If you're like most busy people, you are either tired of wasting time on exercise routines, 90 day challenges, and meal plans that don't work designed by "exercise professionals" who just want to make a quick buck OR you are looking to get started exercising and want to avoid all of that. When it comes to losing fat there is a lot of noise coming from all angles how are you supposed to know what actually works? Reformed Fitness is different from the rest of the noise in the exercise industry. We've helped 100's of busy people like you who want to look and feel their best without wasting hours a week in the gym.
THE 5 STEP GUIDE TO FAT LOSS... THAT ACTUALLY WORKS
We know how hard it can be to find diet and exercise information that you can trust. That's why we don't have our own "philosophy" rather our exercise physiologists study and implement the latest exercise science research into every aspect of your workout. We treat your workouts and time like it's our own, and work hard to build a long term, sustainable, and well rounded workout routine that you can actually fit into your busy life.
We are here to help you win. The following is an evidenced based no B.S. guide to fat loss. Follow these steps are you will achieve the fat loss you dream of.
STEP 1: ESTABLISH A STRUCTURED EXERCISE ROUTINE
Everybody knows that structured exercise is vital to fat loss but what exercise routine is most effective for fat loss? The one you can actually consistently complete. If you are able to realistically complete your workout routine on a weekly basis then your likelihood of actually achieving and sustaining the results you want becomes far more likely. The top barriers to exercise for most people are either a perceived lack of time or not having access to the necessary equipment. To overcome these top two barriers we recommend following an evidence based strength training routine. Strength training is the ideal place to start when it comes to losing fat. Muscle tissue is the organ of longevity. The more muscle you build the more calories you burn at rest. Your body has to use more calories as fuel to maintain that muscle tissue. The more calories you burn at rest (your body simply just functioning) the more calories you can eat and still make progress towards your fat loss goal.
Following a full body strength training routine will allow you to seamlessly fit structured exercise into your busy routine so that you can finally maintain a workout routine over the course of several months and years. These workouts can be completed in 30 minutes 2-3 days per week from the comfort of your own home. Whatever exercise program you choose to follow just make sure it's something you can consistently perform for a sustained period of time!
STEP 2: BE MORE ACTIVE OUTSIDE OF YOUR WORKOUTS
While structured exercise is vital to any fat loss goal but what people don't realize is the impact that being active outside of your structured workouts can have on fat loss. At least 15% of your daily calories burned per day comes from activity outside of structured exercise. People often spend too much time focusing on the 30-60 minutes of exercise when it's the other 23 hours where the fat loss is often hiding.
Start with walking. How much? More than you are. Take the stairs, walk a lap around your house, take a walk while you're eating lunch at work. Don't overthink it! Don't worry how fast you are going or if using a treadmill or elliptical counts, it all counts! Whatever it takes to be more active than you currently are. To start simply download a step tracking app or use a step tracking device and track your steps over the course of a week to establish a baseline. At the end of the week determine your average steps taken per day. You know that this baseline is too low for you to be where you want to be (that's why you're reading this article). Take your newfound baseline average per day is increase that by 100-200 steps per day for the following week. Adding 100-200 steps to a weekly averages means only walking for a few extra minutes each day which should be very manageable as you get used to being more active. Don't make it complicated on yourself, you don't need to record your steps on a spreadsheet simply focus on getting your body into the habit of moving more!
STEP 3: TRACK YOUR FOOD AS BEST AS YOU CAN FOCUSING ON TOTAL CALORIE AND PROTEIN INTAKE
You should not stress yourself out by trying to track every single thing that goes into your mouth over the course of the week but in order to lose the fat that you want to you have to be aware of your calorie and protein intake. You inevitably are going to have some days where your diet is all over the place, do not expect to hit your calorie goal every single day. After setting your calorie goal give yourself some wiggle room. If your daily goal is 1800 calories that means you should aim for 1600-2000 calories per day. It would be unrealistic for you to expect yourself to get exactly 1800 calories per day but it is absolutely realistic that you would be able to average 1800 calories per day over the course of several weeks, months, and years. This is why meal plans have never worked for you. Meal plans are rigid, your life will never lend itself to a rigid way of eating nor should you want it to.
When you accept the fact that your body in this moment is an average of what you have been doing over the course of several years it takes the pressure off trying to follow a perfect diet each day and allows you to focus on the bigger picture. Your primary goal isn't to just lose 30 pounds, your goal is to integrate the habits that keep you from gaining 30 pounds in the first place. Using the MyFitnessPal app is an easy way to get started tracking your calorie and protein intake daily. What you don't realize is that even though during the week you ate a healthy low calorie diet the Chick-Fil-A, Panera Bread, and alcohol you consumed on the weekend didn't fill you up so you ate more than you realized which caused your average calories for the week to skyrocket. That's why you're not seeing any movement on the scale. Tracking your calories (especially on the weekend) will help you from continuing this bad habit.
STEP 4: EAT FOODS YOU LOVE DON'T CUT THEM OUT
"That what you resist persists." You've probably heard your favorite influence say "you just have to eat clean." It's usually coming from somebody who is uneducated about fat loss, has no kids, and doesn't work a 9-5 job. Food only has the label that we assign to it. If you're labeling food as "bad" there is going to be guilt and shame associated with eating that food. This shame can then lead to undereating, over exercising which causes stress and leads to more overeating and even more guilt and shame until you eventually just give up on the new habits you were just starting to create.
Remove the labels of "good" and "bad" food. It's just food. This can be hard to do when you are being inundated with so much information saying "carbs are bad. Avoid sugar. Don't eat gluten. Don't eat dairy." This causes way to much thinking when it comes to eating. In order to lose fat you need to be in a caloric deficit consistently. That's it. It's simple but it's not easy and labeling food is causing you to overthink making it even harder. Focus on your overall calorie intake fitting your favorite foods into your diet within your calorie range! If you have 300 calories left before hitting your goal you could either eat 300 calories of ice cream or 300 calories of vegetables either way you are eating 300 calories and you are going to get the exact same result. You'll be much happier if you chose the ice cream as a way to reward yourself at the end of the day. Eat the damn ice cream.
STEP 5: START WITH IMPERFECT ACTION
"Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction." Like I have stated throughout this article don't get caught up trying to make everything perfect. Prioritize strength training even if you feel a bit intimidated. Start with little to no weight and slowly progress you might be bad at it at first but you'll get better. Track your calories and protein even if you know you're going to be a bit over your calorie goal. At least you know what you need to do the next day to make up for it to get your average back within your goal range. Be more active. Just a few minutes more per day than you did last week will help you start building a habit of keeping you body active. Lastly, please do not avoid the foods you love. Learning to incorporate your favorite foods into your diet and still losing weight is how you make sustainable change. Take imperfect action today and you will be well on your way to looking and feeling your best!
If you found this article helpful I encourage you to sign up for a Free 45 minute Introductory Workout with Reformed Fitness. Our exercise physiologists will take you through a full body workout and talk you through a personalized plan to achieve your specific goals. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.