Before You Commit to Your Next Fat Loss Challenge…

Before you commit to the next body transformation, there are a few important factors that you should consider. At almost everyone’s point in life, there will come a time where dropping a waist size or the need to get in shape comes to the forefront of our fitness journeys. Something like a body transformation, at any stage in a person’s life, almost doesn’t come as a surprise to anybody.

That being said, as many jump onto this journey, countless people have fallen off the transformation bandwagon within a week or two into the program. Or even worse, to have achieved what they set out, only to put back on everything (and sometimes more) that they have lost. These are crucial pitfalls that plague the process. In this article, we like to shed light on important factors that should be considered before embarking on a fat loss journey.

Health and Body Composition:

It is important to understand the notions of health and body composition when embarking on a journey. Body composition is a form of measure used by doctors and fitness professionals for measuring health. Fat percentage, another frequently used measurement, is a biomarker of health. It refers to the proportion of body fat you have, relative to your lean tissue such as muscles, bones, body water, organs, etc. The reality: muscles and fat can change… the rest, not so much.

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there are healthy body fat percentages parameters based on your age range and sex. Below is a table which summarises them.

Source for table: Medicalnewstoday

Aside from looking good, it is important to reiterate that body fat is an indicator of one’s health. High body fat levels will bring about conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, gallstones, kidney disease, high cholesterol.  Having too little body fat on the other hand can also be harmful; potentially affecting fertility and immunity. Just take a look at someone who has a dangerously high fat percentage and check out their health stats and you will see the direct correlation between high fat percentage and health.

We have identified five main points to take into consideration before you embark on your next fat loss program to ensure a successful run.

1. Constant & Consistent Evaluation

As the saying goes, if you are not evaluating, you are just guessing. You do not want to be in a fat loss phase for 8-12 weeks only to find out you barely lost much after the end of it.  There should be a drop of 0.5-1% of fat per week and if you are not dropping at this rate, there is something not done optimally. It is best to find out what it is sooner than later (be it training, nutrition or lifestyle) and make the changes needed for optimal success.

2. Fix a Timeline

We want to think of a fat loss program as a one shot one kill rather than a long drawn war. You want to be in and out of it fast. Staying too long in a fat loss program not only desensitises the body to the stimulus of the program but being on a low calorie intake, makes it less effective overtime. It is important to note that being in a calorie deficit for extended periods of time can take its toll on your health and muscle mass. Of which is counter productive to all the hard work which you have invested in building.

3. Preparation

More often than not, most people that drop out of a fat loss journey midway is due to unpreparedness. Many have good intentions of wanting to lose fat, but starting out not knowing how much to eat, what kind of foods to eat, and not prioritising time for consistent and frequent exercise routine are some of the reasons they fail. It is important to know that preparation is not just from a practical standpoint but an emotional and mental one as well. Knowing and accepting how much sacrifice is needed, both from a social standpoint as well as being deprived from comfort food can be the tipping point of your journey.

If you are looking to lose big, be prepared to sacrifice big.

4. Optimising Your Settings

There is a saying that goes: you are the average of the 5 people you hang out with.  We would go further to say that this would apply to the environments you surround yourself with. Surrounding yourself with things that have the potential to sabotage your fat loss such as snacks, sweet drinks and desserts is only going to jeopardise your progress. Your will-power will never win as the brain is designed to crave sugar, it almost acts as a drug. So before you begin on this journey, get rid of anything that has the potential to sabotage you.

5. Planning for Your Future

Determining what your exit strategy is post fat loss is the best way to prevent a bounce back. Remember, achieving your desired fat loss numbers is not the end of the road. How many times have you seen or heard of someone who achieved their body composition goals, only to go back to where they were within a month? It is important to reflect and recall the reasons you embarked on the journey in the first place. 

If an external motivation like aesthetics is the main reason for fat loss, chances are, it will not last. When fat loss is not approached from a perspective of health, and a healthy relationship to food, most clients end up putting the weight back on and more. 

Post fat loss should not be about eating as much junk food as you can because you were deprived during that period of time. Instead, the journey of fat loss should be seen as an opportunity to rewire the brain on what is good for you and what can be taken in moderation. By slowly introducing calories back into your body with strategic cheat meals, you can be assured that not only will the unwanted weight stay off but you are able to stay healthy for life.

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