Question: Have you ever had clients that wanted to lose fat and benefited from the strength gains and global conditioning of a HIT program, but weren’t disciplined enough to follow a modest caloric deficit and therefore did not reach their aesthetic goals? If so, how did you get them to snap out of it, if at all?
The reason I ask this, is because it seems the majority of people that I train, (and even others who undergo a training regimen) have little success with fat loss. They are dedicated and train hard, but it always comes down to the same thing: they don’t watch what they eat and how much they eat.
Answer: This is what I tell people who want me to train them for fat loss:
The biggest factor in losing fat is your diet. A proper exercise program will help you lose fat by maintaining or increasing your lean body mass and metabolic rate, but exercise alone isn’t enough. You have to restrict your calorie intake and you have to eat adequate protein and appropriate amounts of carbs and fat for your body, preferably from high quality food sources. If you are willing to follow the guidelines I give you consistently for as long as it takes you will lose fat. I can guarantee the guidelines work because everybody else I’ve trained who has followed them has been successful. I can not, however, guarantee that you will be successful because although I can make sure you have effective workouts while you are here with me I can not follow you around the rest of the time controlling what you do or don’t eat. As hard as the workouts are, for many people sticking to a diet is even harder. So, if you want to know whether you are going to be successful you just need to ask yourself how badly you want it and how hard you are willing to work for it.
I will teach you tactics and strategies to help you follow your diet, to simplify it, to make it a little easier and a little faster, but it will never be easy or fast. Losing fat takes hard work, consistency, and time. There are no secrets, no tricks, no shortcuts, and no easy or quick ways to lose fat.
Some people fail because they don’t want to make the hard choices or do the work required to achieve their goals. They want the results, but aren’t willing to do what is necessary to earn them. Some people fail because they have an unrealistic expectation of how fast they can lose fat and become frustrated and quit when the fat doesn’t come off as quickly as they hoped. If you want to be successful you need to understand and accept two things right now; first, you are going to have to make hard choices, and second, depending on how much fat you want to lose it may take you a long time. Also, once you lose the fat and build the body you want you have to keep working to keep it. You don’t ever get to go back to eating the way you did that caused you to gain too much fat to begin with unless you want to gain it back, and after all the work you put into losing it I hope you don’t ever do that. If you want to continue to look like someone who eats healthy and exercises you have keep eating healthy and exercising.
Ultimately this comes down to motivation, and what motivates you depends on your priorities. You have to understand what your long term end goals are, the reasons you want to lose fat, build muscle, get fit, etc. Specifically, you have to ask yourself what it is about your life that will be better as a result of being more physically fit and attractive (I could give you a lot of reasons, but they have to be yours). So, I want you to do three things.
First, think about why you want to lose fat, improve your physical appearance and fitness, etc. Write down every reason you can think of. Then, look over all of the reasons you’ve written and for each one of those write down all the ways those things will improve your life. These ends goals are your motivation, the things you want to think about when having to make hard choices or when you become frustrated with the process.
Second, take these goals and use them to create a mission statement for yourself that includes what you want to accomplish, why it is important to you, and how you’re going to do it. Write it down.
Last, makes copies of your mission statement. Post one somewhere you will see it every day as a reminder. Give one to me so I can better understand your goals and help motivate you and keep you on track. Give copies to your family and friends and ask that they help by providing encouragement on support. If you’re having a hard time talk with me or one of these people about it so we can help.
Understand it will take hard work and time, but that you can do it, the effort is worth it, and that you can count on your trainer, family, and friends for support.