With less than 4 weeks of lockdown remaining until hospitality starts to reopen, for many people, this week has been diet week number 1.
But before you do ANYTHING, there’s one area that needs to be clear in your mind.
This comes before you do the first workout, and before you start any diet plan. This area is GOAL SETTING, and it’s often the difference between failure and success of diets, and it’s decided before you start.
Here’s our tried and tested system for setting goals that work for you, ensuring that your plan and diet are the perfect match for you, and the reason you don’t lose motivation after the first week or two.
The first step to setting goals for fat loss is to gain a little more clarity on a couple of key areas.
What you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it, and what are the biggest obstacles you’ll face.
Before you write this off as less important, here’s something to consider. If you’ve tried a diet before and didn’t get to your goals, it’s probably from missing these steps.
Did something routine throw you off track? That’s from not understanding your obstacles.
Did you get demotivated and things tail off after a few weeks? Often, that’s from not being clear on why these goals are important to you. So let’s get to it.
Now, you’ve probably been told to use SMART goals, right? Great, but for us that comes after you create this overall clarity.
THE WHAT – For most people, they’ll tell me a number at this point. I want to lose X amount of weight. But hang on. This isn’t clarity. What you want to achieve is more than that. We can put a number to it, but not yet. First, you should be able to visualise where you want to get to. How will this feel? What will this allow you to do? Only when you can see where you want to get to are you ready to think about the numbers.
THE WHY – Building on the above, if it’s important to you – truly important – it’ll bring a whole new level of motivation. But this must come from you. If it’s because you’ve been told you should, it just won’t be enough. Think about what you want to achieve, but also why this is important. Maybe you’ll feel more confident? Maybe you’ll be able to spend more time doing activities you enjoy with friends and family? Your reasons are your own, but being clear on WHY achieving your fat loss goals are important to you, and how it’ll positively impact your life – well this will have a HUGE IMPACT on your drive to achieve them.
THE OBSTACLES – Once you have clarity on the what and why, you need to identify what could get in the way. Maybe you tend to pick at biscuits/ snacks when you get hungry? Maybe you finish the week with a takeaway, and when this happens you come off track? Maybe you get caught up at work and miss scheduled training times? If you can get all of these obstacles written down, we can plan how to deal with them, and they won’t get in the way of your progress.
When it comes to fat loss diets, lots of approaches work. You can try to change everything at once, and expect a 100% perfect plan, but this has it’s downsides – mainly, that it’s hard to do, and can lead to people feeling overwhelmed and demotivated.
We tend to approach it differently, and have huge success. We work off the 80/20 rule. No, that doesn’t mean it’s 80% diet, 20% training (that’s a popular statement that makes no sense at all – I’ll leave that for another day).
The 80/20 rule simply means the 20% most important changes you can make leads to 80% of your results.
And it cuts out all of the less important factors in the plan. Apply this, and we can get together a plan that’s manageable, efficient, and leads to huge results.
The only downside is it feels too easy!
If that’s a problem for you, by all means, start to add a little more difficulty to the plan, or just take up a new hobby. You’ll get results either way.
The final step is putting the plan together. You know your obstacles.
You know the key changes you need to make. At this point, make sure you get some guidance on how to structure your training and diet (feel free to reach out to me) that makes sense.
There’s nothing worse for me than seeing people who have spent years training and dieting hard without results, all because they followed a plan that didn’t make sense!
Plan around your availability, and pick a nutritional approach that works for you.
This could be three days a week training or six – it could be low carb dieting, intermittent fasting, or general Calorie control.
The key thing is to consider what you’re willing and able to do during your diet, plan for this, and stick to this commitment.
There’s no perfect approach for everyone, but it’s important to consider that there is one for you.
Make sure that’s the one you choose.
Now you’re ready to set some SMART goals, and put some numbers to the rate of loss you expect,
How to monitor it, what to expect, and more. If you set up your plan like this, you’re winning before you even step on the scales.
If you have any questions, or just want some advice, reach out using the contact form at www.fitness-experience.co.uk and I’ll help you to get started!