By Yajen Tan
Putting yourself in a caloric deficit is a surefire way to shed the extra weight – at least in theory. If you treat the body as a heat engine, and observe the energy input and energy output, that’s what seems to happen. But we find out over and over again, that the human body is much more complex than we see on the surface and body fat doesn’t always fall off in line with a simple equation. When you start to take into account hormonal responses and human psychology, the process becomes even more complicated and the traditional method of weight loss just doesn’t work the same anymore.
Planning to fail
The first thing that sparked my interest in fitness was the bodybuilding industry. Weight loss in bodybuilding is the result of a very calculated fitness and nutrition routine that creates phenomenal results in short periods of time. It’s almost unbelievable how some of these top competitors are able to craft and manipulate their bodies at will. Unfortunately, when replicated on a personal level, this method produces more failure than it does success.
When I began looking at weight loss from a health and wellness point of view, I tested multiple diets and programs on myself to see how the results would present themselves. After many trials, I noticed similar results and patterns that many others have experienced – programs always come to an end and results fading away.
After reviewing real-life progress and results, I came to the conclusion that: aside from various medical complications, people who are in healthy shape exhibit behaviors that aren’t shared by those who desire to get into healthy shape. Among those habits, the most outstanding categories are within fitness, nutrition, and stress. The biggest factor that contributed to successful weight manipulation was consistency.
An easy 40 pound weight shift
My buddy put on roughly 50 pounds while he was going through college. It was a gradual increase fueled by poor nutritional habits and a complete lack of physical activity. Shortly after graduating, he took on a recreational sport with great passion. After a few small nutritional modifications and time spent exercising, he saw a 40 pound decrease in body fat in slightly under 3 months. Note, this was a very extreme case, and weight loss that happens at this rate does not usually sustain over a long period, but the difference here was that he found a spark of interest in an activity, that is now a foundational part of his life.
Interestingly enough, not once did we even mention the idea of weight loss to him, but by adopting a few healthy habits, he has now been able to keep that weight off for close to 3 years. Achievements like that aren’t often sustained, so that is definitely something that I’m incredibly proud of him for.
Whether or not you’re trying to watch your figure, I challenge you to make one small improvement to the quality of your life today. Maybe that means you’ll push yourself to get into bed 30 minutes earlier (that means electronics off), run outside once a week to enjoy our beautiful surroundings, or even just replace your breakfast cereal with a more nutritious option. Always remember that change leads to progress, and progress leads to results.
Yajen Tan is the founder of local fitness and nutrition brand Gimme Fit, which focuses on helping men and women jump start their way into healthy, sustainable lifestyles. To keep up with the latest updates in the health and fitness world, check out our Facebook page.