Getting that burst of Monday motivation when it comes to losing weight is fantastic, but how often has that initial burst translated into a glass of wine, chocolate and a cheese platter by Wednesday evening?!
There are a few important things that I believe you need to think about before making a decision to lose weight and keep it off over time. They are all important individually but put together and done properly they are powerful and hold the key to real success.
You must have a goal when it comes to your training and nutrition and preferably this is broken down into short, medium and long term targets. Your goal might revolve around a certain body weight, being able to lift a certain weight regularly or it could be something like staying off alcohol for 3 months. I write my goals down everywhere (my 2016 goals for my business are in the middle of my kitchen wall) and keep them where I can see them. I’m sure some people find it a bit strange seeing my goals on my kitchen wall but they are there as a constant reminder of what I have set out to achieve in 2016 both personally and professionally.
You don’t have to display them publically but you do have to write them down and keep them close. I believe there is real power in writing your goals down as it is like making a promise to yourself and somehow sharing your goals with the universe! Last June I was at a crossroads with some things within my business so out came the texter and the A3 sheets of paper and you would be amazed at how almost every goal was met by the end of December 2015. I have done the same this year and everything is on track!
2) Real Food
This is something I am truly passionate about and it makes me mad to see so many people promoting weight loss solutions that include shakes, drops, pills or anything else that doesn’t fit into the category of real food. I am sure some people have had success on these types of programs and I understand the attraction of a quick fix, but the reality is our bodies are designed to be fueled by real food not by processed supplements.
When it comes to certain diets and ways of eating I see so many people passionate about particular diets that exclude certain food groups. My take on this is that a healthy balanced diet should embrace all food groups. If weight loss is your goal then you may need to be smart about when you eat certain foods but dropping things like carbohydrates out of your diet completely is asking for trouble in my opinion. In a perfect world we would all eat organic produce but I understand this doesn’t make sense for most people, my house included, so fill your cupboards with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables (the greener the better), lean meats (if you choose to eat these) and good sources of carbohydrates like brown rice and quinoa.
Finding your balance when it comes to training and nutrition is really important. If there are only 2 speeds in your life right now (flat out or nothing at all) then you need to re-think your approach. Our bodies work best when we are consistent with our training and nutrition and you will be rewarded for this in the way you feel and look. You simply cannot out train a bad diet so putting in extra cardio session to make up for the block of chocolate and bottle of red you consumed the night before won’t work and it is a very bad habit and mind set to get into.
I drink alcohol and I love chocolate but these are occasional treats for me it is not something that I would have week to week. You have to find you own balance but don’t expect to create positive change in your body if you are not prepared to find a balance that works between eating real food, training hard and your treats.
4) Weight Training
I train with weights regulalry and I love what it does to my body and the way it makes me feel, but I am constantly surprised with how many women focus on cardio when it comes to their training. The feedback I get is that many women find taking their first steps to weight training is intimidating (it’s a guy’s domain at the gym) or they are worried developing huge muscles. Firstly you will not develop huge muscles as a woman’s body does not produce enough testosterone to do this and if you feel intimidated see if you can hire a trainer at your gym for one or two half hour sessions to write you a program and take you through it.
I cannot emphasize enough the benefits of weight training, it will help with improving your strength, your shape, boost your metabolism and will increase your fat burning potential throughout the day. Classes that incorporate weights are good but a solid weights session is better. After a while you will notice your muscles pop whilst you are training but they will return to normal a few hours after your session. I think people seriously underestimate the contribution weight training can have to weight loss, it is an important and critical part of my 8 week programs.
I recently wrote a blog about having the right mindset and approach to weight loss and in this I wrote extensively about setting yourself up for success rather than failure. Whatever your goals you need to be kind to yourself (how easy is it to be critical of yourself) and have realistic expectations of how long it is going to take and what needs to be done to achieve your goals.
Transforming your shape does not have a start and an end date (although with my programs I set a time frame of 8 weeks to help create new habits) and there is no on and off switch. Set yourself achievable goals and give yourself enough time to achieve them. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day and please don’t think “you have to start again!”, you are going to have bad days but your are also going to have a lot of good days along the way and it’s about celebrating the successes rather than beating yourself up about the occasional failure!
I hope that all of these make sense to you and offer some ideas and guidance if weight loss is your goal before summer!