Beach season is fast approaching, which means the 50% of the people who normally don’t go to the gym but have a gym memberships are suddenly avid exercisers.
Everyone is in a mad dash to lose the 10lb of fat gained during winter hibernation, but sadly few will be successful.
Here’s the Truth:
1. Most people don’t get any results despite considerable effort
2. Even if results are achieved, keeping those results are unlikely
Why is this so?
While there are many answers to this question, I believe a contributing factor is the mismanagement of goals and expectations – particularly the difference between weight loss vs. weight maintenance.
There is a huge difference between what is required to change our bodies by losing weight versus maintain our existing weight and physical condition, which may not properly understood, or appreciated.
Weight Loss: Are You Ready For Battle?
If you are in the camp of wanting to lose as much fat as possible before that beach trip this summer, it’s important to mentally get ready for a serious battle.
Steamrolling ahead is not a smart strategy if you are not mentally ready to handle the discomfort of changing your eating and exercise habits. Notice I didn’t use the word “sacrifice” to describe changing your habits – not having fries with your burger is not a sacrifice, but it does create discomfort.
Do these lines sound familiar? These are the lines used by people who aren’t mentally ready for battle:
“I’m going to ‘try’ to workout while I’m traveling next week”
“I’m going to ‘try’ to eat better”
“I’m going to ‘try’ to lose 10 pounds”
Getting the body you want isn’t about trying, it’s about doing. I’ve certainly found myself using the dreaded “try” line more than I would care to admit, but I catch myself when I do. Trying is for people who accept failure as an option. We need to create a mindset shift where success is the only option. Keep in mind the words we use have a major impact on our success.
If you are losing (not “trying” to lose) 5 to 10 pounds, follow this 5 step plan, which is the same exact 5 steps everyone who successfully completes my BuiltLean Program follows:
1) Self Assessment
2) Set Your Goal (& The Reason Why That Goal is Important To You)
3) Create, or Identify Your Plan
4) Take Action
5) Track Progress
So what happens if you simply aren’t ready, or don’t want to make improvements to your body? The next section will discuss some strategies for maintaining your existing condition.
Weight Maintenance: Cruising With The Top Down
Weight maintenance is a beautiful thing. It’s possible to maintain a high level of physical conditioning without nearly the same amount of effort as it took to get to that fitness level. Yep, your just cruising along with the top down, enjoying the fruits of your labor.
But just like the line “a fool and his money are soon parted”, the same applies to your body. If you make a lot of bad decisions and either massively overeat, or don’t exercise at all, you will lose whatever results you have been able to achieve.
In my opinion, weight maintenance is a lot of fun, because you can try different routines, different types of exercises, or activities like hiking etc., and as long as you stay consistent with a few workouts per week of sufficient intensity, you should be able to keep your results.
While maintaining your results isn’t quite a walk in the park, it’s pretty close. It goes back to mindset – if you are happy and excited to eat well 90% of the time, you will more than likely be able to maintain great results. Of course, if you “let yourself go”, we all know how fast results can be lost with mindless eating and lack of exercise – very, very fast!
It’s totally cool to go from Body Change to Maintenance as you see fit. The mental wiring that needs to be changed is going from weight loss to body destruction, which is normally how the process works – “Ok, I just killed myself for 3 months and lost 20lb of fat, now it’s time to reward myself”. That kind of mindset invariably leads to the yoyo effect of fat gain/loss over and over and over again.
So where are you at? Weight loss (or muscle gain) or maintenance?