So if you need to shed fat and get fit, firm and strong, how do you do it without dieting? What can we do to avoid the unhealthy habits of lose–gain–lose –gain and get off the merry-go-round? The first step is to understand that even though you might need to reduce your daily calorie count sometimes, you need to focus on burning fat and getting fit while feeding your body both calories and nutrients.
Once you figured out your objective you will need to come up with goals that are SMART. Goals should be:
S – specific, significant, stretching
The goal should be specific in terms of measurable and quantifiable objectives. “I want to achieve a fat percentage of 11 to 12%”. This is a goal that I can achieve and measure. It is also significant because it will impact my life in terms of my health and appearance. This goal is also stretching in that I will have to do things that are out of my comfort zone in order to achieve it.
M – measurable, meaningful, motivational, milestones
Can I measure my fat percentage on a regular basis? I sure can; reaching specific milestones along the way will be both meaningful and motivational. Setting milestones throughout the timeline of your goal allows you to break down your activities into measurable and achievable increments.
A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action oriented
Although many goals may have a lofty component, they should be practical in that they are achievable. If you are involving others in the attainment of the goal, everyone involved should be able to agree upon the outcome as well as the steps involved in attaining it. Of course, you should be able to detail all the action steps involved in reaching the goal to ensure that it is attainable.
R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, reassess, results-oriented
I should be able to have the resources, knowledge and time to go from my current fat percentage down to my target goal successfully. I can reduce my fat stores by 1% a month following a specific eating plan and workout schedule. It should take me 10 months to hit my ultimate goal. Once I do, I will need to keep my eating and activity at a certain level to maintain my fat percentage.
T – time-based, time bound, timely, tangible, trackable
My deadline should be realistic and I should be able to track my progress. Of course, I shouldn’t allow too much time which could affect my progress adversely. In the end, I should be able to present tangible results to determine success or failure. In this example, 10 months allow me the proper amount of time to decrease my fat stores significantly without excess skin sagging or health complications.
Keep in mind that most people don’t take the time to organize their objectives in a logical progression. One reason may be because it’s not within their personality to think this way. This does not make a person less intelligent, they may not be project management oriented. Having a template to work from makes things easier.
Rebooting The System – Goals Offer A Fresh Start
Goal setting is about looking forward to your reward and keeping your focus on positive outcomes. Goals offer a sense of meaning and purpose which help to feed your sense of self as well as your soul. Many people have exchanged emotional fulfillment for food and fear of change. Setting goals in a number of personal areas can be stressful and uncomfortable, but also liberating and inspiring.
Many people who find their groove in life end up losing weight, getting more active and eating better because of the massive changes in their outlook. They have found their purpose and their self concept which can affect their behavior as well as their metabolism. Consider many men and women who finalize a divorce, they may begin to make substantial changes in their lifestyle; getting fit, losing weight and getting their life in balance.
Others may do just the opposite; they begin to feel isolated, abandoned and without purpose. To protect themselves, their bodies turn on their protective systems and they begin to gain weight. They may choose to eat more or eat less but they dramatically affect their metabolic rate either way.
“Studies show that 80% of dieters gain
the weight back within two –three years!”
That’s because low calorie diets are unsustainable! There is nothing wrong with cutting down a bit to reach your goal when you need to, but first you must have a reasonable idea of what your current requirements are and what your future calorie requirement will be. Taking action to reduce your fat level by eating smart can offer emotional benefits. You need to be aware of your intake and not go below 1,800 calories a day!
I’ve included a set of calculators here for you. Follow the instructions below to get your current base requirement and your future requirement. You’ll have a better idea of your dietary needs. Believe it or not, some folks are shocked that they are actually eating below their required levels and are suffering from metabolic syndrome due to undernourishment!
Find your current daily calorie requirement and write it down choose the sedentary setting to get the best reading). Let’s reset the calculator and enter your goal weight instead. Now record the difference between your current requirement and that of your goal weight. Chances are that your difference will be somewhere around 500 calories a day; give or take (for most folks). A daily 500 calorie deficit will make shedding fat fairly simple when combined with a daily increase in activity or strenuous exercise.
The point is to consistently eat at or near your caloric requirements daily. If you are too far over, then focus on getting to your daily caloric level. And on days when you are not very active, go about 500 calories below to compensate for the lack of activity that day. Although we as humans tend to eat for pleasure, it’s time to also focus on food for health and fitness.
Lay Out Your Calendar – Outline Your Action Steps
When you have determined your goal, find out what it’s going to take to reach it. For example, if you are looking to go from 16% body fat to 12% body fat in four months, you need to determine what actions to take each day, each week and each month. You will also need to know and prepare yourself to take action after you’ve reached your goal.
Lay out your plan for eating, exercise, activities, rest and recovery as well as your other daily routines on the calendar. This will allow you to apportion out your day in a realistic way. Consider this as your road map to success. This is what athletes do to gain a winning edge. Champions never wake up and wonder what they’re going to do or eat today.
Success tip – Pay more attention to the tape measure than the scale