If you have a fat loss, fitness or a health based goal then your habits and actions on a day to day basis are going to determine how successful you are.
Remember there simply is no quick fix to all of this – your health, and the way you look and feel will simply be a by-product of the lifestyle habits you choose, NOT the result of a 3 week lemon detox, fad diet or hardcore exercise regime for 4 weeks.
Just take a look at one of our Fit Stop clients, Steve.
There’s 11 weeks between those 2 pics…
11 weeks of eating well, following The Fit Stop food plan perfectly, training hard 3 times per week, and never ever missing a session, not once.
Steve lost nearly 20kg, and was able to ditch his medication for high cholesterol. That’s a great result, it is NOT typical and definitely BETTER than your average. But it shows what can be done if you just knuckle down and take massive action.
So the lifestyle of no exercise, eating lots of processed carbs, take away foods, eating out and regular alcohol consumption gave him this…..
And eating literally nothing but lean protein, eggs, lots of vegetables, fruits & nuts, water, and training very hard 3 times per week for 11 weeks gave him this….
And MAINTAINING these eating habits and the new healthy lifestyle on day to day basis (now trains 4 times per week though) over the span of 2 years he now looks like this…
How Steve looks now, and his overall health, is a by-product of being able to maintain those healthy habits and lifestyle. If you were to ask him, he wouldn’t tell you he’s on a ‘diet’ or doing a ‘4 week summer blitz’.
This is just how he lives every day.
Had he kept up this previous lifestyle and habits, who knows what state he would be in now.
But by following the 12 habits below, he’s completely changed his body and health, looks alot younger and probably added 20 years to his life. He’ll never go back to how he used to be.
Now there’s plenty to think about when changing YOUR exercise and eating habits, and it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed with it all especially if you’ve always done things differently. But you wouldn’t be reading this now if you weren’t interested in turning things around, or already on the right track to being a fit and healthy person and just interested in the subject.
Here’s a few questions to ask yourself to get you thinking about your habits,
Like a little checklist.
These are the little things that determine your LIFESTYLE, which over time, will then determine how much body fat you have, how toned you are (or how much muscle tissue you have), how much energy you have, your risk for degenerative disease, your fitness and strength, your quality of movement, and your lifespan.
Answer each one honestly to see what you can work on… (these are in no particular order, but funnily enough number 1 is probably most important)
1. Have you eliminated the huge array of modern day, processed, ‘fake’ foods from your diet?
This is the biggest contributor to weight gain and many degenerative diseases and includes sugar, breads, biscuits, pasta, cereals, pastries, and processed vegetable oils. If you’re consistently eating these foods you’re going to struggle to reach your potential from a body composition, health, and ‘feeling good’ point of view. You’d be amazed at how much more energy you have, how less often you get sick, and the reduction in bodily inflammation in the form of aches and pains if you just scrapped all this stuff permanently from your diet. Even the ‘diet foods’, weight watchers foods, low fat, low calorie snacks are ALL processed crap and your body will never be totally healthy or reach your ideal level of body fat or fitness if you try to ‘cheat the system’ and your body with this stuff. If you have no idea what to eat without having these foods as an option then you need to take the time to educate yourself or ask for help, its literally that important if you want to make a big difference. If it doesn’t run, swim, fly, or you can’t pick it off a tree or pluck it from the ground then don’t eat it if you have fat to lose. It may require a complete change of mindset about how you think about food and your relationship with food.
2. Do you limit alcohol?
This one is a hard one to give exact guidelines to. From a fat loss perspective, in an ideal world you wouldn’t drink any alcohol at all, BUT this is quite unrealistic and you’ve gotta have a bit of fun from time to time. Just use common sense, avoid the wine(s) every single night with dinner if you have fat to lose, and likewise watch the weekend binge, this usually has a chain effect of horrible eating the next day. Alcohol is quite high in calories, which we could probably deal with if it weren’t for the fact that it will actually STOP your body from going into ‘fat burning mode’. If you’re following all 11 of the other rules then a few drinks on the weekend won’t be doing too much harm, in fact, (and this is probably the only sentence many will remember from this) a glass of red wine does have certain health benefits.
3. Do you take a fish oil or krill oil supplement?
We humans need a certain balance in the types of fats we consume in our diets, this is a result of our evolutionary heritage, we need certain nutrients in certain ratios to thrive. Fish oil (or even better Krill Oil) is a great way to provide us with important Omega 3 fats that we just don’t encounter in our modern day diets. Fish oil and krill oil has been shown to have so many health benefits from reducing heart disease, improving brain & cognitive function, reducing pain and inflammation in your body, and reducing insulin sensitivity (which has a big impact on your fat storing and fat burning potential). You can order krill oil here: http://www.iherb.com OR from a local health food store.
4. Do you take a multivitamin or ‘greens’ supplement?
It’s a pretty safe bet you’re not 100% perfect with your nutrition, (not many people are including me), and that’s ok. It’s also a pretty safe bet that you ideally want to look and feel better than your daily nutrition habits will realistically provide. Think of this as ‘insurance’, not to replace any veggies or fruits in your diet, but to make sure you’re filling any nutritional gaps. I like to take ‘vital greens’ or ‘Greens Plus” powder. You can order both from the same place: http://www.iherb.com OR get it from a local health food store. Remember a healthier body will always get better results.
5. Do you regularly Exercise?
To look and feel your best you need to regularly exercise. Period. If you train hard and follow habit number 1, you’ll make big changes to not only your weight, but in size and shape too. Not to mention the 101 health benefits. I think 3-5 days per week is ideal depending on what you’re doing. Just remember if you’re exercising less than 3 days per week, it will be harder to make BIG changes to your body being sedentary 5 days out of 7.
6. Do you exercise with adequate Intensity and consistency?
A lot of people say they ‘exercise’, but to get good results you have to train with adequate intensity and consistency. Intensity basically refers to effort, there’s a big difference between jogging 200m and sprinting 200m – or squatting 10kg for 10 reps when you’re capable of squatting 20kg for 20 reps. On paper this might look like a similar program, and both count as ‘exercise’ but in reality one is pretty easy and the other is hard work, one will get results and create enough of a stimulus on your body to elicit changes and the other will allow you to just say that you regularly ‘exercise’ (which is fine if that’s all you want to do – maintenance). Consistency is another one – getting results from exercise is very much reliant on progressive overload, meaning that you keep building upon your previous training sessions and over time you improve performance (strength. speed, endurance, technique, coordination etc). If you improve on these performance variables you improve your ability to train harder and therefore your ability to elicit a training effect. If you consistently miss sessions or even whole weeks at a time you’re setting yourself back and you end up spinning your wheels and staying in the same place.
So there we go that’s part 1 for today, the first 6 of 12 habits on the checklist.
After asking yourself these 6 questions and honestly evaluating yourself, how do you stack up?
Maybe you’ve indentified a few little things which you can improve, tweak or do better in, maybe you identified A LOT.
Write down all the ones you answered ‘NO’ to on a little ‘to do’ list. Pick 1 or 2 of the easiest ones to work on right now and over the next few weeks.
Don’t feel the pressure to do everything at once if you know your personality isn’t suited to it. If 2 is too many then choose 1 thing.
Consciously do something every day for 21 days, turn it into a habit, then move on to the next one(s) on the list. Make changes fast, or slow or at whatever pace you’re realistically able to, just TAKE ACTION and do something. Even if it takes you 1 whole year (1 habit per month) to dial in the 12 habits, you’ll make a MASSIVE change to your whole life forever.
Stay tuned for part 2 and the next 6 habits.