“Practice makes perfect.”
Well actually, that is wrong.
“Practice makes progress.”
Yea, that is more realistic. If you haven’t “figured out weight loss” at this point in your life are you screwed?
Most definitely not! If you haven’t “figured out weight loss” you are OK and doing just fine. Read that again please…”you are doing OK and doing just fine.”
Hate to break it to ya, but even the most well recognized “experts” have not completely figured out weight loss for everyone. Dr. Oz is no idiot, but he isn’t perfect. Chris Powell is a carb cycling expert and great coach, but he isn’t perfect. I am by no means the best coach out there, maybe some day
This also means that you don’t need to be perfect to get the results you want to achieve!
I had a client ask me recently “do you have other clients who haven’t figured out weight loss yet.” She felt like she was spinning her wheels since the scale weight wasn’t changing. But, in reality she is doing very well compared to a year ago at this time. Sometimes it is hard to remember where you came from when progress slows. Remember the habits you have changed, the weight you have already lost, the simple movements such as a hip hinge you learned that now allow you to deadlift over 100lbs and so on. All those things in your past have allowed to you be where you are today.
My answer to her was: “Yes, all my clients haven’t completely figured it out. I haven’t even completely figured it out.”
That doesn’t mean all my clients haven’t seen any results. This means that, your “weight loss,” or what is better to say is…”your journey” will always be changing. “Weight loss” doesn’t just “click” and you are done and move on. Man that would be easy.
What worked 6 months ago won’t work now. What worked 6 years ago definitely won’t work now.
You must adapt.
You must continue to adopt new habits.
You must strive to make a little progress each week and each month.
Here is a good example in terms of calories:
If you ate 1500 calories/day to lose weight and you lost 50lbs then weight loss stalled, you must adapt and adopt more healthy habits. Maybe when you cut your portion sizes (thus your calories) you saw amazing progress! But, then it all stopped, your body adapted. Do you give up? I sure hope not! Now, you try things like adding more protein (because you only counted calories before and not macronutrients) or adding more resistance training in to your program.
Hey, look at that! The scale started moving again! You are down another 6lbs!!
But, the progress isn’t as fast and that is OK! Those first 50lbs you lost were a learning experience. You wouldn’t have lost these last 6lbs without losing those first 50lbs. Wouldn’t you rather be down 56lbs today instead of right where you started 56lbs ago? Don’t forget where you came from when the progress is slower than you want.
Here is an example from my personal experience:
I wanted to drop my body fat lower than it had ever been while still keeping my weight above 180lbs. Why? I don’t know, I just wanted to do it. Well, I had to drop my ego before that body fat dropped. I had to do what I told my weight loss clients to do every day. I had to track my macros religiously for months on end! I had to adopt some healthier habits and be more consistent with my nutrition. Maybe it was obsessive, but it worked. Don’t you want results too?
Was I perfect? Hell no. But, I made progress each week and that is what it takes for you too. I learned a little more about my body each week and what it takes for me to get where I wanted to. Tracking macros got easier, faster and more fun the more progress I saw. The same goes for you. Every week you should be learning something new. Maybe, you find out a pint of Ben and Jerry’s makes you feel like shit, your workout the next day is sluggish and scale weight is up 2lbs because you allowed that pint of ice cream to turn into a weekend of “screw it.” So be it. Move on. Learn from it. Only eat half the ice cream this week, have a better workout the next day and only say “screw it” on Saturday and not Sunday.
Your life will never be set up perfectly for you to succeed. Your job, kids, illness, injury, vacations etc will always seem to get in the way of your goals. One good habit to adopt is the mindset of “anything is better than nothing.”
I have no excuses not to miss workouts and have my nutrition on point daily. I am typing this ten feet from a barbell and squat rack and I live alone. I can’t make excuses. You might not have the luxury of working in a gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be consistent over the long haul with what you can control. Don’t worry about what others have or are doing. Worry about what you have in front of you. Do what you can, with what you have.
Here are some tips if you are just starting out or stalled out in your journey:
- Eat more protein. Don’t restrict other foods yet, just add more protein to every meal or snack.
- Drink more water. Add 10oz to your day every week. At 40oz per day right now? Try 50oz every day next week.
- Add 1 cup of green veggies to two meals per day.
- Start tracking your macros if you haven’t already. Not just calories…macros too : ) Protein, fat and carbs.
- Working out 3 days per week? Add in another 15 minute workout one day per week. Remember, it doesn’t need to be “all or nothing.” A 15 minute high intensity body weight circuit is a good start!
- Buy some tupperware containers and put food in them on Sundays for the week. Don’t make meal prep fancy. Just pack some food so you don’t eat out for lunch every day.
- Be patient.
- If you are only doing cardio try wandering over to the weight machines and messing around for a bit. Or even better, hire a coach to give you some guidance! Even 1-2 sessions with a trainer can set you up with some great ideas for getting stronger and gaining muscle.
- Set realistic progress goals. Want to workout 6 days per week for an hour? Have 4 kids at home and full time job? Well, that schedule might not happen. Possible yes! But, you really need to prioritize your time. Set yourself up for success. Try 3 workouts per week…I bet you still get stronger and see progress.
- Try to get an extra hour of sleep at night….this could be hard huh?
- Meditate. Who am I kidding, I don’t do that…doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it to relieve some stress though!
- Be patient.
Don’t beat yourself up over this stuff. Fitness and improving your health should be fun. Remember others are trying to “figure it out” just like you. I am still “figuring things out” on the daily.