Sticking To Your New Year’s Weight Loss Goals

Posted on January 2, 2017 in Alpha Physique

The main point this blog post will emphasise is that:

Paradoxically enough, the harder and faster you try to change something in your diet, the harder and faster your body will fight against you and therefore, the more likely it is that you will metaphorically end up with a broken nose.

It’s January, and it’s that time of year when everyone is super motivated to hit their weight loss goals, and they want it all NOW!

But for some reason, this never seems to happen for 97% of people, why is that? There always seems to be some excuse, or life gets in the way or whatever. How do we avoid these psychological issues that prevent people from making progress for any longer than a couple of weeks?

How do we maintain motivation in the long run?

Goals
SMART Goals! https://www.flickr.com/photos/aaron_davis/16508914665/in/photolist

Whichever way you look at this universal problem, the root cause always seems to come back down to making yourself unhappy. Everybody is always very excited on January 2nd, but this excitement quickly fades for one reason or another. The main underlying cause of this is trying to change something too aggressively.

Your body loves homeostasis. Any time you try to alter this setpoint by changing something by too much and too quickly, your body fights you. 97% of people lose. This applies to anything really, but weight loss is such a common example.

Essentially, when your body fights you, you become unhappy. You want to be as happy as possible when dieting. If you are unhappy, you will give into your cravings and temptations – your willpower threshold is so much lower. So how do we avoid our bodies fighting us? How do we stand out from the losers and become one of the 3%?

The solution is to slowly make changes, slowly reduce calories, slowly increase cardio and consequently lose weight. This is in contrast to what most people do:

  • Slash their daily calories to 1500……when they’ve been consuming 3000 for the past month.
  • Start going to the gym and hitting it hard 5 times a week…….when they haven’t been in over a month.
  • Go completely cold turkey or “detox” on whatever the latest fad suggests……..chocolate, alcohol, sweets, carbs, bread, meat, dairy etc………then give in to the temptations and binge-eat/drink the hell out of whatever they’re craving due to severe deprivation, shifting to an even worse mental and physical condition than they started at!
  • Waste a load of money on supplements (younger guys I’m looking at you here!) that will not help at all. The marketing is good though, credit to the supplement industry!

Instead, I would suggest:

  • Track your daily average calorie intake for an entire week and reduce it by a mere 10% (NO, NOT 50%!!). Once you reduce it by 10%, the diet begins……slowly.
  • Hit the gym hard and strive for progression in both weights and cardio, however, no more than 3 times per week. We need the motivation to be sustainable. Keep your workouts to a maximum of 1 hour.
  • Put pictures up of your ideal physique in your bedroom/office/kitchen(!), so you are constantly reminded of and motivated by your weight loss goals.
  • Don’t go cold turkey on ANYTHING! It’s asking for disaster. Eat more or less what you want – the 80/20 rule will suffice. As long as total daily calories are 10% below whatever you were eating before.
  • Don’t spend any money at all on supplements, even if you have money to burn. You are effectively throwing it down the toilet unless you can stick to a regular training schedule and eating plan. Even then you’re still throwing it down the toilet 😉

After this has been successfully implemented for at least 3 weeks, you can reduce calories by a further 5-10% as and when you need to. Emphasis on the word need. This means progress has stalled completely.

Guys, slow is the new sexy! Stop trying to have everything all at once, because it never works for any length of time. Learn from others’ mistakes!

What are your New Year’s goals? How will you achieve them? How will you avoid the hurdles that destroy 97% of people?

I can see you btw. Stop lurking and comment below.

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Sticking To Your New Year’s Weight Loss Goals”

  1. I was planning on having a 2 week complete break from alcohol, a weekend off then another 2 week break and a party to look forward to on the last weekend in January. Do you think I’m being a bit ambitious?

    Mark

    1. It’s very likely that you will be better off simply reducing your alcohol intake for the next 2 weeks rather than eliminating it.

      Eliminating anything puts you into “deprivation mode” and you’re 10 times more likely to lose control and screw everything up within a few weeks.

      Once you lose control over the alcohol you will probably lose control over your food intake as well. Most people seem to have an on/off switch, and we want to everything within our powers to prevent this loss of control.

      Gradual reductions are always better in the long term 🙂

  2. Why should I reduce my calorie intake by only 10% for the first three weeks? Is it not more beneficial to reduce it by 10% for just the first two weeks, before then reducing it even more a bit earlier on instead of delaying it for three or more weeks?

    1. If you are experienced like yourself, then yes you should do what you suggested. We’ve both had a lot of success for many years with cutting and getting leaner.

      The 3 week suggestion is geared towards those who have struggled when dieting in the past, as it takes 3 weeks to form a new habit. After ~3 weeks is up, everything becomes a lot easier for those who haven’t had success in the past.

      They need to drop calories by 10% to make sure their cravings don’t explode within a week and do this for 3 weeks. If they drop calories again within the 3 week period it’s likely that the hardcore cravings will emerge again.

  3. I find that supplements provide me with the right amount of protein that I would struggle to get into my diet otherwise. I use the supplements as a more of a convenience thing. Are they at all detrimental? Or do they just not provide further benefit?

    1. If you are genuinely really busy and it saves you time then supplements can be very good. Time is money 😉

      The vast majority of young guys on here are students, and 99% of them are certainly not busy! 🙂 And 99% of them can’t afford supplements!

      The only time supplements will actually be detrimental is if you’re overdosing on pre-workouts, which sounds amusing but it can be done!

      1. Ok that sounds good to me, I will try to avoid them as they are really quite expensive! Never tried pre- workouts do they even make much of a difference?

        1. They can give you an extra kick on a given day, so will definitely help you to peak for a competition and hit PB’s etc. But in the long run (anecdotally) the extra stimulus seems to be offset by the slower neural recovery, meaning they don’t appear to actually make you any better over time.

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