With so much information on health and nutrition out there, I can only imagine how hard it must be for a beginner not to get lost. The problem is, if you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, the more articles you read and the more fitness pages you subscribe to on Social Media, the more overwhelmed and confused you can get. Here are 5 things you can do TODAY.
1. Don’t wait for motivation
The way our mind works – the more you procrastinate, the more your brain thinks the task is too hard / dangerous and tries to protect you by sending you signals (aka “excuses”) to avoid doing it! If you plan to just sit around and wait for motivation to strike you – it simply won’t happen. So forget about the perfect plan or the perfect time and decide to ACT.
2. Start writing down everything you eat
Look, unless you have successful experience of losing fat AND staying lean, eating intuitively just won’t cut it. Download a tracking app (like MyFitnesspal or similar) and start logging in everything you put in your mouth, including the spoon of sugar you put in your coffee and the oil you use to cook dinner. You will be surprised to see how these things add up!
Don’t worry you won’t have to do it for the rest of your life (you can if you want). However, this is the only way to assess your specific situation and find out what you’re doing wrong. Some of my clients were shocked to know that, for example, their morning Dolce latte contains 50g of sugar or the salad they eat for lunch every day has 700 kcal in it!
3. Figure out your calories and protein needs
It doesn’t matter how “clean” you eat, unless you’re in a calorie deficit you won’t be losing fat. Find out your TDEE or Total Day Energy Expenditure (there are plenty easy-to-use calculators online) and deduct 400-500 kcal from it. That’s your daily allowance of calories for fat-loss. Don’t go any lower than that, as you don’t want to ruin your metabolic rate and struggle with fat-loss forever.
Protein is also very important for your metabolism and keeping you full, so aim for at least 1g per a pound of body weight.
4. Find ANY activity that you don’t hate
If you’ve been relatively inactive for a long time, you have to start with small steps. Rushing into things (such as running 10 miles a day or signing up for a CrossFit class) not only puts your health under risk, but also decreases the chances of you getting out of bed.
So start with walking, swimming, dancing or whatever activity you enjoyed doing as a kid and slowly it will become part of your routine. Then you can increase the intensity as much as you want. If you have an all-or-nothing mentality at this stage, trust me, you’ll get nowhere.
5. Commit to being active at least 3 times a week
Again, 3 times a week is not too much, but you need to mentally adapt to this amount first. Put your work-outs in your calendar and “Just do it”. Don’t wait till you feel like, because as I said before it will just get harder.
We all want immediate results, but the only way to get fit and more importantly to stay fit is to form the right habits! Good luck, and let me know how you go!