Losing Fat – Do your habits match your goals?

Losing fat and how to do it

As a coach, I get a lot of questions regarding how to make progress in the gym and also out of the gym. The most common questions always focus around losing fat. Everyone wants to lose fat and I totally understand. Even I could lose some extra fat :).

I can tell you WHAT to do and I can pretty much tell you HOW to do it. But one thing I can’t do is put in the work for you and be there to change your habits. I can equip you with everything you need to know but if you don’t actually do it, then nothing happens.

All about the habits

So, what do I suggest? I suggest starting with your habits. This requires being realistic and being very honest with yourself. A checklist always helps. I’m a checklist/ notebook/ whiteboard kind of guy but do whatever is going to work best for you. In terms of habits, do you plan your meals ahead of time? Do you know what you’re going to eat this week or are you just going to roll with it? Do you bring lunch to work or do you buy lunch every day? Do you have snacks that you bring or are you just going to buy some from the vending machine? Do you stand idly on the escalator when you’re in the beloved TTC system or do you walk up the stairs like a badass? Do you bring a bottle of water and refill it throughout the day or do you just sip on coffee all day? Do you actually set aside a certain time for you to go to the gym or do you just tell yourself you’ll go when you have time? Trust me, I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum and PLANNING always works better.

These are my simple, go-to tips on how to START to create habits. Habits take a while to be ingrained into us. According to ‘The Power of Habit’, written by Charles Duhigg, we can’t actually get rid of a habit. We can only replace one with another. In addition to this, new habits generally take 21 days to form and become part of our routine. In regards to fat loss, this means that you actually have to stick with something for at least 3 weeks before it starts to become easier and more natural.

Now that we know that, what habits do I suggest you start with? As I mentioned before, doing this on a checklist helps. Pick 5-10 simple, reasonable and actionable things you want to aim to do or NOT do every day. For example, you can start with a simple list like this:

  • Drink 2L of water every day
  • Take the stairs whenever possible
  • Go to the gym (3x a week)
  • Bring a lunch to work
  • Bring healthy snacks to work
  • Walk 10 minutes a day (outside of regular commute)

Make a new list every night for the day before and throughout the day, check off what you’ve been able to accomplish. Do this for at least 3 weeks and things will start to come together.

So those are six simple steps and take note, I never said anything about counting calories or tracking macros. This is not to say I’m not a believer in doing so because I am a big believer in tracking macros. BUT what I’ve come to realize is that most people have a hard time going from doing nothing to full blown tracking macros. So what I’ve realized is that the habits must first be changed. Habits that align with your goals must be developed before anything else occurs.

All in all, everything in life is always simple, but never easy. Losing fat is a very challenging venture but it is a very rewarding one. Always remember the quote, “If you walked 10 miles into the forest, you have to walk 10 miles out.” So if you’ve let yourself go for the last 5 years…

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