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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 November 19, 2019

                20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

                If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

                1. Create a Daily Plan

                Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

                2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

                Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

                3. Use a Calendar

                Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

                I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

                Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

                4. Use an Organizer

                An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

                These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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                5. Know Your Deadlines

                When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

                But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

                6. Learn to Say “No”

                Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

                Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

                7. Target to Be Early

                When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

                For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

                Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

                8. Time Box Your Activities

                This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

                You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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                9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

                Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

                10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

                Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

                You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

                11. Focus

                Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

                Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

                Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

                12. Block out Distractions

                What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

                I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

                When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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                Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

                13. Track Your Time Spent

                When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

                You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

                14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

                You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

                Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

                15. Prioritize

                Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

                Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                16. Delegate

                If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

                When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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                17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

                For related work, batch them together.

                For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

                1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
                2. coaching
                3. workshop development
                4. business development
                5. administrative

                I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

                18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

                What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

                One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

                While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

                19. Cut off When You Need To

                The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

                Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

                20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

                Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

                More Time Management Techniques

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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