The 1 thing you need to master in order to lose fat and keep it off forever!
Updated: Oct 6, 2021
Habits are at the core of what we teach at Bryan B Fitness. Habits allows you to simplify fitness, health and fat loss. Good nutrition and training habits will help you beat the vicious cycle of losing and regaining fat. Habits are powerful and today’s article is all about habits- why they are important and simple habits you can start today.
In James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, he describes habits “as the small decisions you make and actions you perform every day”. According to researchers at Duke University, habits account for about 40 % of our behaviours in a given day. Our lives are essentially the sum of our habits.
In order for you to be able to achieve your fitness, health and fat loss goals, you need to build habits around nutrition and training. Depending on the individual, you might need plenty of habits, or a few.
Building habits around nutrition and training is a powerful tool, not only for achieving your fitness, health and fat loss goals, but also to maintain your goals forever.
The pitfall of no fat loss habits
When I first started as a personal trainer, I had a client, let's call her Sally, who took part in a 9-week challenge at a personal training studio. In the 9-week period Sally managed to lose 16kg and dramatically changed her body composition. Of course, she was happy. I was too! I thought “If I could keep getting similar results with my clients, I’ll have a full schedule!”. However, what I started noticing was that a few weeks after the challenge, she wasn’t coming into train as often and she started slacking off with her nutrition. A few months after the challenge Sally gained back most of the weight she lost. I wasn't sure what was going on. I was young, naïve and new to the industry; I didn’t know any better.
After a few more instances where clients would start slacking off after the challenge, I studied under professionals in the fitness industry and I realised that anyone can work hard for 9 weeks, but what about after?
Year later, I have a different approach to fitness, health and fat loss. I’m not a fan of 6-week, 12 week and similar challenges that promise results quickly. Yes, you can get results quick. However, to get rapid results, you need to perform aggressive methods that aren’t sustainable for most people.
These aggressive methods could include things like cutting out your favourite’s foods (most people’s favourite foods are the “good” stuff-cake, ice cream etc). Usually, cutting out foods is paired with increasing training; going from 0 exercise to training every day, 7 days a week! This drastic change in behaviour will get anyone results! However, it’s about longevity. You want to be able to maintain those results long after the challenge is over.
The trouble is that almost everyone can’t maintain training multiple times a day and cutting out foods they love! Let’s be realistic, no matter how strict you are, you are going to get to a point where you’ll want to eat ice cream and cake. That’s just how modern life is. If you rush the process and do unrealistic methods, you’ll fail in the long term.
How to build fat loss habits
So, what should you do if you want long lasting results? You build a solid foundational based on training and nutrition to help you succeed long term. Habits will make or break your long-term success.
Everyone has a different starting point. You might need a lot of habits to be successful or a few. James Clear says that, depending on the complexity of the habit being learnt, it can take anywhere from 16 days to 254 days, with the average being 66 days for a habit to form.
Hopefully you can see how important habits are. Below, are some simple habits you can start doing today to help you get started on healthy habits!
- Do what your Mumma told ya and eat vegetables! How much?! To keep it simple, have some sort of vegetable/salad during lunch and dinner.
How can you measure it? Make a fist. That’s 1 fistful. Have 2 fistful of vegetable/salad on lunch and dinner, 2 fistfuls=1 serving. For my peeps who weigh food, 1 serving of vegetable/salad=75g. Ideally, you want to build up to eating 5 servings per day or a total of 375g per day of vegetable/salad. For those keeping track, that’s 10 fistfuls.
Don’t feel overwhelmed if you can’t hit 5 servings of vegetables/salads per day. Build up to it! If you don’t eat vegetables/salad at all, start with having 1 serving for a whole week. Then when that gets easier, increase it to two and so on.
- Walk! Walk to your friend’s place, park your car far away from the shop entrance, or use stairs or ramps instead of lifts. These are simple ways to get your steps up!
Walking has a lot of health and fat loss benefits. Walking helps improve your cardiovascular health, it’s easy to do, plus walking is a powerful fat loss tool.
In general, walking 10,000 steps is a good number to aim for. If that seems too much for you, that’s okay! Start at 5,000 a day or 8,000 a day. Start with a number you know you can hit and increase it once your it gets easy to hit!
- Drink water! The amount of water varies from individual to individual. There are plenty of variables. Anything counts as water, even coffee! To keep things simple, which is what Bryan B Fitness is about, drink when you’re thirsty! It’s that simple. Like mentioned above, anything counts as “water”, but nothing beats actual water. Our bodies are 60% water so it’s important to stay hydrated!
Aim for at least 2-3L of water per day. Drink more water if you sweat a lot or if it’s a hot day.
Use your pee to determine if you are hydrated. If you are peeing every few minutes and your pee is clear, then you are drinking too much water. However, if you aren’t peeing often and the colour is dark, you need to drink more water. It’s that simple
- Perform strength training a minimum of 2 times a week. Ideally, four times a week of strength training is ideal. By strength training I mean big compound lifts like squats and deadlifts, resting 3minutes + in-between sets and focussing on increasing weights or reps over time.
Strength training isn’t doing 5 exercises back to back with minimal rest in-between, and doing 20+ reps! I’m not against circuits. They have a time place in a well-designed workout. But focussing on strength training and getting stronger over time is key to achieving the body you want. Strength training helps gives your body “shape”.
Bones and muscles get weak if they aren’t put through sufficient stimulus to grow and strengthen. The best way for you to achieve this is through strength training and getting stronger over time!
These are just some examples of what kind of training and nutrition habits you can implement with yourself.
If you aren’t sure what to do first, ask yourself, “what is the easiest thing I can do with my nutrition to help me get fit and healthy?”.
You can ask a similar question for exercise. Once you’ve found the easiest thing, do it consistently, every day for at least two weeks.
Once you feel confident that you’ve mastered the first habit, add another!
If habit-based training and nutrition still feels hard and you need some help, or if you want to leave the guesswork to someone else, you can always sign up for coaching!
Link below if you are interested:
Looking forward to seeing you and starting our issue 1 together!