Many people who start a weight lose program start off enthused–ready to make some changes. They drop a few pounds in the first few weeks. Then it happens—week three roles by with no changes. Week four and they’ve gained back the few pounds lost in week one and two. Enthusiasm turns into frustration and all too often they give up.
Does that scene sound familiar? Cheer up! There’s good news. Many people have achieved success, and fortunately, they all share some common habits we can learn from to achieve success as well.
1) Motivation: They set a goal; write it down and resolve to achieve the goal. They break their goals into weekly, monthly, 3 month, 6 month and even annual goals. They make a declaration to lose X number pounds of fat and/or gain X number pounds of muscle. They know where they’re headed and resolve to get there. They reinforce this plan daily and with declarations of success.
2) Plan: They follow a ‘plan of attack’ day-by-day, week-by-week and month-by-month and rarely allow themselves to miss workouts or skip meals. When life events interfere, and they must miss a workout or skip a meal, they get right back on the plan and do not allow the ‘fall’ to affect them.
3) Hydration: They drink liberal amounts of water. This is probably the most important thing you can do in almost any weight management plan. It’s universal to all successful plans. Why? Water helps you to remain mentally sharp and focused. Water helps your brain and body function optimally. Water is the vehicle your body uses to rid itself of its toxins and metabolize stored fat. It gives you more energy and keeps you feeling positive and up-beat. The human body is composed of 50 to 65 percent water. Many programs recommend as much as 12 to 16, eight ounce glasses of water a day with no ill effects what-so-ever.
4) Cardio: They understand that walking is about as pure a fat loss exercise that you can get. Even five minutes a day iss a great start. Those who have successfully lost weight often walk for 30 to 45 minutes 4 or more times a week. Beyond 60 minutes there seems to be a point of diminishing returns.
5) Resistance training: They know there is no greater fat-furnace than possessing muscle. Muscle tissue revs up metabolic activity. Muscle burns calories all day and all night, even when you’re resting. Your metabolic rate is directly connected to how much lean muscle tissue you hold.
You must produce and retain lean muscle tissue within your body through weight training to lose fat effectively. In fact, your goal should be to stimulate muscle growth. You accomplish this with pushing or pulling a progressively heavier workload. Put in simple terms; lift more weight than your muscles currently can lift.
6) Stable Blood Sugar: They know the body needs protein several times a day. Every three hours or so is ideal. Lean protein causes the release of glucagon. Glucagon burns fat, builds lean mass and suppresses insulin. Insulin is the most powerful fat storing hormone in our body. A good strategy is to start your day with a protein shake to balance out your blood sugar and flood your system with dopamine. Dopamine is your “feel good, I can do anything” brain-body messenger. That’s what happens when you eat protein. Eating carbs, on the other hand, puts you in a depressed, anxious state.
7) Slow Burning Carbs: They have found vegetables to be the best source as you get the highest amount of fiber and nutrients with the least effect on blood sugar with these, so this is always a first choice. Fruit is your next best choice and whole grains would be your third. Aim for about 15-25 grams per meal, but ideally keep your total carbohydrate intake to no more than 100 grams per day or about 400 calories from carbs. This would mean about 2-3 cups of vegetables (depending on the type of vegetable) or 1/2-1 cup of fruit or 1/2 cup of whole grains per meal.
8) Essential Fat: Essential Fats are very important, but they are also very calorie dense. Your best choices for healthy fats are: avocado, raw almonds, fish oil, olive oil and coconut oil.
These eight tips will soon have you on your way improving the way you look and feel.