Hope this helps anyone starting out with some things I could have used more clarity on! This is my personal experience and opinion.
- When you hear people tell you that it takes a lot of patience and not to give up, realize it’s true but also realize what exactly that means. That means it could take weeks to see real results. It was hard for me to to learn what “waiting and keep going” actually meant. Is it a week before I adjust things? Do I wait 6 months to decide it isn’t working? Of course everyone is different, but there are still extremes either way. I got so used to seeing results up front that I would see that advice and think that I was already being patient but then realized that two weeks wasn’t enough to wait sometimes. Sometimes it took a month to see a change I was looking for. Yes, you need to be aware if you’re truly not being honest with yourself with diet or workout intensity but give it a chance if you really are kicking ass. Depending on your goals it could take 4+ weeks to really see or feel much. This doesn’t mean it isn’t working, either! Sometimes after that time period your body kicks into overdrive and almost seems to catch up with all of your work and shows even more results than you anticipated!
- Kicking ass (intensity level) means something different to everyone. I personally really benefitted from following some sort of pre-written weekly routine by Muscle and Fitness Hers for most of the past 6 months of my journey. It helped push me, but it also helped me realize that 20-30 minutes of HIIT was enough and that kept me less overwhelmed.
- Protein doesn’t make you lose fat. It helps to preserve muscle and keep you feeling full longer, which helps you keep your calorie intake in check and grow muscle, which helps to sizzle fat.
- Lift heavy. What exactly does that mean? Heavy is also subjective. But, try to challenge yourself on the 3rd set of all exercises. That worked for me to keep growing even if I can only do a few with the heavier weight I still finish my reps no matter what by going back to the weight I can handle to finish up. The only way you “bulk up” is if you aren’t being realistic with yourself on your fat loss. You need to keep cardio up and burn fat while building muscle to lean down at the same time. Either way you barely bulk, but I suppose that’s the excuse not to lift heavy as it’s said a lot of the time.
- Eat clean, learn to love it, and be creative. Diet is really 80% of results. Diet is what you eat, diet to me isn’t being on a “diet”. Not only does a diet geared toward your goals help you create the deficit you may or may not be looking for, but it helps FUEL your activity. I personally eat meat, dairy, and complex carbs etc. but have stuck to clean eating with major portion control and it’s made me healthy and happy. I don’t feel deprived of anything besides a little hungry on days I’m cutting calories a lot which is just a fact of cutting. I eat 6 times a day.
- Be realistic when setting dietary need goals. For me a very low calorie day is 1400 and I can barely handle that without feeling starving to the point where I can’t think or even sleep. Right now I’m 5’4” and 129 lbs on a good day. A high/cheat day is as much as 2000. If you’re really active with intensity and heavy weights, don’t try to cut calories any lower than 1400 (talking women here). Eat for intensity and energy and fat will burn from your workouts. If you can’t be intense during your workouts because you’re not fueled enough, why bother?
- Planning ahead means lifestyle change. Know what workouts you are doing for the next 4 weeks. It flies by. Also get used to packing healthy foods for days away/traveling. I suggest having a rough plan for a few months or even the year ahead of high level goals (get lean, build muscle, lose 10 lbs of fat, etc.)
- Get used to handling comments from other people without losing all of your friends. I have found it way less effective to “preach” my lifestyle than by just keeping my mouth shut and leading by example. I could care less if my family or friends don’t want this lifestyle or eating habits, it’s for me. I’m not pushing anything on them. They are getting used to me bringing food and understanding it’s not to offend them the more I’m showing how serious I am about it over time. It’s becoming more normal. I try to make my cheat meals occur when I’m with other people so they see I’m not obsessive and it helps soften that too. It shows the moderation side of this lifestyle (at least how I chose to live mine).
- Don’t count every calorie. Life is too busy to keep that up and commit to eating healthy. Something that I do is find pre-written meal plans to stick to which already have calorie counts figured out (give or take). The more you pay attention the better you get at knowing how many calories things are over time. The fact is if you are trying to lose weight you DO need to know to make a deficit but this is, in my opinion, a healthier way to do it long term.
- A calorie deficit is made by eating less AND working out. You can’t workout and decide to eat more because you made a little dent in deficit. Yes, this can happen and possible not effect your results by much, but it can’t be your plan. You can’t work off a bad diet. “Bad diet” would also include too many calories to create a significant enough deficit for your goals, even if it’s clean food.
- Healthy means many things. It’s all about your goals. Know what your goals are and eat and train accordingly, it is different for everyone.
- Be specific on goals. This one I struggled with at first. I thought I wanted to lose weight, period. I soon realized that really meant getting lean. After that I wanted to concentrate on muscle building, which also helped torch fat. Now, I’m back to leaning down again for summer. I still have weight goals in mind but am allowing a lot more time for them to come with my muscle gains and better physique and size. I feel healthy now and the rest is more vanity and personal preference at this point.
Pauline gives you the lowdown on how to get the body you want
February 14, 2012
“Are your healthy food choices helping you get the physique you want? Pauline Nordin of Fighter Diet discusses the importance choosing healthy foods for your body type and goal. Check out her latest blog!”
This image goes well with what I’m thinking about at the moment. I was glad to have some great friends give me the opportunity to explain to them my goals and how I intend on accomplishing them while on their Christmas visit this week. We hung out and had a great time, and understanding my clean eating habits made the acceptance of my food choices among everyone else’s happen without question. Sometimes it’s tough having the influence of other foods around, and while my discipline keeps me from eating them it makes it that much simpler when those around me understand them and accept it. I think I do well with having many options around for guests and even my husband and am learning to cook secretly healthy meals for everyone too ;)
Please know that my friends and family also eat well and I’m definitely not saying they are bad eaters whatsoever. I’m just acknowledging that my choices can seem “too strict” to the normal eater even who makes good choices and doesn’t measure or estimate the size of every ingredient. And I’m turning down baked goods.
Eating often but reducing portion sizes may be the single most important strategy for fat loss. It’s best to eat something every two to four hours instead of eating three large meals per day. This will speed up your metabolism. Redistribute the same number of calories (or a reduced number, if you’re eating too much) over five or six smaller meals.