Today, I want to take you on a journey of self-discovery and growth for unlocking your fitness potential.
Imagine hitting the reset button on your fitness journey, armed with the knowledge and insights you’ve gathered over the years.
What would you focus on? What key principles would guide your path to a healthier, stronger you?
Please keep in mind that this is a blog article. I can’t possibly include EVERY single thing. Otherwise, this would get ridiculously long and you would hate me.
Table of Contents
Unshakeable Laws for Fitness Success: Calorie deficit for fat loss (but that’s not all)
So I don’t get angry emails. I’m not saying calories are the only thing that matters for weight loss. Sleep, stress management, quality of food choices, and other things matter too. But when it comes to weight loss, calories matter most. Without a deficit, you can not lose weight. How your body responds to that deficit will vary from person to person. #science
We all know that weight loss and muscle gain are common fitness goals. They are governed by the fundamental law of thermodynamics.
It’s as simple as this: to lose fat, you need to create a calorie deficit and to build muscle, you must engage in targeted resistance training.
Now that’s a simplification of the process but understanding this law is extremely valuable.
People waste a lot of time blaming things for making them fat (or why they are not losing fat or building muscle).
Fat loss always comes down to being in a calorie deficit. But not too big of one so that you lose muscle mass, are hungry, hate your diet, and are a miserable ass-hat all of the time.
But just enough so that you are losing roughly .5% to 1.5% of your weight per week.
Before someone throws a fit, yes there are things that make this more difficult:
- Thyroid issues
- Socio-economic status
- Stress (poor coping strategies)
- Access to certain foods/food availability
- And some things I’m leaving out
Hell, as PN points out in this article even your brain fucks this up for you.
“Imperative to this, and often overlooked, is your brain. It’s constantly monitoring and controlling CICO (calories in calories out) Think of it as mission control, sending and receiving messages that involve your gut, hormones, organs, muscles, bones, fat cells, external stimuli (and more), to help balance “energy in” and “energy out.”
But ultimately if you’re goal is to lose fat and maintain muscle mass it almost always comes down to energy balance.
Embracing Progressive Overload
When it comes to working out, never underestimate the power of progressive overload.
This principle involves gradually increasing the resistance or intensity of your exercises. This could mean adding more weight, doing more reps, or even adjusting the range of motion.
By doing so, you ensure that your body continually adapts and grows stronger. Without this it’s nearly impossible to build muscle or get stronger.
There are a number of ways to progressively overload a muscle which you can read about here.
The Art of Soft Skills
Fitness isn’t just about numbers on the scale or personal records in the gym. It’s a holistic journey that involves mental and emotional growth.
Engage in conversations with those around you about the changes you’re planning to make and the goals you’re aiming to achieve.
Ask for their support and how they feel about the changes you’re making. Sharing your intentions can provide accountability and support, making the journey more fulfilling.
Balanced Training Frequency
As you embark on your fitness journey, remember that quality trumps quantity.
While the enthusiasm might drive you to work out every day, it’s important to allow your body the time it needs to recover.
Walk daily or pursue meaningful movement, and aim to exercise 2-4 times a week, giving your muscles the chance to repair and grow.
Mindful Nutrition Tracking
Nutrition plays a pivotal role in any fitness journey. Rather than adopting overly restrictive diets, focus on tracking your nutrition. This awareness helps you make informed choices while allowing for flexibility.
I do recommend that most people spend 4-12 tweaks accurately (keyword there) tracking calories and macronutrients.
However, that may not be the right approach for some. There are a number of other ways you can track your nutrition and gain awareness about what you’re actually doing versus what you think you’re doing.
Intuitive Eating: Pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied. This approach promotes mindful eating and helps you develop a healthier relationship with food.
Plate Method: Use a plate to guide your meal composition. Fill half of your plate with vegetables, one-quarter with lean protein, and one-quarter with whole grains or starchy vegetables.
Mindful Food Journaling: Instead of counting calories and macros, keep a food journal to note what you eat, how you feel before and after eating, and any observed patterns or reactions. This can help you become more aware of your eating habits.
Nutrient-Dense Foods: Prioritize whole, nutrient-dense foods over processed ones. Choose foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
Portion Awareness: Use your hand as a rough guide for portion sizes. For example, your palm can approximate a serving of protein, your fist a serving of vegetables, and your thumb a serving of healthy fats.
✅ Recommended reading: How to lose weight without tracking calories.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Go the f*ck to sleep
Expect you parents… Godspeed to you all.
What can I eat for energy? Go to sleep!
How can I get more motivated? Go to sleep!
What’s the secret to discipline? Go to sleep!
How can I stop eating late at night? Go to sleep!
When you’re tired/exhausted all the time it’s hard to be motivated, disciplined, or in a good mood.
It makes wanting to workout harder. It makes wanting to make meals at home and food choices more difficult. It also makes you an ass-hat that no one wants to be around.
Getting quality sleep is like drinking a magic potion.
- Same sleep and wake time most of the time
- Keep the environment cold
- Block out all light (sleep masks)
- Avoid anything overly stimulating or that causes stress, angst, or overthinking before bed.
Rant is over…