Physical activity is a big part of our family’s life.
Yesterday was my son’s 4th birthday and I started thinking (as you do!) about all the things that happened in those four years.
Obviously these early years with my son have been precious and as I look through photos (as you do!) I realize how much our family has experienced in those years.
There have certainly been ups and downs.
Periods of very little sleep and constantly interrupted sleep.
Times when I modified my nutrition plan to step on stage in a physique competition (the first was 9 months post-baby and the most recent was last year) or pose for a fitness photo shoot.
There were moments when I felt totally on top of things in my life and other times when I felt down about not being able to do enough.
At some points, I exercised hard and heavy with weights 5 or 6 days a week and other times I suffered through digestive issues (from acid reflux and IBS) and did walking and more gentle exercise.
Although my weight has varied a bit during that time as I struggled to regain my muscle after pregnancy, I’ve always been in a comfortable range for me.
And I’ve never really felt completely “off track” like I used to feel in my 20s and early 30s when I didn’t have a good plan in place.
What’s the secret?
The Rock has a nice quote about CONSISTENCY:
Even when I couldn’t get enough sleep (young kids will do that to you!), I stayed active and exercised to keep my energy up. It was hard (so hard!) sometimes, but it made me feel better as I rode the waves of being a parent to a newborn, infant, toddler, and now preschooler.
I also make a point to get my protein and vegetables/fruit in on a daily basis.
Protein helps your body repair itself and builds muscle, which means you feel stronger.
Those two “non-negotiables” have served me during the early years of my son’s life, as well as a few years before.
Being consistent is both a challenge and a necessity when striving for fat loss. Sure, you could diet yourself down by starving for a couple of months or overdoing the cardio, but it won’t be sustainable for you…and you’ll feel awful.
My approach is lifestyle-based and that means that it includes solutions to all the day-to-day trials and tribulations of your career, family, and social life.
Your fitness and nutrition plan needs to take into account your unique challenges or it won’t work.
I know it’s hard to be consistent. You get all gung ho about planning your nutrition and exercising one moment and then another project drops into your lap at work or you need to travel more frequently.
If you don’t keep the basic habits intact as you face your day-to-day challenges, you won’t be keep moving in the right direction.
And you won’t see long-lasting results.
My focus has always been on making being lean sustainable. My Online Coaching Program is about learning what it takes (nutrition, exercise, and psychology and lifestyle) to get lean and then stay that way 365 days of the year.
If You Want Consistent Fat Loss, You Need To Focus On Three Areas:
Arguably the most important part…and the one that most people get wrong.
They don’t eat enough protein.
They aren’t aware of how many calories they’re actually eating, especially those times they go “off the rails”.
The cycle of severely limiting calories and then binging on treat foods is a big hinderance to fat loss.
Regular physical activity is important, for sure. Walk as much as you can. Do outdoor activities with your family and get up regularly from your desk during the day. Choosing weight training when you head to the gym, rather than cardio machines, is an important way to maximize fat loss and build the body you want.
You’ll be stronger. Your body will be more metabolically-active (albeit only a bit!) so you’ll burn more calories all the time. You’ll build the shape you want.
3) Your Habits
Getting lean is a combination of two things:
Building good habits and changing bad habits.
Going to the gym regularly. Good!
Eating half a pizza every time you watch a hockey game. Bad!
You need to look at your strengths and weaknesses and decide which bad habits to tackle and which good habits you most need to build.
Will you be able to do everything I mentioned perfectly at the start?
Of course not!
It’s a process.
Make progress and you’ll move in the right direction.
Although there are ways to speed up fat loss and short term tricks, if you want realistic and consistent fat loss you need to get your basics in place.
A little bit at a time.