Ah, it’s a new year. It’s like fresh snow on a mountain waiting for a snowboarder to carve it up. So promising, so beautiful, so majestic, so… unknown. The picture of the path hasn’t been carved yet. And there are your habits, your reservations, and not knowing what’s under that snow or at the bottom waiting for you. And as 2017 comes to a close, 2018 holds a lot of promise. But as it relates to your health goals, here are some truth bombs you need to hear.
1. Your Diet Sucks, and the new Fad one you found will be unsustainable
You’ve spent zero time actually planning, reading, and figuring out what a healthy diet looks like. More time has been spent watching TV, looking at social media (BTW, thanks if you found me this way), on the internet, and generally shucking what could be figured out in the time spent on those vices. Most of these fad diets are just short lived and short executed diets that pretty much just drop the water weight in your body. More than likely, it’s food you hate but it’s getting results for the time being. If this is your case, I recommend you start reading up on macro-nutrients and how to have a flexible diet. Find foods you like and balance them.
2. You’re not going to make time for your health unless you see immediate results in the first week
Don’t believe the bullshit you’re reading online, seeing on television commercials, or an ad you clicked (sorry if I did this) off of Facebook or Google Ads. A healthy weight loss should be between 0.5-2lbs per week, and most of it is done through dieting mentioned above. These things take time to develop. Habits will be hard to break. If you can commit yourself to something for at least thirty days, more than likely you’ll keep it up.
Don’t believe me? Look at the photos above. The first one is of me in July 2016. I was unhappy with the amount of time I was putting into the gym and not getting results. I drank beer often. I was under the impression that calories in < calories out is all that matter, but that's for another discussion. The second picture is of me on December 2016. The third is from the same day on December 2017. Finally, a graph of my weight throughout the year. As you can see it fluctuated pretty significantly throughout the year. It was as high as 170lbs at the beginning of the year and as low as 157lbs.
The only advice here, BE PATIENT.
3. Just Because it’s marketed as healthy doesn’t mean it is
So many foods are marketed as being healthy. For example, there’s a particular granola I’ve seen that clearly reads on the packaging 10g of Protein. Wow 10g of Protein, this doesn’t exactly make up for the 15g of sugar that are accompanied by it. Before you start believing the clever marketing, look at the nutrition label before you eat it.
4. The Mental Side and preparation is more and if not more important than the follow through
Mentally preparing yourself to reach your health goals and stick with them can be a tall task. But it doesn’t have to be. Ever execute a plan and see it through. There may have been bumps in the road, but you were agile enough to get around them. It’s the same with your health goals. If you haven’t made a plan yet, I recommend the following:
1. Write down foods you like to eat.
2. Create a spreadsheet on Google Sheets. In the first row add the following, Food Name, Protein, Carbs, Fats, and Calories.
3. Figure out your macronutrients
4. From the calculator above, you’ll now need to add foods into your spreadsheet and meet your goals every week. Here’s my sample spreadsheet.
5. Lift Heavy 4-6 reps
While these steps and execution can feel like a grind (trust me I’ve been there), having to think less about what you’re eating the next day relieves that mental pressure. You’re less tempted to eat something out of your meal plan. Put your brain on autopilot.
Recently, I finished the book Mindset. Without gaining knowledge about how fat loss or muscle gain works, you can’t expect that people are just naturals at it. This is the type of thinking Dr. Dweck hopes to instill into her readers. You’re not stuck at dumb, and you can learn things through persistence, patience, and curiosity. It’s the same thing with fitness goals. It’ll take persistence, patience, and curiosity in how your body works to make it happen.
At this point, lets hope you’re a bit more inspired and can reflect. You’re not stuck and you are worth it. Make a plan, execute, and adjust when things don’t change in the way you want them. Excuses are no more. As you meet your goals, please share them with me.
Finally as you go forward, I’ll leave you with this quote, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”, Thomas Edison.