“When will I see results?”
In this fast-paced world we live in people want immediate results. They want results before they even have had time to start. But guess what? That doesn’t happen with fitness. Even if you’re doing everything correctly and perfectly, it will still take TIME.
The time frame in which you will finally start to see results will vary from person to person, no matter what program you are following or what you’re eating or not eating. Why? Because we’re not all in the same type of shape to begin with and we all have different goals.
If you have less weight to lose, you’re gonna have to fight harder in the beginning because you won’t lose the last few pounds as quickly as somebody who needs to lose 30 pounds and is just starting. Make sense? It varies incredibly but there are ways you can help to speed up the process a bit.
You WILL see results when:
1. You measure your progress properly. Before you start any type of exercise program or make changes in your diet, track it! How will you know you’re making changes if you don’t even track it in the beginning and along the journey? Here are 6 things you should do before starting any workout program. If you start eating better, keep a food diary. You can do this online using MyFitnessPal.com – it’s free! I lost 15 pounds with the help of MyFitnessPal. This post explains how I set it up to lose the last 10.
2. You stop agonizing over it every. single. day. Don’t weigh yourself everyday. Don’t judge yourself in the mirror everyday. Don’t take measurements or photos everyday. I would suggest weighing yourself ONLY ONCE PER WEEK. This gives your body sufficient time to make a change. Any changes noticed in your weight over a period of 1 to 2 days does not give you any real insight as to how you’re really doing. Changes take time. For measurements and photos, I personally suggest every 30 days or once per month.
3. You realize it’ll take time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You also didn’t just go from in-shape to out-of-shape overnight. There were plenty of days in between there where something happened and slowly but surely, you likely gained weight, lost muscle, had poor eating habits, started drinking alcohol more often, etc. This needs to be reversed. Then slowly but surely, you will lose weight, gain muscle, lose body fat, etc.
4. You have the right philosophy. If you’re serious about getting into better shape or experiencing a greater level of fitness, having the right philosophy will make all the difference. If you want long-term results, you need to do it right with diet and exercise. It’s the old-fashioned way, it’s simple and most of all: IT WORKS. Long-term results mean making lifestyle changes. There’s no quick fix.
5. You clean up your diet. You don’t have to be perfect, but definitely strive for eating very well most of the time. If you workout religiously and eat like crap, you’re sabotaging yourself and the hard work you’re putting in during the workouts. This is when people start to think it’s the workout they’re doing that’s the problem. Not likely. You cannot out-exercise a poor diet.
6. You eat breakfast. Eating breakfast provides a number of benefits. While you’re sleeping, your body goes into fasting mode. Your metabolism slows down A LOT which means you aren’t burning as many calories. To break the fast, you need to eat breakfast. This was something I used to struggle with and still do from time to time, but I try to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up each day. Sometimes I’m later than I want to be, but I make it a point to eat breakfast. This helps get your metabolism humming again and eating breakfast will also help you to make better food choices for the rest of the day.
7. You get plenty of sleep. Getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night? Sleeping less means you have more time to eat. If you’re staying up late you probably do plenty of snacking too. When you sleep, it’s the time of day that your body rests, recovers and rebuilds. You owe it to yourself to get adequate sleep.
8. You stop eating/drinking late at night. The more you eat in the hours leading up to bedtime, the more food will be sitting in your body trying to be digested as you’re laying down, sleeping. It doesn’t work very well (which you can probably guess) and that can easily lead to weight gain – especially if done constantly over a long period of time.
9. You’re doing a workout you enjoy. If you just DO any kind of workout, chances are you’ll get results if you’re doing everything else correctly. However, if you don’t enjoy the workout, that can be a huge problem. When you don’t enjoy a workout you probably won’t work as hard during it and it’ll be very easy for you to skip workouts too. Find a type of workout that you love to do! It can be a dvd program featuring strength training, yoga, cardio (or a mix of everything); running outside; taking fitness classes; etc. There HAS to be something that you enjoy doing enough that it will benefit your health. If you need help figuring that out, email me!
10. You cut back on soda, juice and/or alcohol consumption. You can lose a good amount of weight by just leaving these out of your diet or by cutting back significantly.
11. You don’t over-train. Some people get into this mindset that the more they workout, the better. Not true at all. Your body also needs rest. Even just one day off per week can make all the difference both in terms of how you feel and how your body performs after getting that small break. If you don’t like taking any days off, consider an active rest day then. Go for a walk, do yoga or play tennis. This way you’re still being active, but it’s less strenuous than what your body may be used to.
12. You stop thinking negatively. You really can do what your mind is telling you. If you’re constantly telling yourself “I can’t do this”, then guess what? You won’t. Flip that switch and make it a point to talk to yourself in a positive way. It’ll take practice, but it’ll be worth it.
13. You stop using your genetic makeup as an excuse. Yes, genetics play a role in your body type and shape and risk for specific diseases. However, this is NO excuse to give up on your health. Guess what? Your behavior is another factor and you DO have control over that. Isn’t it worth trying to make some changes and sticking with them to see if they can help you? You’ll soon see what you’re really capable of and that’s very empowering.
===> Obesity and Overweight: Causes (cdc.gov)
There’s a common misconception that folks like fitness models, people who’ve always been “skinny” or athletes have it easy. They were born with great genes. Entirely not true and definitely not always the case! (It can’t hurt that they basically have to be in shape to continue doing what they love doing for a living, but it sure is a great motivator, right?) There’s still plenty of opportunity (or excuses) for them to fail, they just choose not to.
Each person, no matter who they are or what their background, still has to work tremendously hard and deal with the same temptations that we all have. People who are in shape are not machines. They’re not “obsessed”. They are dedicated. Being healthy and having a high level of fitness is something that is important to them so they make it a priority to eat healthy and stay active. They don’t have “secrets”! They’re real people who all have struggles of their own – just like me and just like you.
I’m sure there are a ton of other things that could be added to this list, but I think this it’s pretty good for now.
If you follow each of these steps, I can guarantee that you will see results. They may not happen as quickly as you want them to, but if you’re steady, and you put in the work each day and stick with it day after day, week after week and month after month, the odds will definitely be in your favor.
Great tips on the not eating late and not thinking negatively. Good points on how to change your overall thinking and mindset.
J P says
All great tips. I would add a 14th tip – You internalize your goals – really explore the “why” behind your diet and fitness goals. What’s the reason why I want to lose weight. To look better? To be more active for my family? To avoid poor health in my later years? Once you figure out the “whys”, use that as reminders when you don’t want to do that workout, or eat the right diet, etc. It helps you through your moments of weakness when your resolve is not so strong.
Melinda F says
Funny you mention that because that was going to be my 14th tip but I figured the post was overwhelming enough. I did touch base on the mindset but I might just have to go back and add that in! Thank you! :)
Melinda, articles like this are one of the reasons why I enjoy visiting your blog. Outstanding!
Portland Personal Trainer says
Not thinking negatively is a huge variable that can just stop results from even happening! I always tell my clients to give themselves at least 6 to 8 weeks for them to visually see results with their own eyes in the mirror. They may be getting results, but they see themselves every day, but their friends and/or co-workers may start seeing them sooner, which is a great motivational factor if they start commenting about it.
Portland Personal Trainer
Tracy Wright says
ya truly said it helps a lot in the worlds so be + positive