When it comes to fat loss, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’ll drop those excess 10-15kg in a matter of days or maybe a week or so with hardly any effort at all.
Most people are disappointed to find that its actually not that easy, and that it actually does require some effort
Fat Loss is really quite simple, but not so easy.
There is however an ‘easier’ way and a ‘harder’ way.
Quite simply, you have to choose (or do you?)
Easier route – will take longer
Harder path – may be quicker but can be much more treacherous
Let’s examine the easier route first
Obviously, you’ll need more time to accomplish fat loss via the easier track. This path is a matter of making sustainable changes to your lifestyle that you’ll pretty much be able to maintain forever.
This could be stuff like;
- changing the types of food you eat, but not being ‘too’ strict with quantities.
- Getting some activity in at least 3-4 times per week and at a medium or higher intensity
- Using a measuring cup for certain foods that are easy to overeat at least every now and again. You’ll learn over time to ‘eyeball’ a suitable serving size, but its a great idea to measure every once and a while to make sure your serving sizes haven’t crept up
- Taking some supplements that are actually more about improving overall health than for ‘fatloss’ such as an Omega 3 supplement
- Getting enough sleep and staying hydrated
- Basically, good health habits that over time translate to fat loss as well
The harder (or stricter) track on the other hand is most likely going to produce much faster results, but can have pitfalls along the way.
If you choose this path, you’ll be doing stuff like:
- Daily journalling
- Training more often (4-6 times per week minimum)
- Measuring, weighing and being super careful with food quantity at all times
- Being much more strict with the types of foods you eat at all times
- No treat foods or a maximum of 1 treat approx every 7-10 days depending on how much weight you have to lose
- Some kind of accountability – most people can’t do this on their own for long enough
- Again, lots of healthy habits changes, but taken to a more extreme approach and staying much more focused
There is a place for both types of programs during your journey to a better body composition. People often think that hte slower you lose weight the better.
But this is not true. The rate of fat loss doesn’t make a difference to whether you keep it off. It’s what you’re doing to lose the fat that makes the difference.
If you are being too strict, skipping meals or using meal replacements that are too low in calories, you will put the weight back on when you either get sick of pretend food or you can’t afford it anymore. This is mostly because you haven’t learnt new habits that allow you to maintain any results you achieve.
Most people (maybe you at some stage) put any weight lost back on over the next few weeks or months because you go back to the old habits that caused you to gain it in the first place.. And then they have to start again – again.
Even on a strict FitterFaster program, you’ll always put health first even while working towards a faster finish time. Either way, you’ll be learning new habits – which differ from person to person.
I recommend that you take what is known as a periodised approach to your fat loss journey.
That is, have periods of really strict (and faster) progress and then periods where you taper back a little to allow your metabolism to boost again, your set point weight to change and to give your mind a break from the strictness of a faster program.
I liken this to seasons for a sports team. You have youre pre-season where you take stock of where you’re at and what needs to change first. In this phase you do some preparation and make sure everything is ready to go.
Then you have your in-season time, that is, you are totally focused. Food, activity and lifestyle habits are on point and tracked.
Post season, you build your calories back up and add recovery. Yep, you still eat well, you still exercise and you keep cementing those habits, but it’s all dialled back a notch.
You then repeat those 3 phases till you have reached your goals. And once you do that, you enter the off season where you continue with good habits, you eat well, you exercise just enough (or as much as you want to) and you can relax a little.
The lose 5kg, add 3kg, lose 2kg, add 3kg track IS NOT RECOMMENDED. This is called yo-yo dieting and you’ve either done it yourself or you know several people who have
Yo yo dieting always leads to a sense of failure and a harder time losing that weight next time. The newest research shows that doing this actually ages your body on a cellular level as well – not a good outcome.
You can lose all of your excess body fat
I totally believe that you can lose all of your excess body fat over time by being full-on, totally focused for shorter periods (around 4-8 weeks) on that fast track, but always, coming back to the safer, slower route in between where you go through a period of maintaining (or slowly losing) while cementing all of the processes and habits that you’ll need to continue with long term.
Alternatively, you may prefer to take the more scenic, but longer, route to your destination without ever increasing speed and this can be the best track for lots of people.
Changing your body and improving your health is a lifetime trip. The minute you go off the course, you’ll get lost and I see this time an time again.
If you’re not ready for the fast lane yet, take your foot off the accelerator, slow down and go back to changing one or two habits at a time and make them stick for good.
The slower path still takes you in the right direction.
You don’t have to choose between going forwards or backwards.
When evaluating your choice of routes, ask yourself if you are truly 90-100% sure that the path you are thinking of taking is the one you can sustain for the time you’ve allowed. If the answer is no, choose a different course so you can stick with it.
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