Most of the time, we all look around and find someone to emulate when it comes to weight loss. And then we wonder why they are reaching their fitness goals, and we aren't. Sometimes, it may be because we are not asking ourselves the right questions. One big question is "What habits are interfering with your weight loss?"
Miss A or Mr B may inspire you, but in the end your health is YOUR health, and you get what you put in. They probably have their struggles too, just like you have yours. So while you get inspired by them, also ask yourself the following questions
What do I struggle the most with in my diet? Are you addicted to desserts? A lot of trainers like to use the 80-20 rule. 80 percent of the time, they eat strictly healthy diets, and then 20 percent of the time, they allow themselves to indulge. If that is hard to do, maybe it is time to start counting calories.You could use one of the apps out there (like SparkPeople or MyFitnessPal ) to figure out exactly how many calories you should be consuming and how many calories you truly are consuming.
What truly is my weight loss goal? Sometimes, we lose because we don't know where we are headed. If you are a goal-oriented person, it is important to set both short term and long term goals. If in 12 months you want to lose 30 pounds, what does that mean month by month? Are you reassessing yourself periodically to see if you are on track? What is working and not working for you? Are you trying new things to see if they help or hurt you? Tracking your progress is probably one of the most important things you can do as you lose weight.
Am I getting enough of the right exercises? So by now you know the two factors to exercise: cardio and strength training. Cardio is usually where you burn the calories and strength is where you tone the muscles. Some people find they are not getting enough of one and getting more of the other because they are not assessing their bodies right. You need both to lose weight and stay tone. One big reason that people are burning less calories than they think they are is because they stay on machines all the time. Machines approximate (sometimes overly so), so it is absolutely necessary to sometimes get away from the machines, maybe go outdoors, and do some intense cardio. How would you then know how much you are burning? Check out this tool to calculate your calories burned: How Exercise Fits In .
Am I getting enough rest? People sometimes forget that our bodies are like machines. In order for them to function properly, we have to take them for regular tune-ups, give them the proper rest time, and fuel them properly. If you are trying to stay fit, you should be getting enough sleep, and you should be giving your body time to recover from exercise. If you work out intensely 7 days a week, you are hurting yourself. Give your muscles time to repair. Do not do strength training every single day. And I cannot say this enough: Sleep, sleep, sleep. The good thing about exercise is it does make you sleep better.
Do I surround myself with people and objects that push me toward or away from my goal? Do you hang out around your ex all the time and turn to food when they start dating someone else? It sounds funny, but that may be hindering you. Do you turn to cigarettes and soda for an instant energy boost? Are your friends and family constantly trying to sabotage your diet? Do you keep ice-cream in the fridge, but lie to yourself that it is for the kids? It may be time for a life overhaul. Do not feel guilty about your weight loss goals even if your friends don't understand them!
How does my job affect my weight loss? If you are a personal trainer, a construction worker, or in some job that lets you move all day, you are one of a lucky few. Most skilled jobs nowadays require that you sit in front of a computer all day. The problem is that if your body is not constantly moving, you may be burning fewer calories than you think. So should you quit? Uh...no! But look at your calendar every morning and find opportunities to just take a stroll down the steps, stretch in your office, or stand and present something. Every hour, you should find a reason to stand up and do something or go somewhere.
How do I reward myself? This is a big one. As humans, we don't always think logically when it comes to our food. When we work hard all week, then we think "I can eat anything I want on the weekend". But that nullifies all we've worked hard on, no? Think of ways to reward yourself that don't involve food, like getting a massage, buying an outfit, etc.
What do you struggle with?
Cheers Eights & Weights!
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