.
The easier the changes are to start, the more we can get that momentum building through feeling successful in our implementation of the changes.
When we feel successful in making changes, we then want to do more.
Because it really is a case of the more you do, the more you do. And this can be both in a positive and a negative direction.
If we instead just made sweeping arbitrary changes completely unrealistic for our lifestyle, we may ultimately end up doing nothing or failing at the thing we try to ultimately do more of nothing.
As silly as it can feel, start with small changes based on what you’re currently doing so you can slowly build.
This allows us to create routines that are realistic for us and that we aren’t just constantly forcing ourselves to maintain through willpower.
So consider your current lifestyle as you being to make tweaks!
Tip #3: Set End Dates And Evolve.
I dislike saying that my diet or exercise routine is a lifestyle.
Because I feel like so often that is interpreted as I’m going to do this same thing forever.
We feel this pressure to embrace a way of eating as the thing we’ll do forever.
But nothing in our lifestyle is ever standing still.
Our routines and habits should change just like our needs and goals do!
We also aren’t really motivated to take action by the idea of doing something FOREVER.
So as you work toward your fat loss goals, set progressions and macro ratios you plan to cycle. Set “end dates” at which you’re going to assess and adjust and maybe even slightly tweak your goals.
This can help us stay focused and give us motivation to start today.
It can also help us be more patient in waiting for results to build because we know we can change at a specific point anyway.
It’s also why having a goal for your workouts and understanding macros is so key.
When you have a goal for your workouts you have that focus to drive you forward. Especially when there is an end date at which you want to have hit that performance goal.
And as much as we know “abs are revealed by what we do in the kitchen” being motivated to train and push hard will only help us get better results, especially when focused on building muscle.
It also generally keeps us motivated to do other healthy habits that lead to fat loss, like being conscious of how we fuel.
And by taking the time to learn about macros, we can learn what we need even as our needs and goals change over time.
So while losing fat, we may cycle specific ratios based on even how our training evolves.
But then when we work to maintain, we can adjust ratios and calories again.
Macros, and how we adjust them, are truly at the heart of every diet out there.
And when you understand macros, you can implement low carb, low fat, high protein in any way YOU need to not only create a sustainable lifestyle but see the fat loss results you want and then maintain those results long term.
Because not only can different ratios help you work toward different goals, but you may find that with different types of training, you need to fuel differently to maintain your results.
Or as we get older, we need to adjust again because we become less able to utilize protein as efficiently and struggle more to build and retain lean muscle.
Or if you’re going through menopause you may even find you need to tweak things again because of those hormonal changes.
The point is, if we take time to really learn the foundation of nutrition and understand macros, we then have the power to evolve.
And being conscious that nothing works forever, is what can help us adapt over time so we can KEEP the fat loss results we worked hard to achieve!
We have to remember that we can never stop doing what made us “better” and that even maintaining our results is a process with ebbs and flows.
So if you want to lose fat and keep it off, remember one size doesn’t fit all.
Take time to build habits off of your current lifestyle and don’t be afraid to set end dates at which you assess your results and adapt and evolve your routines!
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