Right now may just be the most important time of our lives to get to a healthy weight. We are in the midst of another COVID-19 surge and we know now that being overweight is one of the major risk factors in developing a more serious infection.
Fat loss is, of course, always desirable and the new year is usually when we pledge to finally get our act together and lose weight and get in shape. But, as we all know, this is so much easier said than done.
In my years of health and fitness, I have been on my own journey to optimize my body. What I have come to learn in both my own life and in helping my patients is that reaching and maintaining a healthy body composition is a life-long endeavor. It is not something we should do with a specific goal in mind or an end date. Working on it every single day is how it gets done. Consistency is the key.
I can say this about every healthy lifestyle habit that we try to do to keep ourselves healthy and happy. Health is a life-long journey, not some goal that you achieve for a short period of time.
When it comes to short term weight loss, any diet, whether it is only grapefruits or only twinkies, will work if you actually follow it. The issue is that most people can adhere to a strict diet for a very limited amount of time. The likely scenario is that you research a diet, follow it well for a few weeks, lose some weight in time for your vacation, go on vacation and indulge yourself only to find that you have regained all the weight again. Then, the willpower is lacking for you to do that strict diet again because it is so hard!
The only way to lose fat for good is to adopt a healthy eating practice and stick to it. Like, forever.
This requires dedication to yourself and your health, but I hope that you know by now that self-love and self-care should be your number one priority!
Commit to making the healthiest choices, every day and you will change your body composition over time. There is nothing that can permanently remove fat in just 30 days. There is no magic pill that will forever change your metabolism. Changing your body composition takes time, dedication, effort, diligence, patience, and self-love. Achieving fat loss and a healthy body composition takes hard work. Every. Single. Day.
If you really want to achieve something different, you have to be willing to do something different than you have done before. There is work that has to be done daily that makes all of it easier in the long run.
Sociologists think that, on average, we make about 35,000 decisions each day. That is a LOT of decision making! If we can take away some of those decisions on a daily basis, and automate some of these choices that we need to make, we could certainly use some of that brain power elsewhere and eliminate some of the stressors of daily life.
To best automate some of your healthy lifestyle options, I recommend setting aside an hour or two each week for planning. Yes, planning. I know it sounds hard and boring and time consuming, but planning not only saves you time on a daily basis, it also takes away some of those crucial decisions that you have to make every day on the fly.
Sitting down with your calendar in front of you once a week to plan your healthy lifestyle habits will ensure that the self-care things you want to do actually get done. Block off time in your calendar for each event so that no one can schedule on top of your plans for self-care.
I recommend planning the following things:
- Exercise– what time each day are you going to work out? What workout are you going to do?
- Meals– what are you going to eat for all your meals and snacks? How much are you going to eat? Do you have all the ingredients on hand to make what you need to make?
- Meditation– what time and for how long will you meditate/ journal?
- Sleep– bedtime and wake times are important to establish and maintain healthy stress levels and will aid in fat loss.
One of the best skills that I have adopted in the past six months is meal planning and tracking. When I plan at the beginning of each week everything that I am going to eat each day, I have SO much more control over my eating habits. I no longer mindlessly graze, grab random snacks, search for a quick and satisfying lunch, or binge eat. This is because, when I look at my menu for the day, I already know exactly what I chose for myself when I was thinking about my health and wellness- not what my self-sabotaging instant gratification self wants at the moment.
This may seem controlling and like no fun, but in reality, it actually takes away so much of the stress revolving around food. I have chosen to live my life in a way that puts my health as my first priority, knowing that I will have to sacrifice some of the things that I really enjoy, but doing so in order to actually feel better in the long run.
Fat loss is a lifestyle habit.
And that is the whole point. Fat loss is a lifestyle habit. It takes time and dedication. There is no quick fix, just daily commitment and self-love.
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