Exercise alone wont help you lose weight. You really have to take a look at the whole picture, and that’s eating healthy too. In last day’s post, you begin to understand that it is important to make healthy choices in what you eat all the time, and that goes for snacks as well!!
In addition to improving on your nutrition, finding methods to develop and sustain motivation is vital to fat loss success. Today, I give you tips to help you lose weight and keep you motivated.
Scott: I know one of your recent newsletters talked about three simple strategies to get that motivation at a high level. This brings us into the next question that people want to know….
What can you do to keep the motivation fire going or restart it once you lose it?
Craig: Great question. Here are the three secrets that were in my newsletter that people really found enlightening and some of the feedback that I got.
First of all, what you want to set a time period and have some sort of reward or punishment associated with it based on your results. So, put some time aside and look at a calendar circle a date that marks when you want to reach your goal.
Now list out what your goal is, like, “I want to lose four pounds in the next four weeks.” You want to set a goal that you can reach not like what I have seen some people recommend in the past with huge giant goals like, “I want to lose 30 pounds in four weeks.”
Research on human behavior shows that if you set lower goals, and you have the opportunity to actually reach your goals with some type of reward that’s positive it encourages you to keep setting more goals.
So set up a type of goal and reward system, again, not something that is so massive that you almost become abstract to you. You want to set short, easy, and attainable goals with a deadline for that reward.
The simplest way is to put stuff on the calendar and work towards it. So, you really want to make things as concrete as possible. You want to have a goal. You want to set a set time limit, and then you want to give yourself a reward for when you reach that.
The second thing is to have social support. So, you want to put yourself in the right training environment or the right nutrition environment, and you want to hang around other achievers. The more you can hang around other people who have goals like you and do the activities that are congruent with your goals the more success you’re going to have.
It’s very simple. You don’t put a recovering alcoholic in a bar and expect him to achieve what he wants to do. It’s not going to happen. He’s going to, obviously, be brought down to that level again. So, you want to make sure that you’re putting yourself in the right environment.
Third, you must truly believe in yourself. That’s not just, “I really think I’m going to do it this time,” or “I’m going to give this a try,” but you need to mentally switch and it has to be an honest mental switch. You can’t just say, “This is my new mentality,” if it’s not. You know, deep down, whether you truly believe in yourself, but you have to truly switch to a mentality where it says, “I’m going to succeed no matter what.”
When you truly believe that is your mentality that’s when you’re going to have success. If you still struggle with that, you still have doubted, then it’s going to be very difficult for you. Unless you go back to those first two components, and you start putting in the easy to reach goals combined with the social support and the right environment then eventually you’ll build that belief in yourself. However, if you can build that belief in yourself now you can actually achieve without even being in the right environment.
Then, finally, the bonus tip is to educate yourself and never give up looking for new clues to success. The most successful people in life are often simply the most persistent people. If you truly believe in yourself, and you’re going to succeed no matter what that means you’re going to be a very persistent person.
Scott: I love all those strategies, Craig, especially the social support. I find that even people who are members of forums, not all members are going to be active in the forums, but I would always find that the people that are more active, asking questions, answering questions. Those are ones that are getting better results.
Are you finding something similar in your TT Members.com site, where the more active you are in there the better results you’re getting?
Craig: Yes. Often times the winners of our contests are the people who use the forums the most. There’s actually research from a Swedish study, of all places, that had people assigned to a weight loss forum online.
They found that the more often someone checked into that forum, it didn’t say whether or not they participated, but they were just checking in, and they could have just been one of those people who reads everything and then just goes and takes actions, but the more often the person checked in the better the results that they had.
So, it’s really important whether you join a membership site online or whether you get on Scott’s Facebook Page or my Facebook Page, and you’re there and you’re reading the tips every day, you need to be involved in that type of community. You might go on Joel Marion’s blog and start reading and commenting on the blog. That’s a community there where everyone is like minded and hang around other people who want to get results.
That type of stuff is so powerful. We have this now that they didn’t have 15 years ago, 20 years ago when people were trying to lose weight and all they had a negative spouse and negative coworkers, there was no way to escape that stuff, but now with the online stuff, there’s a powerful way to overcome those two large obstacles in your way. So, if you are struggling with social support in the offline world you’re going to find plenty of support in the online world.
Scott: Yes, I agree. You have a great following on Facebook. You do a daily workout Q and A. I’ve been doing a nutritional challenge of the week on my page, and I find that the people that are the ones that are participating and commenting are the ones that are sticking to it and really getting good results. That really has helped a lot.
