Because we all have different needs and wants, there are an abundance of reasons as to why we want to make lifestyle changes to improve our health. Some of us want to feel better, some of us want to move better, some of us want to look better and a some of us need it to fight hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol or auto-immune disease.
And although you see all these reasons as a nutrition or fitness coach, there is one motive that trumps them all. As a matter of fact, even if someone has hypertension or high cholesterol, this factor is typically more important to that person than lowering their blood pressure or getting their cholesterol under control. So what is this elusive creature that everyone seems to be pursuing, even at the peril of their own physiological health…
It’s funny how these 2 simple words can strike so much fear into so many people. Yes, we may be afraid of snake or spiders or heights and clowns, but mention losing fat to somebody and they’re likely to black out and start dancing like a maniac!
That’s simple…failure. Most of us, at one point of time or another, have tried to lose weight and subsequently failed (at least that’s how we labeled it). Because of the insane amount diets or weight loss secrets or cleanses or magic pills out there, we plenty of options to choose from. We try them all to no avail. Or maybe you lose 10lbs or 20lbs and, inevitably, put that weight back on…and then some.
Or maybe you never even tried to lose weight. Maybe you talked yourself out of it before even trying. After all, Bob next door tried Advocare, and that didn’t work for him. Or Mark across the street tried WeightWatchers, and he’s only lost 5lbs. Or your sister, Darla, tried P90X and all she did was get hurt. Obviously, if they can’t make weight loss work for them, there’s no way you can make it work for you.
Changing the words that we use in our lives can change our perception of the world and what’s possible within it. For instance, if I ask you how you’re doing today, you may answer “OK, but I’m working on it.” So you’re working to make your day better, but you’re starting from a low spot in your mind anyway. On the other hand, in you answer “EXCELLENT, but I’m working on it!” you’ve acknowledged that your day is already EXCELLENT and you plan on continuing to make it better. All we’ve done is change from “OK” to “EXCELLENT” and our perception has opened up dramatically.
In our case, we have one word that we can change to help improve our mindset as well. Notice how, in the beginning of this article I was referring to “Fat Loss”, then midway through changed to “Weight Loss”? Doesn’t seem like much of a difference, but they are profoundly different ideas.
If your goal is to lose WEIGHT, then you don’t care by what means this is done. All you want to see is the scale go DOWN, typically as fast as possible. When your body loses weight quickly, it goes into survival mode. It starts eating every bit of material it can to continue moving: fat, muscle, you name it. Then, when you decide to get off your 90 day cleanse or highly restrictive diet and go back to eating normal, your body starts storing back up (in the form of fat), because it’s preparing for the next famine (the next time you decide to starve it to death).
FAT loss, on the other hand, paints us a much different picture. See when most of us say we want to lose weight, what we really MEAN is we want to lose FAT. However, the more relevant term in our society is weight loss, so that’s what we think we want. We’ve seen what can happen with a weight loss mentality. When we shift to a FAT loss mentality, suddenly our true objective is clear.
Everyone has heard the term “metabolism”, right? We always want to find ways to “boost” or “increase” or “turn on” our metabolisms. Quickly, our metabolism is simply the amount of energy it takes to run our metabolic processes while at rest. Therefore, the higher your metabolism, the more energy you burn at rest. The muscle on your body is included in that process. It takes energy (calories) to maintain muscle. The more muscle you have, the more energy (calories) it takes to maintain that muscle. So if we’re willing to lose weight at any cost, in essence we’re willing to lose muscle and therefore use less calories at rest.
With FAT loss, we strive to maintain and/or build muscle. Yes, we want to see the scale go down, but we’re happy with a slower pace. Instead of insisting on 3-5lbs a week, we’re happy with 1-2lbs a week. We want to maintain as much muscle as possible in order to keep our metabolisms intact (or make it a fat burning machine if we have the proper tools in place). The fat loss mentality can help us build a system into our lives that is sustainable and long lasting. No more yo-yo dieting or magic pills needed!
Remember, changing a simple word in your vocabulary can change your perspective of the world. If you can change the thought process, you will be able to see the true objectives of your goal and make strides in getting to your dream.