If there’s one gift that you can give to yourself that will make your health or fat loss or body composition journey a lot less difficult it’s this …
Recognizing that loss is not a permanent state. It’s not a destination. It’s a temporary intervention.
I know you know that. Because I say it all the time. But let me elaborate and provide some tangible examples.
What daily life looks like during a fat loss phase
When you decide that it’s time to embark on a fat loss phase (phase being the key word here) … this is an example of what your life might look like …
6:00 am: Wake up and get yourself ready (ya know, brush teeth, wash face, take a shit, or whatever your morning looks like).
6:30 am: Have some water and maybe some coffee if that’s your thing (if it’s not your thing, are you a serial killer??).
7:00 am: Eat a quality pre-workout snack like a protein shake or Greek yogurt with fruit or cottage cheese with rice cakes (basically some protein and carbs).
7:30 – 8:15 am: Do a workout.
8:30 am: Eat your post-workout meal (could be a shake or some eggs with veggies and potatoes or any quality combination of protein/carbs/potentially some fats).
9:00 am: Start work.
10:00 am: Say no to Susan who brought in donuts and asked if you wanted one.
11:00 am: Refrain from the candy in the break room.
12:00 pm: Eat a quality, well balanced lunch with protein, carbs, and fats.
1:00 pm: Tell Susan no, you still don’t want the last donut.
2:00 pm: Have a little snack like a cheese stick and fruit.
4:00 pm: Say no to drinks after work.
5:00 pm: Head home.
6:00 pm: Start cooking dinner and avoid snacking on the chips and pretzels that the kids pulled out.
6:30 pm: Have a quality dinner with protein, carbs, and fats.
8:00 pm: Avoid snacking on the popcorn that your spouse is eating.
9:00 pm: Wind down with a good routine and prioritize a good night’s sleep.
What you do to stay on track during a fat loss phase
When your best friend, Jenny, asks if you want to have a girls night on Friday … you say …
Yes, I’d love to see you all! Just a heads up though, I’m not going to drink. I’m really trying to dial back on alcohol and make some better food choices. Just wanted to give you a heads up but I’m excited to spend time together.
On Saturday when you have to run your kids all over the place, you plan ahead and pack quality food to have on hand at their games or activities.
When you go out for your family dinner that night or date night, you order a lean protein and veggies and account for it in your day.
And you skip dessert.
When you travel for work, you plan ahead. You find a grocery store nearby or you pack quality options with you. You find a gym nearby or you call the hotel and ask about their fitness center. You make sure your room has a fridge and a microwave. If it can’t, you find places nearby that still allow you to remain consistent. You turn down drinks at your work functions. You still make quality choices at your work dinners.
You get movement in daily. You work out at least 3x/week. You eat mostly quality foods like 90% of the time. You rarely drink alcohol. You find ways to recharge your batteries. You take your sleep routine very seriously.
And you repeat this for anywhere from 4-12 weeks.
Sounds miserable, huh?
That’s because fat loss sucks. It’s supposed to suck. You are quite literally deviating from your current norm.
When you make a poor decision and give in to Susan who keeps asking about the donut … you don’t throw in the towel. You don’t say fuck it all. You don’t call yourself a failure.
You simply learn from it and move on quickly.
Here’s what a fat loss phase is NOT …
– It’s not being dialed in all week and then letting everything go to shit on the weekends.
– It’s not snacking and grazing every night because you’re a little hungry.
– It’s not going out and eating and drinking like an asshole because you can’t set boundaries and have difficult conversations with your friends.
– It’s not refusing to make any sacrifices or doing things differently than you’ve always done them.
Everything I listed above is fat loss purgatory. Where you think you’re in a fat loss phase but you’re basically in maintenance (or a surplus), hoping and praying that the laws of thermodynamics will cease to exist for you.
Fat loss sucks. It’s not a permanent destination. It’s not a lifestyle. It’s a temporary intervention that requires sacrifice and effort. Repeated and consistent effort.
I’m going through it right now. I’m sitting in my hotel room, writing this, and in front of me I have a big bottle of water, coffee, packets of Kreatures of Habit oats which contain 30g of protein and high quality ingredients, packets of green juice, beef sticks, superfood bars, and I know where to go for meals that support my goals.
I’m not special. In fact, I’m pretty basic. I’m not the hardest worker and I’m certainly not super motivated all the time (I’d argue that I rarely have motivation).
Discipline beats motivation every day of the week.
And twice on Sundays.
Here’s why I’m doing this …
1. Because I have a goal and I want to follow through with it. When I say I’m going to do something, I am trying to condition my brain to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that we do it.
2. Because I don’t want fat loss to take longer than it needs to. That’s my motivation. Get this shit over with.
My point is this …
If I can do it, literally anyone can.
I know from experience that there’s nothing more frustrating than thinking you want something and then watching your actions misalign.
When that happens, we often point to external sources for blame.
Life happened. I got sick. I had to travel. My kids were needy. My spouse was a dick. My work was crazy.
Cool … that will always be the case.
So when you say you want fat loss, expect all of that to occur.
And know that you’re still going to follow through anyway.
Even and especially when you don’t feel like it.
That’s the definition of discipline.
Discipline is doing the thing you said you were going to do, even and especially when you don’t feel like doing it.
There are certainly ways to simplify it. There are ways to make it easier on yourself to follow though. There are ways to navigate your friction points more effectively. There are ways to make the process more enjoyable.
It’s simple … you hire a coach. You work with a professional.
It’s hard enough as it is. You don’t need to make it exponentially more challenging by thinking there’s some extra reward for going at it alone.
The cost is much greater when you avoid taking that step. But that’s not for me to tell you. That’s for you to realize on your own.
Maybe this message is too harsh. Or maybe it’s exactly what you need to hear.
Funny how those things often go hand in hand.