Fat Loss and Mental Strength

Fat loss is generally associated with some form of diet as well increased daily exercise, however the mental strength of an individual is often overlooked as an important part of the fat loss process.

It’s fair to say you can have your diet and exercise regime all set out but if your mental approach isn’t strong enough then its highly unlikely that are going to succeed long term with your fat loss goals. I always ask clients the following question before they commit to a new goal:
“On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being Not Ready and 10 being 100% Ready), how ready and willing are you to make necessary changes to achieve your goal?”
Their response to this question gives me a big indicator into how likely this individual is going to achieve that particular goal or whether we need to re asses it.
Let’s look at a few points to consider
1) Yes you guessed it again…Goal Setting
If your goals are too high or unrealistic you’re setting yourself up for failure.
E.g. “I’m going to loss 4lbs a week for the first 3 months”
As much as this is a ambitious target, it is clearly emotionally driven. At the start of a new challenge our motivation and excitement tends to be a lot higher therefore we can set goals based on our current mood.
In this example, as much as this individual may lose 8lbs over the initial 2 weeks, what happens when they only lose 2lb in the 3rd week and only 1lb in the 4th week? Even though a loss is a positive it will be seen as a negative in their mind as it is not sticking with the 4lb a week goal. This can lead to disappointment and loss of motivation, and in some cases feelings of giving up all together.
Setting smaller achievable goals will allow you to stay more consistent and maintain regular positive vibes. Referring back to this case, if this individual aimed for a 1lb – 1.5lbs a week loss then this is more attainable and anything greater than that will be a bonus.
Another thing to touch on here is not get stuck on weight numbers. When it comes to fat loss its important to take additional measurements around relevant body parts as well as progress pictures. At some point your weight will stabilise and fluctuate therefore progress can be measured in other forms.
2) Planing for the worst
Christmas, Easter, Birthdays, Holidays are arguably seen as the most challenging times for those with fat loss goals.
Don’t be resigned to the fact that you will put on weight or go backwards during this time, instead set a plan of action for in advance. For example during the 1 week Christmas period you could aim to maintain your weight and measurements by increasing your calorie allowance and increasing your exercise regime. This way you have created a temporary goal to maintain your weight/shape and by achieving it your progress remains positive.
Unfortunately at some point during your fat loss journey you will be faced with challenging times like this. It is very common to see a lot of individuals give everything to losing fat, then when the slightest mistake or slip up occurs all of the hard work goes out the window! THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!
It’s vital to accept that at one stage you will go back into old habits (we all do it), its just having a plan to help you get back on track.
I relate this situation to a cricketer that I trained and his mental approach to bowling. I said to him that he has to accept that is highly likely that he will be hit for at least 1 boundary (4 or 6 runs) during the game as much as he wants to have the perfect day at the office.
If he is not prepared for this scenario then it will have a negative affect on his performance targets for that game. Not every ball he bowls can be perfect and the same goes for fat loss. Not every day will be good, you must have a plan in place for the days that are tough so you don’t lose the long term focus on your goals.
3) Believing you can achieve your goal! Do you actually believe you can do it?
Wanting success is one thing, doing it is another. Having confidence that you have done whats necessary to hit your weekly/monthly targets rather than saying ” I think I have done ok”. There will always be a reason why you haven’t hit your goal, HOWEVER there will be lots of positives as to why you have achieved your target! Back Yourself!
4) Consistency is key with fat loss. This relates to all parts of your lifestyle, from sleep patterns through to eating habits and exercise regime. Giving a half hearted effort will not give you the success you desire.
Referring back to a previous blog of mine “http://www.mikemelford.co.uk/2017/03/01/healthy-lifestyle-habits/” I talk about creating positive habits and changes to your daily lifestyle. When you have healthy habits installed then mentally it makes your goal a lot more attainable.
5) Ultimately you need to be willing to make sacrifices to achieve fat loss success. This can be anything from making sensible choices when socialising with friends or having to get up that little bit earlier to make breakfast. Many individuals fail to understand that change is necessary to achieve fat loss, otherwise they would have already achieved this.

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