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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

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                Julian Hayes II

                Author, Health & Fitness Coach for Entrepreneurs, & Speaker

                18 Basic Rules for Leading 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 10, 2020

                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                Boundaries are limits

                —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                • When do you feel disrespected?
                • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                • When do you want to be alone?
                • How much space do you need?

                You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                Sample language:

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                • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                Final Thoughts

                Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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