As the New Year unfolds, millions of people set goals to lose weight…but sadly few are successful. If you are one of the millions of people attempting to change your lifestyle, I’m confident that after you read this article and complete each step, you will be stacking the cards massively in your favor to become a success story.
You are about to learn a simple, but powerful framework to help you not only lose weight naturally, but also keep it off for the rest of your life. It’s not smoke and mirrors, it’s not about promising you fast, easy results, and it’s not about crash dieting.
This article is a do-it-yourself guide to help you lose weight safely, naturally, and sustainably. It’s not easy, it’s not effortless, but it is a proven process that works very, very well.
The “secret” behind the BuiltLean 5-Steps to Weight Loss is that it’s a systematic approach to help you change your habits. Right now, your body reflects your current exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle habits. We need to change these habits so that you achieve a stronger, leaner, and fitter body for the long run.
When I say lose weight, I mean lose fat without losing muscle. Losing weight if you are also losing muscle is undesirable for reasons I describe in a previous BuiltLean article: How Losing Weight Can Make You Look Less Lean.
“He who conquers others is strong. He who conquers himself is mighty”
Successful weight loss boils down to changing your old habits and replacing them with new habits that will transform your body. So how do you change your habits which are deeply ingrained in your subconscious mind?
The short answer is be conscious of your habits so you can change them. One of the best ways to become more conscious of your habits is completing a self assessment to analyze your mindset and physical state.
A) Mindset Assessment
Answering tough questions about your exercise, nutrition, and your lifestyle habits can help inspire change. For example, if you don’t workout, why not? This seemingly simple question requires deep introspection and courage to answer. Yes, you may not have the time, but that may not be the “real” reason.
Top 5 “Lose Weight Naturally” Questions:
B) Body Assessment
Next is the body assessment, which provides objective facts and establishes the starting point for your journey. A body assessment can also be a HUGE motivator as well, because the results of a body assessment can be a serious wake up call.
I strongly suggest (i.e. require) men complete a full body assessment and encourage women to complete that of which they are comfortable. A typical body assessment is comprised of the following:
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else”
Creating a compelling goal along with the reason why that goal is important may take some time, but it’s worth it. Without a compelling goal, we have no direction and we may lack the fortitude necessary to achieve our goals.
I bet the times you were successful in your life were not when you “wanted” something, but when you “needed” something. You set a specific goal and you had a reason why that goal was important to you that was so compelling failure was not an option.
There are two different types of goals you can consider creating:
(1) Outcome goals – Relate to an end point, such as losing 10 pounds, or completing 10 pull-ups
(2) Process goals – Relate to a process that will help you reach your outcome goals, like exercising 3 times per week, or eating 2 servings of veggies each day.
You can create a combination of outcome and process goals to help you stay on track. My personal favorite strategy is creating a primary outcome goal, such as losing 20 pounds in 12 weeks and a short term goal of 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week by using Monday Morning Weigh-ins.
“Failing to plan is planning to fail”
Having a plan is important because it channels your energies to help you get the best results possible. If you work hard AND have a great plan, it’s only a matter of time before you achieve your goals. Unfortunately, most people either (1) never create a plan, or (2) follow an ineffective plan.
There are tons of exercise and nutrition plans that can be found on the internet. I like to think my BuiltLean Program that took me 3 years to create is a great plan to help you lose weight fast and safely, but I’m slightly biased!
You can also create your own exercise and nutrition plan, which is a time-consuming, but worthwhile process. A plan does not necessarily have to be a rigid structure, it could be developing specific guidelines for yourself to follow. For example, here’s a sensible plan to help you lose weight:
Your “How to Lose Weight” Plan could be:
You may have realized I just listed 5 process goals, which help form the foundation of the plan; 2 related to exercise and 3 related to nutrition. You can then drill down with more detail to flesh out each goal, which will put the finishing touches on your plan. When developing your “How to Lose Weight” plan, be sure to draw from the answers and results you outlined during your assessment.
Here’s some more detail to consider when creating your plan:
For more information on creating effective workouts, I have a hidden video on my facebook page that appears after you “like” the page: BuiltLean on Facebook.
NOTE: Don’t forget if you want to maximize your results, you should have strength training, cardio, and flexibility components in your exercise plan.
Keep in mind nutrition is the difference in helping you lose weight quickly and safely. You can exercise until you are blue in the face every day, but lose no weight if you don’t change your eating habits. Because 1 pound of fat has 3500 calories, you are going to have to do A LOT of working out to burn off that amount of calories, but the easier way is simply eat less calories AND exercise.
I do want to emphasize you need to eat less calories than you burn to lose weight. This may sound difficult, but a strategy of filling up on whole, natural foods that provide less calories but keep you feeling satisfied is a great strategy I highly recommend.
To learn more about nutrition as it relates to losing weight, check out these 3 articles to help you refine your nutrition plan and vastly increase your knowledge of nutrition:
Following a clear exercise and nutrition plan is essential to help maximize the effectiveness of your time and keep you motivated along your journey to lose weight.
“We must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
This “take action” step may be self evident, but for some getting started and taking action is the hardest part.
Starting off slow if you haven’t worked out in a while will make starting a program more manageable for you , which will make taking action easier. Maybe it’s going to the gym for 10 minutes, or cutting out drinking soda.
Execute your plan without hesitation, but be sure to follow the next step.
“Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.”
Tracking your progress will help you identify improvements from consistent exercise and better eating so that you can link your efforts to positive results. It will also keep you accountable for the decisions you make regarding your health and well-being.
Not tracking your progress is like playing in a basketball game and not knowing what the score is, how many points you scored, or rebounds you have. In other words, you have absolutely no idea how you are playing and if you are even winning.
While there are several metrics you can track, here are 5 you can consider tracking:
For more information on tracking progress, check out my free 20-Page Get Lean Guide.
While there is a lot of information in this article, you don’t need to complete each step perfectly in order to be successful. Just do your best with each step and move on to the next step. For example, if you don’t have a body fat caliper, or don’t know any ways to measure your body fat percentage, that’s fine. You can still lose weight naturally without knowing your body fat percentage. Do what you can, order what you need, then move on.
An important theme I tell everyone who completes my BuiltLean Program is to “Always Move Forward”. We all have obstacles in our way and we all make mistakes, but it’s how we deal with adversity that determines our success.
Always move forward and good luck with your weight loss journey!