What? But…but…it’s what I’ve always done? Has Si gone crazy?
Not really, there’s a method to my madness. Goals can be great but they aren’t always the best thing to focus on, especially where fat loss is concerned.
Most people I know seem to be fighting a losing battle when it comes to fat loss. Looking at the bigger picture it seems to be a global battle. I’m going to point out a few reasons why constantly trying to lose fat isn’t a good idea. The most ironic thing about all of this is that you’re far more likely to lose fat if you don’t try too hard all of the time!
#1 – Trying to lose fat long term can become an unhealthy obsession
This can harm you both physically and mentally. Fat loss is meant to be a short term goal followed by adherence.
#2 – It can be too tempting to chase extremes
Cutting corners leads to short term adherence. Ooh, look at that pretty butterfly, let’s follow it. Sound familiar?
#3 – You think you’ll be happy once you hit your fat loss goal
Trust me, seldom few people are happy once they reach their goal, the goal posts are changeable along with your own desires and self perception. You’ll probably want more. More weight loss, more definition, more ambitious goals. It’s human nature unfortunately.
#4 – What happens if you NEVER reach your exact goal?
What if you don’t hit the weight? Or the pants/dress size? Some people lose 20 lbs but they deem themselves as a failure because their goal was to lose 30 lbs. They typically give up, put it all back on (or most of it) then enter the same fat loss rigmarole. Besides, losing 20 lbs is far from being a failure!
#5 – You think of exercise and nutrition plans as punishment
Without unleashing the entire ‘it’s a lifestyle’ lecture, learning how to enjoy healthy food and exercise is a hugely rewarding experience. I equally appreciate the times when I’m in the gym and eating well as the times when I’m not. Balance is key.
#6 – You’re constantly tired
Tired of eating, tired of exercising, tired of being tired, tired of the plan, tired of trying to remember what the plan even is?
#7 – You find yourself becoming moody, irritable, depressed or anxious
Some fat loss techniques, such as limiting carbohydrates (let’s leave the whole keto discussion for another post) can prevent serotonin production. This has a knock on effect for the neurotransmitter that regulates mood. This can lead to anxiety, confusion, depression…not a good cocktail.
Take home points:
- Fat loss should always be a short term goal.
- Allowing yourself breaks can help you to fit nutrition and exercise in with your lifestyle, not disrupt it.
- Focusing on process and actions is something you can apply to anything. Whether you want to lose fat, build muscle…or achieve something that isn’t fitness related (e.g. write a book – it’s not about finishing the book, it’s about focusing on the process of writing consistently), focus on the process and don’t obsess over specific goals.
- Try to relax, trust the process and good things will happen! Instead of trying to lose 30 lbs in one go (for example), try to lose 10 lbs, then do what’s required to maintain the 10lb loss for a while. Once you’re ready to go again you’ll find it easier to lose another 10 lbs, then repeat the process for a third time…if you still wish to.
Good luck 😉