Marcus here from Fitness Room! This email will go a little bit deeper into the mindset parts of the weight loss process, specifically the two main things that I found clients get caught up on, we’ll end up talking deeper about nutrition and training too, but there are way too many variables that could be discussed – putting that alongside mindset stuff would make the email a bit too long!
First thing we’ll discuss is an obvious one, but it is an important one – and that is your timeline for the change in weight. Whether you’re building muscle or losing fat, the process will take time.
I started losing weight at the end of November, 2018, so that’s 17kg in around 7 months. Now, I could’ve done this quicker – it is very possible to be losing around 1kg per week and sometimes more, however, it is not sustainable for most people. We all want to achieve our goals in the shortest period of time possible, which is good! But trying to take short cuts with this will just make your weight yo-yo and you’ll never actually get anywhere, a good weight loss period requires consistency, because the weight loss graph is not a simple straight line!
Losing about half a kilo per week seems to be a sweet spot for most people, it is sustainable long term, wont eat up your muscles, will allow you to keep training hard and also recover properly. If you have a fair bit of weight to lose, you can obviously opt to lose more in a shorter period of time, but that is for us trainers to advise, and you have to keep in mind that you may start hitting plateaus sooner – which is also fine and should be expected, luckily there are lots of strategies to getting around this, so don’t worry!
The next thing to address in regards to mindset is all about how exactly you’re tracking your progress. You could definitely go overboard and get into your own head with this, but you have to find something objective you can refer to. Taking photos and comparing is a great one because you’re focusing on physical progress, but I find the gaps between check ins have to be too long to see objective progress.
I personally take photos every one or two weeks, but let’s instead talk about the scales. I weigh myself every day in the morning, naked weight after going to the bathroom, and then I take the average of 7 days as my true weight for that week. It probably doesn’t apply to everyone, but we tend to give the number on the scale so much power. There’s been a number of people who’ve said it’s ‘unhealthy’ to weigh yourself every day, but I think that the more you avoid or dread stepping on the scales, the more it will affect you. Once it becomes routine, the number is just a measure of your progress, nothing more.
I’ll do my best to break it down from all perspectives:
– In general, weighing at irregular times is extremely variable, even if it’s the same day every week, once a week, you would have to control the time of day you weigh yourself, your water intake and food intake and type at the very least in order for it to be accurate.
– For men, most of the guys I’ve trained don’t want to be under a certain weight because they’ll feel smaller. I was personally hesitant dropping under the 70kg mark, at this point I had abs but they were pretty fluffy, I was still a fair few kilos away from my goal, so I put my ego aside, let myself hit the 69s and under, and now my waist is much smaller, the 6 pack is out and I’ve got some ab veins peeking through. So, for the boys, if you want to be shredded you’re probably going to have to drop more weight than you think. And conversely, if you’re looking to get bigger, stop chasing those 10kg multiples, you aren’t getting more muscular, after a certain point it’s probably just fat, keep it objective and put the ego aside!
– For women, I obviously can’t speak for your mindset like I can for the boys; however, as a trainer it’s important to know the physical side of things for female clients. Your weight and training is affected by your monthly cycle. Depending on which hormone is dominant at any given time (estrogen or progesterone, mainly), you may have heightened water retention, fat storage or hunger levels. Even the fuel source during exercise and at rest (carbs or fats) will be changing. These are all things that will affect what number you see on the scale if you’re weighing yourself sporadically.
So with all of that said, I obviously believe that weighing yourself often and consistently is important! It takes the guess work out of the equation, you’ll know whether or not what you’re doing is effective and it will keep you in control of the process. Finding your weekly average will ensure your results are accurate and also keep you focussed on the long term.
Once you’ve got consistently lower weekly averages, you will be losing weight, and from this point you can refer to the photos you take to see the changes and make rational decisions based on how you look and feel about your body!
That wraps up both the foundation and mindset, all that’s left is to cover training and nutrition and you’ll be in the best possible position to start changing up your body composition!