by Matt Weik
Fitness, weight loss, and getting in shape are topics that are constantly on everyone’s mind. Everyone wants to be healthy and fit but never actually get around to making it a reality. When an individual does start, they tend to find themselves in a cycle of getting results, then nothing at all. The back and forth tends to cause many to give up and quit. For those who continue to push forward, it’s a back and forth struggle until they finally find the right combination to help them effectively lose weight.
In this article, we’re going to look at seven things most people wished someone would have told them a long time ago about fitness and weight loss.
1. Going to the gym is not enough
Going to the gym is a good thing. You’ll get the benefits of working out, but if you want to go from looking okay to looking great, it’s not enough. You also have to watch what you eat (and I don’t mean just cutting out junk food). If you want to become leaner, stronger, and more muscular, you need to start eating correctly. A good start is to increase your protein intake while going into a caloric deficit.
2. What you eat is very, very important
In most cases, your success or failure with nutrition and weight loss will depend more on what you put in your mouth than how much time you spend on the treadmill. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but it’s true. Yes, exercise is important, and yes, you do need to burn more calories than you take in to lose weight. But if you’re not also eating right, chances are you’re going to have a tough time seeing results.
A good rule of thumb is this: If it grows out of the ground or comes from an animal and has very few ingredients listed on the label (all of which you can actually pronounce), it’s probably safe to eat. If it comes from a factory and the ingredients read like some sort of science experiment, consider putting it back on the shelf.
3. Moderation is the key to success
It’s more important to eat healthy most of the time than to eliminate everything from your nutrition plan completely and then binge on junk food when no one’s looking, Eat the things you love but in moderation and balance it out with nutritious foods for the rest of the day. Trust me, your mind and body will thank you, and your jeans will fit better too.
4. Progress takes time
Weight loss and exercise is a process, it takes time. It is important for you to respect the process and not be greedy for the results. Weight loss does not happen overnight, and it is important to keep this in mind when starting a new fitness program. In order for your body to change and for you to lose weight, it takes time for your body to adapt to new habits and routines. Stay the course, be consistent, and the results will come.
5. What works for someone else may not work for you
You’ve undoubtedly read about the latest “miracle” diet plan or exercise program or picked up a book and tried to put it into practice. You make a few tweaks here and there, but the weight loss isn’t coming off as fast as the author promised, and so you give up.
Everyone’s body is different. Your friend might swear by a certain nutrition plan or exercise program that helped him lose weight, and if you follow his advice, it might work for you too — but then again, it might not.
It’s just as likely that your friend lost weight due to a change in metabolism or other factors that are unique to him. While his fitness plan might be a good starting point for your own program, don’t expect it to deliver the same results he saw.
6. Set goals
Get motivated by setting goals. A big mistake that many people make is that they just try to lose weight without actually setting any goals for themselves. When you set realistic goals, this will help motivate you to keep pushing forward even when things look tough or when they don’t seem to be working as well as they should be.
For example, if your goal is just to lose ten pounds in three months, then every time you lose one pound, this will give you the motivation to keep going until you reach your goal.
7. It’s not a race
Fitness is not a race. The fitness and weight loss industry seems to thrive on people’s impatience. We want to lose everything we gained in the last decade overnight, but it just doesn’t work that way. Weight loss is a gradual process, and your body will only let you do so much at one time. Some people get off to a great start, only to gain it all back.
It’s better to lose weight slowly and steadily instead of quickly and suddenly because then you have time to prepare your mind for what needs to happen before you hit your goal. You can build up good habits and wean yourself off bad ones, which will make the transition easier rather than doing it all at once.