The 10 Commandments of Fat Loss
1. THOU SHALT NOT STARVE If you think that you can work out 5 days a week and eat 1200 calories per day to lose weight, you're going to have a bad surprise. That's a meal plan for a ferret. Eating too little calories and working out is a good way to get fat to stick and stay. Although there’s not really such a thing as a “starvation mode” your body needs calories to perform and under eating doesn’t allow great performance during training sessions. Use a TDEE calculator (you can google that) plug in your numbers and figure out if you need to eat more to lose more.
2. THOU SHALT NOT GROW ROOTS Do something that requires you to move. It doesn’t have to be a big fancy workout in a gym. The truth is if you go from not moving at all to moving, you're bound to lose weight. Our couches are a big part of our weight gain. Have that couch served some divorce papers. Let it have sole custody of the extra weight too,
3. THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER DRINKS BEFORE WATER I hear this often. "Ren, I'll do anything to lose some weight." I suggest to them that they drink some water. "Ren I'll do anything but that, I've got to have my Pepsi". You could add 5-15 lbs of weight in one year because of what you drink daily. Or you could lose it. Try to sip more of the good stuff.
4. THOU SHALT NOT SKIP SLEEP This sleep thing is getting out of hand. So much so that I've added sleep coaching (yes, it’s a thing) to my wellness services. If you miss sleep you're going to crave carbs all day. You're going to feel hungry when you’re not. Your hormones are going to fight AGAINST fat loss and fight FOR storing fat. And you're probably going to be a totally mindless, forgetful, lunatic all day. If you're not sleeping, you're probably not getting results from your workout
5. THOU SHALT NOT "TONE" No matter what Cosmo, Vogue, or 1980's workout videos tell you, 3lbs weights lifted for 300 repetitions does not "tone" your body. That's right, light weights at high reps don’t tone anything. A toned body is just more muscle, with less fat covering it. You don’t get a great butt, shapely legs, or nice arms by repeating a movement until fat turns to muscle. Because fat NEVER turns into muscle. Cause its fat. Not muscle. Hair doesn’t turn into skin. Teeth don’t turn into eyes, and fat doesn’t turn into muscle. Lifting weight that’s heavier (for you) will burn more fat, and shape your body beautifully.
6. THOU SHALT NOT GET CAUGHT WITH THY PANTS DOWN (Be prepared) If you don’t have a plan for food on a daily basis (not necessarily prepped food, but at least a plan) you're going to eat whatever food you come in contact with. So if you work all day, it's going to be whatever's in the office (usually junk) or vending machine food. If you drive for a living, it's going to be an assassination by drive-thru. Having your OWN snacks and preparing your OWN food can make a BIG difference in your progress.
7. THOU SHALT NOT WORSHIP THE TREADMILL First let me say that if you're getting your body moving, that’s better than not moving. So you're not doing anything "wrong" by getting on that treadmill. Also if you're conditioning yourself for athletic endurance events, the long cardio sessions are worth it. Totally. However months (and in some cases years) of cardio is not the most effective recipe for FAT loss. Although you may see significant WEIGHT loss. Fat loss means you've kept (or increased) muscle while losing fat. You may not see a loss in pounds, but you'll see a big difference in shape. Weight loss means that the number on the scale is lower. Maybe you lost muscle, maybe you lost fat, and maybe aliens replaced your brain with confetti. The most optimal recipe for reshaping your body is to strength train, employ sustainable nutrition habits, and supplement with
8. THOU SHALT NOT COVET ANYBODY'S ANYTHING You want to have a miserable fitness journey? Start comparing your "chapter 1" to someone else's "chapter 12". Attempting to be anything other than the healthiest version of YOU is a waste of time. You can do her workout, but trust me, it won’t give you HER butt. You can eat the way she does, but it won’t give you HER abs. It doesn’t work that way. So don’t set yourself up. No one is YOU, and that is your power.
9. THOU SHALT NOT BUY THAT SOCIAL MEDIA BULL#@*! Your waist trainer (waste trainer actually), detox, shake weight, super pill salespeople on social media want to do everything EXCEPT help you modify behavior, understand your psychological triggers and empower you to make permanent changes. They want you to just skip right over all the work and "try my discount code". If you could BUY fitness, don’t you think Oprah would be an Olympic champion by now? She certainly has enough money to buy any amazing product she wants to. But here we are, spending the money that could go to some fresh fruits and vegetables on a bottle of sorcery and a package of witchcraft. Stop it.
10. THOU SHALT NOT THROW IN THE TOWEL Of all the bad decisions that a person could make on a fitness journey, quitting is the most destructive. I will never understand the logic of being so upset with the speed of your progress that you decide the best way to speed it up is to stop. Huh?