Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. Written and sung by the late American singer Albert King. True isn’t it? How does this analogy apply to this piece in my opinion? Well, you’ll find out before it ends.
So, you have been on a program trying to lose weight for a while and for some reason it does not happen. Or, you did achieve success initially, however, you’ve hit plateau and stepping on that scale has become your biggest fear. What must you do? The fact that you are here reading this article, you’ve already asked that question.I will take you through the most obvious mistakes one can make on their weight loss journey and teach you how to overcome them. Before we start, let me set the expectation right. If you’re thinking I am about to reveal a cardinal secret which will help you drop 20 pounds in the next 10 days just like that after reading my article, you can go to a culinary page and sought out your favorite recipe for dinner. Or better so, just go back to the top and read the first 2 lines of this piece. It will help build clarity and you will read this article with an open mind.
In my experience and discussion with various clients & coaches, here are the 5 most common issues we could face while trying to stick to a weight loss plan.
- This is not a weight loss plan- I have said this before and will say it again. Weight loss plans do not work. You can drop 1000 calories and starve yourself everyday for weeks and lose weight, however, once you get there, you are back to consuming your favourite calories again and tend to gain 2 times the weight you lost. It is a lifestyle and not a diet program!
This clarity is imperative for you to build a strong foundation and ensure success. If it isn’t a lifestyle it will never be consistent. Make sure you choose the right approach. E.g. Have wholesome non-processed foods vs high sugar processed food. Once you know what to eat and learn the art of manipulating your meals you can do this consistently. I manage to stay shredded year around and have never dieted since I understood this. I also squeeze in a cheat meal occasionally and drink alcohol once in a while and believe you me I do not go out of shape. I understand that it is not a diet but a lifestyle. you can go to my artilce on “How to manage you macros (food) while leading a normal life.
- Snacking in between meals- The rules are simple, eat when you’re hungry and not when you’re not. Which basically means, the snacks you eat in-between meals can amount up to substantial calories which tend to go out of control. There are a couple of reasons why one snacks more often than they should.
- You’re eating too many processed carbs, sugar in every meal which makes you hungry every now and then. (happens due to blood sugar going out of control. We have discussed this before)
- You’re not eating enough protein or fats in your meals; hence the feeling of satiety is not there. Fats and protein keep you full longer as the body takes time to digest the same
- You’re snacking out of habit or boredom.
- You’re not drinking enough water. (3-4 ltr at least for healthy individuals)
Stick to the above and I guarantee you will be able to moderate your cravings.
- Training frequency & intensity– Whether it’s a sport you play or weight lifting you do, if you are in it to lose weight, you must understand that it gets harder as we get older in the process. Initially our body responds in accordance, however, overtime it becomes accustom to the routine and adjusts to it, hence it plateaus. This is how the brain is wired. Solution, you must change your workout or activity level periodically to keep your mind guessing on what is coming next. This creates uncertainty in the mind and it responds unprepared to physical stress and activity which leads to burning more calories.
- Work-up your training intensity every now and then. A good rule of thumb is every 4-6 weeks.
- Try to do more of compound movements, like squats, deadlifts, bench press etc. These are multi joint movements which incorporate more than one muscle group, hence the energy used is more in a short burst of time resulting in more calories burned vs a single muscle movement where the energy used is bare minimum resulting in less calories burnt.
- Training- a good rule of thumb is to train at least 4 days in a week and never go without training more than 2 days in a row. Why? our body is up and ready in about 24-48 hours from our last workout and it needs physical stress of some sort to kick up the metabolism again. Also include one compound exercise on all training days.
- Ok, this one is important. if you’re training more than an hour every time, you’re making friends in the gym and not training hard enough. So, stop fooling yourself. The next one is my favourite.
- How bad do you want it- You say you want to get in shape and maintain that for the rest of your life, however, you want to sleep more and skip your workout cause it’s too cold or too hot or its raining or you’re 65 and can’t get up and train. I know this sounds cliché, but you must be obsessed with your goal. Stick it on your bathroom mirror. When you see it the first thing every morning, it helps to reinstate the message. Unless you have someone like Mickey who was there to push Rocky Balboa making sure he stuck to his training program to beat Apollo creed. I am guessing you don’t so take my advice and stick your goal on your bathroom mirror. Nobody ever got in shape with 1 workout and nobody gets out of shape with 1 doughnut. Obsession, consistency, hard work & belief are a quarter set of cardinal virtues of the fitness world you must learn in order to succeed. Once you start to see results, the motivation is tremendous and you will never want to fall back. Just stay focused and be consistent.
- Using weight loss products and supplements– I saved the best one for the end. This is a classic. I have dealt with people who consult you in a manner so bizarre, they expect nothing but a yes to every question. Let me explain. You don’t get in shape by purchasing a weight loss supplement. All weight loss supplements do is they make the manufacture rich by a couple of million bucks. The science is simple-Weight loss supplements have a predominant ingredient called caffeine in large quantities. What caffeine does is it helps to break the long chain fatty acids and mobilize the same to be used as energy. So, when you consume your weight loss sup and sit with your favorite snack to watch Netflix expecting to drop weight, you’re behaving more naïve than my 92-year-old grand mum. Why? ‘cause you still must work your ass off in the gym or the sport to use that energy to optimize weight loss. To lose weight, you still have to maintain energy balance (calories in vs calories out)and eat clean to ensure you are getting wholesome calorie dense food which will help to keep your blood sugar under control and maintain your weight. Fat burners are a farce and cannot replace hard work and clean diet. No fat burner needed when your calories are under control and your workouts are consistent.
Everybody today wants immediate and accelerated results with minimal input. We live an age of instant gratification. You can tap a button and make things happen in a matter of seconds ladies and gentlemen. As I’ve read and heard from coaches all across, anyone who is even remotely hardworking and disciplined has an edge in today’s day and age. Most of us do not believe in the long-drawn process of consistency and success. Technology is used to put filters on images, social identities without realizing its impact on one’s true identity. The point I am trying to establish here is that if you want more out of something, you will have to put in more work. If you want to change your life, you will have to change first. You can’t get results just like that. There no tap and pay and get what you want here. You must put in the work and be consistent to achieve your goals. I guarantee results will be so motivating you will not trade anything for it.
Let me leave you with something which has helped me understand this clearly. If you do things that are easy, your life will be hard, I guarantee it. Now let’s turn this around. If you do things that are hard, your life will be easy. So, make a covenant today and think long term. Make it a lifestyle! Now pick yourself up and do the work.
Happy Lohri and have a splendid Sunday!
Until next time, we lift, therefore we are.