It seems as though everyone is looking for that “one thing” that will make them fit, will make them healthy, will make them happy, or will make them live longer. Whatever we desire, we seem to look for the one thing that will give it to us. This never is more true than in the area of weight loss.
Well, the “one thing” that will get you to your weight loss and fitness goals is EVERYTHING. The one thing is that you do everything. The one thing that will get you fit is to follow a complete and integrated program. You won’t get fit by exercising more if you’re ignoring nutrition. You won’t get fit by dieting if you’re skipping workouts. You won’t get fit by lifting weights if you’re not experiencing intensity or your form is bad. Don’t look for a single trick or technique to be the magic answer. The one thing that will get you fit is everything.
So what is everything? It is consistent, intense exercise, small frequent meals containing high-quality protein and carbohydrate, low-glycemic nutrition (avoid a lot of refined sugar, white flour, and highly processed carbohydrates – focus on carbohydrates that exist in nature), creating a caloric deficit (burning more than you take in), proper supplementation when necessary, lots of water, and rest. The final ingredient in everything is time. It takes time to reach a destination. Think in terms of weeks and months, not hours and days.
If your exercise does not stress your body, then your body will not change in response to the exercise. Please be honest with yourself about your intensity level. Only you will know how intense a particular workout was, and only you will know when you could put forth more effort. Honest evaluation and constant improvement should be the goal.
If you can’t remember exactly what and how much you ate yesterday, and you don’t know exactly what and how much you’ll eat tomorrow, your nutrition is not sufficiently planned. Plan your meals, and eat according to your plan. If you fail to plan, you may as well plan on failing. Remember that an hour of hard exercise can be undone in only 15 minutes of bad eating. So plan your meals ahead of time so you are not stuck trying to find a good choice in a bad place.
No caloric deficit, no weight loss. This is physics. There is no shortcut. Each and every meal counts. Focus on the deficit. If you’re after fat loss, your success is not determined by how many calories you burn, nor how few calories you take in. Your fat loss is determined by the DIFFERENCE between these two. This difference is called the caloric deficit (or caloric surplus if you’re taking in more than you burn). Hands down, the main reason people fail to lose fat on a workout program is that they lose sight of the deficit. They focus, for instance, on increasing their workouts. But then they let their meals creep up in size. They think that because they’re eating “good” food, they don’t need to monitor how much. And in a single “free day”, they often blow a good 2 or 3 days of accumulated deficits.
Now you know what the “one thing” is. It is everything that is important.