While many trainers spout simple and "too good to be true" claims on how to lose fat, I'd rather give you the tools and education on how to permanently keep the fat off.
As you begin 2012 make this your year that you don't fall for any more scams, and instead try these proven techniques that have worked for my clients.
Step #1 Forget About Setting Goals
Before you throw a fit, let me explain... So often we've been told to set specific and measurable goals when it comes to fat loss. Think about it. How can you or I predict how many pounds we are going to lose be a certain date. It's like coming up with a winning lottery number. Are you going to be able to guess how many pounds of fat you'll lose and how many pounds of muscle you'll build in return? I don't think so.
Here's a Better Method...
Let's say you want to fit in to a smaller dress size. Let's say you are a size 10, and you want to get down to a size 8 or 6.
Start by taking a picture of yourself. You may want to take some simple measurements with a tape measure...waist and thighs will do.
Next, rather than saying "I will be a size 6 and lose 20 pounds by "Date X", focus on the steps you need to take.
You know that you'll need to train at least 4-5 times per week. At the beginning of the week, schedule those workouts into your calendar.
Step #2 Track Your Efforts
You've scheduled your training sessions, and now you'll need to track your efforts. Simply put, you'll need to hold yourself accountable.
Don't make this a complex process. I like to use a graph paper notebook and as I complete my workouts during the week I simply make a little checkmark when the workout has been completed. The more simple the system the better. Do this in your journal or wherever is the easiest.
You should be able to see on a day to day basis, weekly, and the entire month...your checklist of workouts completed. You may want to give yourself a grade for the week and the month.
Are your actions leading you closer to your goal? Are you completing the workouts?
If not, don't get down on yourself, just get back to training. Don't wait another day to "raise your grade".
Step #3 Track Your Eating
Don't worry, I'm not going to ask you to track every calorie. I think this a miserable way to live life, and I won't ask you to do it either.
Instead, use a similar checklist like the one above. Simply write down your daily plan such as "eat 2 fruits", eat 3-4 portions of vegetables, and "drink 6-8 glasses of water".
These are just a few examples, you may have more specific routines such as "eating 3-5 low carb meals", or "eating 90% Paleo based meals".
Use the same method as above and give yourself a grade.
Step #3 Track Your Sleeping
More and more, I see my clients suffering from a lack of sleep...especially my female clients. If you do not get enough deep and solid sleep...you will not lose weight.
Simply write down how many hours of sleep per night you are getting and grade yourself. How many hours of sleep you'll need will vary, but if you are waking up groggy and cranky...then you need more sleep.
Step #4 Review and Improve...probably the most important step
Now you have a good overview with what is going on.
Do you need to improve in one area, two areas? Simply put in the effort and make adjustments.
Have you put in the workouts, been eating well, and sleeping well, but not seeing the results you desire? It may be time to talk to a trainer, registered dietitian, or your physician to get some more advice or tips.
Creating permanent fat loss is definitely possible. You just have to be patient and gentle with yourself. If you follow the four steps I talked about above, you’ll be seeing improvements soon.
What other steps do you use to permanently keep the fat off?