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7 (Surprising) Actions to Take For Guaranteed Fat Loss

7 (Surprising) Actions to Take For Guaranteed Fat Loss

When I started on my path to building a body I could be proud of, I tried any and every strategy I could find. I took shots of olive oil; I meticulously measured my portion of almonds and organized them in Ziploc bags; I precisely combined scoops of protein powder with milk into my shaker cup, and temporarily gave up my social life.

As expected, this lifestyle wasn’t sustainable and led to my fitness routine being turned upside down.

Before all of those unnecessary actions, I forget to do one important thing that would’ve fail-proofed my fat loss journeu. This step is all about the preliminary work (or, front-loading the work, as some call it).

I prefer to call it establishing an identity to prevent fitness disasters. Through conducting the necessary preliminary work, before setting foot in a gym or buying your first pack of chicken breasts, the chances of you actually achieving your fat loss goals increases astronomically.

Many people fail and give up on their fat loss goals, not because of lack of desire, nor information, nor will, but because of their inability to display patience and do the necessary initial work.

NFL football games aren’t just won on Sundays: it’s the preparation completed and strategies formed on the other six days that leads to victories.

Victorious armies throughout history didn’t blindly and foolishly charge the hills and attack enemies: they were patient and precise in mapping out their plan of action.

Before pummeling your body into submission with the latest bootcamp workouts or making extreme changes to your diet, take a timeout and set yourself up for guaranteed fat loss by covering these seven initial steps:

1. Belief

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    It doesn’t matter how great your training and dieting strategy is on paper, if you don’t believe that fat loss is attainable for you, you are going to struggle to reach your goal.

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    Our thoughts inform our feelings, which then inform our actions. If you’re constantly feeding yourself negative thoughts, then the impact on your feelings is going to translate into how you treat your external self- thus, leading to actions not likely to benefit your fitness.

    Your perception becomes your reality.

    The story that already exists in your head about your weight can be very convincing. It can encourage you to search for information and feedback that will continue to fuel your negative thoughts and fears. Hence, step 1 in guaranteeing fat loss is re-framing your thoughts.

    2. Vision

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      You need to be 100% crystal clear on what, how, and why you want to achieve your fat loss goals.

      Your vision needs to be specific and full of actionable steps that guide you to the finish line. Vision is a crucial step; without a pathway to follow, there are too many chances of going astray and veering off the proven path to success.

      “I want to lose some fat”; “I want to start strength training”; “I’m going to eat healthy”. These are decent declarations, but they aren’t good enough if you’re serious about achieving greatness and building a remarkable body.

      Instead, try this…

      “I will lose 15lbs in a sustainable and healthy manner while staying sane and living a enjoyable life”, or, “I will start strength training 3x a week”, or, “I’m going to eat a diet full of nutrient-dense foods that provide a balance of all my macronutrients, while also consuming minimal processed foods.”

      Now you’re fail-proofing the process.

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      3. Know where you currently stand

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        Before you start a workout regimen or implement a nutritional program, you need to know where you presently stand.

        How’s your conditioning? What’s your training experience? How are your eating habits? How are your sleep habits? What do your daily sources of stress look like (for example: work, family, spouse, school)?

        These are some areas of your life that you need to consider before making a fat loss game plan.

        Once you know where you currently stand, you can implement a realistic regimen that meshes well with your personal life; in doing so, you avoid turning your life upside down by forcing too many initial changes (which are unlikely to stick in the long run).

        Once you answer these questions, you might find that you’ve identified a weakness. Now you can target that weakness for the next couple of weeks. Maybe you’ve identified eating as a weakness. Then start with eating one quality meal a day (breakfast) and build up from that initial habit.

        4. Get some accountability

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          Everyone has those doom and gloom days where nothing is going right. Work sucks, emails are flooding your inbox, and you’re operating on little sleep—the last thing on your mind is working out.

          It’s this very reason that finding support is crucial to winning the game of fat loss. Neither motivation nor willpower is reliable enough by itself.

          Whether it’s your best friend, significant other, online community, a personal trainer, a stranger turned cool friend: you must seek out some form of accountability in your life (no ifs and buts).

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          Accountability ensures you’ll show up at the gym when Netflix is whispering sweet nothings in your ear and takeout is seducing you with its promises of comfort.

          5. Embrace the process

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            When beginning a fat loss journey, it’s common for someone to place unrealistic expectations on themselves. This isn’t their fault. With shady before and after pictures spamming our newsfeeds and stories of ‘Joe and Jane’ losing weight in record time— it’s tempting to think ‘why not me too?’.

            Danger arises with this mindset because once you don’t hit your goal in the expected time, you’ll start to doubt yourself.

            But, instead of obsessing over the end result and a self-imposed deadline— only worry about the process.

            You have control of the process, due to it consisting of daily actions (which you can control). But, being able to meet a specific deadline comes down to many variables, such as metabolism, hormones, and lifestyle factors, to name a few, (all of which you can’t completely control).

            6. Become a lifelong student

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              From improving form on the squat rack; improving our speaking skills; improving our interpersonal communication skills; learning how to salsa dance, and learning healthy eating habits—the learning and refinement of our skills never stops.

              Expecting mastery on day one is a sure-fire way to set yourself up for disappointment. Losing fat takes time and comes with a learning curve. Mistakes and falling off the dietary wagon will happen, but that isn’t a signal that you’re a failure or fitness isn’t for you. It’s a signal that you’re human and aren’t perfect.

              Never lose the mentality of learning and treating each day as a chance to improve by 1%. Small changes accumulate and lead you towards substantial results.

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              7. Express gratitude every day

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                It’s easy to fall into the trap of delaying happiness and failing to acknowledge our other needs until our ultimate goal is met.

                However, this turns into a negative cycle of never considering yourself as being good enough. After accomplishing the goal you claimed to have wanted, the goal turns into something else.

                Maybe it’s been six weeks and you’ve only lost three pounds (and your goal is 15)— cool. Progress is progress. You’re closer to your goal than before.

                It’s one thing to improve your fitness and appearance out of a desire for self-improvement; it’s another thing to seek improvement due to hating yourself, needing to prove something to someone, or trying to fit in with a particular group.

                The hate will never escape you and the comparisons won’t slow down— they’ll keep showing up in different facets of your life unless your start to show appreciation for what you currently have.

                Be grateful for who you are now and be unapologetically excited for the 2.0 version that is on the way.

                Now here’s a question for you:

                Which one of these points do you need to focus on? And, what do you plan to do to solve problems that have held you back so far?

                photo credit: Pinterest

                Featured photo credit: Terry George via flickr.com

                More by this author

                Julian Hayes II

                Author, Health & Fitness Coach for Entrepreneurs, & Speaker

                18 Basic Rules To Lead A Fulfilling Life Starting Today, Stop These 6 Things to Become the Best Version of Yourself 5 Fun Ways to Transform Your Body And Health When You Don’t Feel Like Going to the Gym 4 Common Reasons Why You Fall Short With Your Weight Loss Goals (And What You Should Do Instead) 7 (Surprising) Actions to Take For Guaranteed Fat Loss

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                Last Updated on July 23, 2019

                5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

                5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

                In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

                Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

                How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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                • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
                • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
                • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
                • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
                • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
                • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

                When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

                1. Realize You’re Not Alone

                Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

                2. Find What Inspires You

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                Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

                On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

                3. Give Yourself a Break

                When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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                Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

                4. Shake up Your Routines

                Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

                Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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                When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

                5. Start with a Small Step

                Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

                Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

                More to Help You Stay Motivated

                Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

                Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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