By now, most of us know the bare essentials to living a healthy life. We need to eat enough protein to support a healthy metabolism and gain/maintain muscle. We need to stay somewhat active. We can eat variety, but still need to prioritize foods that we know to be healthy. These are all pretty basic concepts in terms of being ‘‘healthy’’.
After a while, it's pretty easy to follow the above rules if you'll call them that. But then what...? After you’ve changed your eating habits, started a workout routine, if you're advanced you may even know exactly how many calories you need to achieve your personal goals. (previous post explains exactly how to do this-will be mentioned by name below so you can find it) But I ask again....then what? WHEN do you see the results you’ve altered your entire lifestyle to see? At what point do these habits translate into the beautiful feeling of looking in the mirror and actually liking what you see? Unfortunately, there isn’t a scientific, pin point answer. To be honest, most people will hate the answer. It’s the LONGEST way possible. Let me explain.
I’ve learned my lesson when it comes to this so many times it’s become pretty ignorant. I’ve had deadlines for shoots, jobs, and events where I knew I had to be in a certain shape, but fell victim to the “I’ll just go hard at the end mindset”. You know when you have a date on Friday night and something like taco Tuesday showed no mercy just days before? It’s cool though because you’ll just “hardly eat” or go harder in the gym over the next couple days. It’ll all work out on Friday, right? OK, for most people scenario is small scaled enough it may actually work. I could guarantee your energy and enthusiasm won't be where it could/should be come date night though. There are obviously more dire situations than a date one night that we’ve all applied the same mindset too. It doesn’t work. A few things WILL happen.
When you attempt to crash diet you are at risk for so many things. One being a rapid loss of muscle aka losing weight!...but now you’ve got a skinny fat look, increased chances you’ll binge when the diet is over, and an extreme drop in energy/mood. I know how easy it is to believe that 10 miles on the treadmill and an hour in the sauna can cure any chubbiness that was gained during whatever it was that made a crash diet seem like a good plan. We all know how much easier it is to gain fat than it is to lose. I personally fell victim to this recently where at my absolute peak physique, I weighed in at 193 lbs. After a week binge and unwanted fat gain, I panicked and increased cardio, while decreasing calories. I’m currently sitting at 191 lbs and still have about 5 lbs of fat to lose JUST to reach the level I was at when I weighed 193!
So here’s my solution:
Find the discipline needed to allow your weight loss or muscle gain process the proper time. I always recommend losing .5 lbs a week max and the same goes for gaining. Trust me, it’s not easy-going weeks at a time with minimal difference in my mirror’s reflection. BUT if you can hold on long enough mentally to stick with the slow process, I promise you there will be a morning where you wake
up and BOOM. You've lost the weight and kept the muscle or you’ve gained the muscle and avoided the fat.
Give yourself months ahead of time to truly develop the body you want. Don’t take short cuts, they won’t lead where you want.