The health and fitness industry has gone crazy. Add the billion dollar weight loss industry to that and it’s no wonder hardly anyone is actually achieving anything.
Facebook, current affairs programs, magazines, blogs, even newspapers and your neighbours are all pushing this program and that.
Do this, no that’s wrong now, do this instead.
That’s the message you’re hearing. It really is no surprise that the majority of people like you have no idea where to start or how to keep going long enough to actually get anything out of any program you start.
You know what the real secret is?
The real secret to success is to keep it simple. Yep, dumb it down till it is impossible to fail.
Here are 3 ways you can simplify the steps to amplify the results you achieve:
MAKE FOOD AND NUTRITION EASY
So pulling into the local drive-through may be easy, but that is not going to cut it. How can you make food selection and preparation easy?
The simplest way I’ve found when it comes to helping clients sort through the crap, is to look for real food that has been processed as little as possible.
- Unprocessed, real food usually does not have an ingredients label. Real foods are the ingredients themselves.
- Real food can be picked, dug up or cut down. Or it had a mother! Think plant foods such as fruits, vegetables and tubers or meats, poultry and fish. Nuts and seeds fit this category, as do eggs, herbs and spices.
- You’ll usually find real food around the perimeter of the supermarket. Or at Farmers Markets or at local green grocers or produce store.
- Real, unprocessed foods still look the same as when they were harvested. Of course meat is an exception. I don’t know about you, but the butcher is one step that is perfectly okay by me!
What about food preparation and cooking? Mostly it is about combining foods and flavours that you like. There used to be special rules like; dill goes with fish and rosemary goes with lamb.
While these are still true, feel free to experiment as much as you like. One of my families favourite vegetable dishes combines an assortment of different veggies with pineapple and garlic! Who would have thought? I’m sure we are breaking more than one ‘rule’ with that combo.
STICK TO BASIC TRAINING
If you were an Olympic athlete, you’d be on a very structured and detailed training program. You’d be combining different types of training, recovery and skills sessions in a carefully periodised plan to allow you to peak once ever 4 years.
You can forget that if fat loss and overall fitness is your goal. Especially if you’re totally new to training or have been training for less than about 6-12 months.
BASE YOUR TRAINING ON COMPOUND MOVEMENTS
Squats, lunges, overhead pressing and plank type core drills should form the basis of your plan. While you should progress over time with resistance, in the early stages especially it is more important to focus on your technique and form so that you actually train the muscles you’re trying to target.
Add in higher intensity cardio, not necessarily running, although you can run if you enjoy it. Use cardio drills such as step ups, kettle bell swings, burpees and mountain climbers, sprint or cycle intervals and even lighter resistance at a faster pace with drills such as thrusters and squats.
At FitterFaster, we use all of the above drills (and others) because they work. We focus on perfecting technique before anything else and then quite simply, help you to progress till you can lift more and/or do more in a set time period.
Those that are more advanced can add other techniques, but it really is unnecessary for those yet to achieve results from a program.
Keep it as simple as you can for as long as you can. If you stop making progress (and are being consistent), that’s when you can add more detail.
REDUCE STRESS OR YOU’LL NEVER BE HAPPY WITH YOUR RESULTS
Bare with me here because this is where I may lose you. What on earth does stress have to do with improving fitness or losing body fat anyway?
A hell of a lot actually. And I could name several clients right now that do everything else right, but because they have so much going on in their lives, are not achieving the results they’d like.
Sure, they’re much fitter than when they started. And most have lost significant body fat as well. But to get to the next level…….. it’s just not going to happen until they reduce the stress their bodies are under.
- GET MORE QUALITY SLEEP Especially before midnight. This may mean leaving some of the housework or even employing someone to help you a couple of times per month. It may mean missing that TV show that you can’t seem to do without. Or more likely, getting off the internet and Facebook and going to bed instead. If you’re not getting a minimum of 7-8 hours every night, you’re not getting enough – no matter who you are.
- IF YOU REALLY HATE YOUR JOB OR OTHER STUFF YOU DO EVERY DAY, change it. This might not be something you can do tomorrow, but it’s key to improving your health and to losing body fat. If every day you hate what you’re doing, this is affecting your health and your waist line big time.
- TAKE TIME OUT Almost every day (if not every day) you should take at least 10-20 minutes out to relax. I like to walk – outside not on a treadmill. Out in nature is best. But you could read – a novel, not the Facebook feed. You could garden – another of my favourite activities. Have a massage, sit down for a cup of your favourite tea or whatever. But make it ‘down time’. NO checking emails or your phone. No Facebook or other social media. Switch off properly and give yourself some time out from the constant connection and chatter.
- FIND A HOBBY THAT YOU LOVE. This is closely related to taking time out. If you can find a hobby you love, it will be so much easier to switch off from everything else. As I said above, reading, gardening and walking are favourite activities of mine and I make time nearly every day to do at least one of them.
You have to make time.
This is the key. You will never just ‘find time’. You need to make it. Everything you do each day will fill the entire day up. There’ll be no ‘spare time’. It’s just how it works.
If you decide to go to the hairdressers or go on a holiday, you just make time and do it. You don’t wait for spare time to appear. You book these things in and then like magic, time appears on the day you’re going. You suddenly have the time because you MADE THE TIME.
Start making time to switch off and reduce your stress levels.
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