You probably have an idea in your head of your ideal body shape. Some people want to be lean with a ton of definition, while others just want a little more muscle and fat loss. Some want to get to a healthy weight by putting on muscle, others want to focus solely on losing fat. Whatever your ideal body shape is, you can achieve it with the right plan.
Get Into The Right Mindset
The first and most important step you should take before attempting to change the shape of your body is mastering your mindset. Your mindset is more important than anything else; it will determine how good you feel on this fitness journey, how consistent you are, and whether this is something you will stick with for the long-term and therefore get long-term results. If your mindset is not in the right place, chances are, you’re going to see this as some kind of quick fix. You may give up when you don’t see results fast enough, or end up going ‘off track’ after a while of sticking to plan. By getting into the right mindset, you’re more likely to make smart, healthy, sustainable steps towards your goals.
So, how can you make sure you get in the right mindset? Seeing this as a positive lifestyle change is important. Read books and watch YouTube videos that can help you to get into the right mindset, and make sure you change the story you’ve been telling yourself for years. For example, if you have been consistently telling yourself over time ‘I’m not fit’ or ‘I don’t like exercise’ or even ‘I hate my body’ you aren’t going to be in the right mindset. You must change the stories you tell yourself in order to change your life. Watch some videos not only on health and fitness but on mastering your mindset, too. You will want to work on eradicating your limiting beliefs on top of everything else, as they can be one of the main things to hold you back when you’re trying to get on the right path. You can use techniques like CBT, but again, there are many methods and techniques you can use to change your mindset.
Know Exactly What You Want To Look Like
Have a good idea in your head of what you want to look like. Remember, though; you can’t expect your body to magically transform into somebody else’s. If you have a celebrity in mind, you must remember that they like to have secret surgeries, procedures, and photoshop to help them out. You can’t change your bone structure and the unique quirks you have, but you can definitely lose fat, build muscle, or both. Decide just how much definition/muscle you want or how lean you want to be. You can make a vision board and include body types that you admire, but don’t make them your be-all and end-all. Make your goal to become the absolute best version of yourself. There’s a lot of value to be had in being yourself!
It’s also a good idea not to give yourself the goal of ‘losing 30 pounds’. People often put too much emphasis on weight, rather than fat. If you build muscle, you’ll likely weigh more but look smaller. You can’t really know what you’ll look like by losing that much ‘weight’, so instead, have an idea of the shape you want to be and keep that in mind rather than a number. Your weight can fluctuate for all kinds of reasons and is only one minuscule way to track your progress.
Come Up With A Compelling ‘Why’
You must have a compelling ‘why’ if you’re going to reach your goals. Looking good is great, but don’t you want to improve your happiness and mental health? Live a high quality of life at a ripe old age? Set a good example for any kids you may have?
Hone Your Diet
Your diet is more important than the workouts you do, although many people get them the wrong way around! You don’t need to be perfect or eat ‘clean’ 100% of the time. What you do with your diet must be sustainable. Here are some helpful pointers:
- Use a macro calculator to figure out how much protein, fat, and carbohydrates you should be consuming and then an app to track what you eat.
- Don’t cut out food groups as this is not sustainable.
- Stay in a reasonable deficit/surplus. Don’t go OTT. You need to give yourself room to change things around if you aren’t seeing results. You don’t want to put your body in starvation mode!
- Eat healthy foods, but make sure you cook them in ways you enjoy.
- Allow yourself the odd treat when you fancy it – if you can track it, then do so. As long as you’re not going overboard, it won’t make much difference and you’ll keep your sanity.
- Don’t binge. If you feel compelled to binge or you’re craving certain foods, you’re likely not eating enough.
Find A Workout Program That Supports What You’d Like To Achieve
When you have your diet on point (although you should try not to call it a diet, as it has negative connotations), you should find a workout program that supports what you’d like to achieve. You can look at these programs for inspiration. Whatever your goals may be, resistance training is important. Cardio is also important, but it is not the be-all and end-all. If you don’t have much fat to lose, cardio can be kept to a minimum. If you are struggling to find a plan, consider hiring a personal trainer to help guide you and get you started on your fitness journey.
Don’t Put Too Much Pressure On Yourself
Don’t give yourself 8 weeks to get in shape, or give yourself another time ‘goal’ that will make you feel under pressure. You want to feel relaxed.
Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress is absolutely key. Take your measurements and pictures. Pay attention to how you feel. You can weigh yourself, but this should be avoided if you know it’ll throw you off if the numbers go up.