Somebody wanted to know about losing weight fast. He’s heard that dieting to the tune of 1,000 calories or less without exercising would slow your metabolism, but with exercise it would increase metabolism and weight just falls off.
My question is two parts; one, is this true, and if it is true is it fat falling off, or muscle, or both?
Craig: Well, there is research in overweight people who are monitored very closely by doctors, so obviously I’m not recommending you do this, because it’s not something I can recommend in good conscience, but there are research studies in obese individuals giving them 800 calories per day and resistance training, and they didn’t lose a lot of lean bodies mass while losing body fat.
Again, these people were checking in with doctors every day. So, that type of extreme dieting is not something I recommend. However, there is certainly value to losing weight quickly. Research shows that the quicker someone loses weight the more that gets the momentum going, so they stick to a weight loss program longer and by the end of the year they have more results.
So, what we’re going to do is combine that extreme with practical and safe and what we’re going to do is have people make sure that when they get ready to start a weight loss program that they have everything in place that they need.
Don’t just say, “Okay, I’m going to start a weight loss program now,” without cleaning out your cupboards and without buying all your nutrition for your house and without having your workout program in place.” If you start without any of those things in place you’re going to have a very slow start, and you might not even lose any weight in the first week as you get all that stuff prepared.
If you have all that stuff prepared, and then you say, “Okay, now is the official start time,” and you take before photos and you do measurements and then you’re into a weight loss support, and you start with all that stuff in place you’re going to get off to a very quick start, and that quick start is going to keep you motivated and that quick start is going to keep you motivated for a very long period of time and support even more weight loss as you go forward.
Again, I can’t recommend someone going to a 1,000 calorie per day diet, because that is completely against anything that any medical association or dietician association would ever recommend, so I can’t recommend that. However, you certainly want to have everything in place that will allow you to lose as much body fat as possible at the start of your program.
Scott: What’s helped for me and some of my clients is actually you mentioned taking pictures even more so, sometimes the scale doesn’t really tell the whole picture. So, pictures taken regularly can be a great motivator. Just put those before and maybe every week picture side by side, and you can really monitor your progress well that way. That really helps as a motivator. Craig, I know you’ve tried the vegetarian lifestyle for awhile. Somebody wanted to know…
Can I really build a good body as a vegetarian?
Craig: Yes. The simple answer is yes. You can. There’s plenty of vegetarians who are lean and have great bodies and go in fitness competitions, so absolutely somebody can. They just clearly need to be knowledgeable. You can have a Coke and fries and says you’re a vegetarian, which obviously is not going to work.
Everything I talked about at the start this interview series. Fruits, vegetables, and raw nuts, that should be the foundation of everybody’s diet. So, really you’re just using that foundation plus you’re going to have to maybe use some stuff like quinoa, which is a grain that’s higher in protein, more beans, black beans are one of the cheapest sources of protein, you get like 15 grams of protein per half can of black beans.
Then also there’s stuff like high protein pastas. You can get pasta, whether it’s spelt or some of the other more exotic flour type of pastas that will give you 15 grams of protein per serving of pasta. So, there’s plenty of protein options and you need a variety of sources of protein when you’re on a vegetarian diet, but it’s always a good idea to get a variety of foods in your diet.
There’s that, you get protein from nuts, you get protein from grain products, like bread has 3 grams of protein per serving, which obviously you’re not going to eat 30 pieces of bread in a day, but there is more protein in foods that people don’t realize there’s protein in. You’re going to want to do the exact same exercise that I mentioned earlier, you’re going to want to go through and see how many calories you’re eating now, improve the quality of your diet, and then see where there might be a few extra gaps to fill in, whether you need to get more protein or not.
But, you’re going to do very well on a vegetarian diet, and if you need to buy vegetarian protein powder that’s fine, you can easily get those. Everything I’ve talked about so far has been talking about vegan eating, which means absolutely no animal products, but once you start slipping in dairy products if you’re going to go that way and eat eggs too, a serving of dairy is going to give you eight to 10 grams of protein. A cup of milk or yogurt, that’s eight to 10 grams of protein there. If you use whey protein you get 20 grams of protein per scoop. An egg is seven grams of protein. So, if you’re a lacto-ovo-vegetarian you’re not going to have any problem getting enough protein and you’re going to have amazing results. You’re going to have no problem at all achieving your goals even with a vegetarian diet.
Scott: Yes. A lot of the principles and strategies in the foods that you’re consuming on a regular diet are the same things you’re going to be eating on a vegetarian diet. Then the workout routines are going to be the same.
Join me in part 4, where find out the most efficient way to lose those love handles.