Okay, so I hope I didn't keep you in suspense all weekend!
Here are the last 5 tips to achieving your fat loss goals. For those of you who have been successful fat losers, please add comments at the end. The more tips from those who know what works, the better!
#6: Practice the 80:20 rule. You can’t expect to be perfect for the rest of your life and setting super impossible high expectations will definitely set you up for failure and feelings of inadequacy. Instead of saying, ‘I’m never going to eat chocolate again’, decide that you’ll eat it only once per week. Instead of determining that you’re going to eat perfectly 7 days a week, decide that you’ll eat really healthy 5 days a week and then 2 days, you’ll allow for a few indulgences. This is much more realistic and is something that you can adhere to for the rest of your life. We have to stop thinking “All or Nothing”. This just leads to failure and then the resultant binges. Remember that if you want to be 10 pounds lighter 10 years from now, then it’s not what you do over the next 6 weeks, but rather what you do for the next 10 years! So ask yourself, what type of a nutrition plan can you follow forever?
#7: Limit your alcohol intake: Alcohol poses a number of problems. It is high in calories and lacking nutrient value. Some researchers have also suggested that because alcohol is metabolized in the body first, any food consumed in combination with the alcohol will be more easily converted to fat. And finally, and probably most importantly, alcohol reduces your inhibitions. You may be more inclined to indulge or make poor choices because you aren’t able to think clearly or examine the long term consequences. Most people won’t commit to never drinking again, but instead of drinking every night with dinner, limit it to 1-2x/week.
#8: Increase your daily activity: Try to think of ways that you can be more active throughout your day without having to actually exercise. The calories expended from walking a few extra blocks, taking the stairs, or performing errands in an active fashion really add up! If we could learn to just be more active throughout the day, we wouldn’t have to spend hours in the gym!
#9: Try not to eat large amounts of food past 8:00pm. Eating late at night often goes hand-in-hand with high-fat snacks and overeating. Secondly, it never feels good to go to bed on a full stomach!
#10: Keep an activity and food log. Record your daily exercise and what and how much you eat. Some researchers have found that just the act of recording the foods you eat, result in better choices and a healthier diet. Also by writing everything out, you may also start to notice patterns. For example, you may observe that the days you don’t exercise are also the days you eat poorly. You can then take appropriate action. It’s also a good idea to set daily goals to break the long-term ultimate goal into smaller chunks and to keep your goals in the forefront of your thoughts. Be sure that your goals are behavioral in nature (ie. drink 8 glasses of water, exercise for 30 minutes, eat 5 small meals) instead of body-focused (ie. I will lose 1 pound this week, I will drop 10 inches by Monday etc.).
Last final words of wisdom are to be patient. Safe fat loss often takes months and sometimes years - definitely not weeks or days! Be persistent and consistent! Finally, accept your genetics. If you come from a pear-shaped family, you most likely will always be a pear-shape. But you do have the choice of being an in-shape or an out-of-shape pear-shape! Don’t compare yourself to other women or men, instead, try to implement these changes because they are healthy changes and you deserve to take care of yourself! We know from experience that if being thin is your goal to make you happy, you’re never going to be thin enough to be happy! So learn to be happy in the body you’re in right now!
Yours in health and fitness,