Fat loss isn’t easy, but it’ll be nearly impossible if you allow these cop-outs to take up space in your head. Here’s how to kill them.
Fat loss involves ongoing work. You know this, but it’s easy to forget when the going gets tough. And boy, does it ever when you’ve collected a pile of unhealthy habits and unwanted fat.
I’m all for extending support, encouragement, and warm fuzzies. But if those haven’t been working, you may just need to get called out on your BS. So let’s address the most common excuses and finally get some fat loss going.
Everyone has limited time and obligations. Welcome to the human race. But you can still make the most of what little you DO have. The key is prioritizing exercise and nutrition even if it feels like your life is so much busier than everyone else’s.
Picture this. If a wizard offered you a million dollars to drop the chub, you’d suddenly find all the time in the world to lose weight. So even though that guy doesn’t exist, reframe your health/physique as being a priceless and urgent thing to care for… because it is.
Look at your schedule and plan for the necessary habits before the week starts. Do this by choosing specific times to arrive at the gym, work out, buy groceries, cook food, and prepare meals.
Getting consistent with anything always requires some time and work. But try taking 5-10 minutes each night to plan out the next day. You’ll be more focused and realize you can lose fat without as much time commitment as you originally thought. A few hours each week to train and make some food is all you need.
And if you still think your calendar is too full, I’m not letting you slide that easy. Trade some of that Netflix binging or Instagramming for more time. The time is there.
When you diet, by definition, you eat less of what makes you fat. Your body is being calorie restricted. It needs to start “eating” its own fat tissue for fuel. You might get hungry, and it can suck a bit.
However, it doesn’t have to feel miserable, especially if you’re in a small deficit. This is why I’m a big fan of tracking calories. You can control your deficit to make sure you have the most food possible while still losing fat. But keep in mind, the less aggressive the deficit, the slower the progress. The more aggressive the deficit, the faster the progress, along with increased hunger.
In addition, use these hunger-suppressing tips:
- Eat at least 0.7 grams per pound of bodyweight of protein each day.
- Eat tons of fruits, vegetables, and other fiber sources.
- Eat at regular times.
- Eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and don’t watch TV while you’re doing it.
- Minimize liquid calories.
- Try gum and zero-calorie beverages when you want to snack out of boredom.
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
- Minimize stress in your life.
Occasionally, you’ll still get a bit hungry, especially if you’re in an aggressive deficit. This is where you need to simply tolerate hunger. Again, dieting inherently increases your hunger a bit and that discomfort is okay. You won’t die, and the Earth won’t explode because your stomach feels a little uncomfortable during a diet.
Cravings aren’t necessarily a bad thing. As humans, it’s normal to desire pleasurable foods because they taste good and stimulate our reward system.
Does this mean you should always give in to your cravings? It depends. If you can make progress and still eat some of the higher-calorie foods you crave, I don’t see an issue. Most people are not trying to be stage-lean, so their diets don’t need to be overly strict. However, you’ll have to eat these foods in lower volumes and frequencies than you did before. (Obvious tip is obvious.)
So moderation is key, but you might still crave these higher-calorie foods in higher amounts due to your previous lifestyle. You’re only human, but if giving into every little craving means you never move towards your goals, then you got some underlying crap to take care of.
Specifically, this means you need to:
- Deal with the emotions that are triggering these cravings.
- Find non-food-related ways to cope.
- Remove specific foods from the house if they’re too triggering.
This is a psychological phenomenon we’ve probably all experienced. But you wouldn’t slash your remaining tires if one of them went flat. You wouldn’t burn your house down because you burnt a piece of toast. And you wouldn’t chop off your foot if you stubbed your toe.
These are only a little more exaggerated than the irrationality of spiraling out of control for a week because one meal didn’t go as intended. This is what people with an all-or-nothing mindset do. But it’s no way to diet.
The original word diet means a sustainable (daily) way to eat. It doesn’t mean you have to eat the same foods or calories forever, but there needs to be some semblance of consistency.
So the first step is to stop identifying as an all-or-nothing dieter; otherwise, this excuse will bury you under a pile of nachos every weekend. Find a sustainable way to eat. Don’t be too extreme if it’ll cause you to go off the rails when you slip. Slipping is okay if you just get back on track.
Losing fat makes people feel more confident, happier, and allows for a higher quality of life with less disease risk. You already knew that. I don’t need to convince you to want fat loss, but wanting the outcome and achieving the outcome are two different things.
The difference comes down to burning that folder of excuses you have in your head. Ditch the excuses and you will achieve nearly any weight loss goal you want.