By Matt Somerset
Follow these steps consistently and watch energy, vitality, mobility, and confidence flow back into your life.
Has anyone heard of the new buzz phrase within the health and fitness field these days? It’s called living a healthy lifestyle. There is definitely some merit to that statement. When I stop to think about most people just getting into the health and fitness lifestyle, they have a long way to go to even get anywhere close to the people touting this advice. I prefer a much different approach; and after we are done here today, I’m confident that you will as well.
Before we get going, you need to keep something front and centre of your mind as you are reading along: There are Outcomes, Strategies, and Processes. An outcome is an ideal that we want; a strategy is something we use to get us closer to the outcome; and finally, a process is something we must do consistently to make the strategy work—the tactics. If you find people at your specific outcomes consistently, there is a good reason to look at what their processes are. This is exactly what we are going to be discussing. Remember, processes make an outcome happen.
First off, why even focus on fat loss? There are actually five enormous benefits other than appearance:
- You will make massive improvements in all of your health markers at the doctor.
- You will significantly increase your energy levels.
- You will build your confidence through your ability to control your body.
- You will stop getting confused and begin focusing on results that matter.
- The process to make this happen is actually much simpler than you believe it to be.
Here’s the deal: Most likely, if you are a female with over 30 percent body fat or a male with over 20 percent body fat, one or more of the following apply to you:
- Very poor health; processes within the body are not functioning the way they used to.
- Very low energy levels; you just seem to want to lie around or if out, rest more than move. (This person looks at fit people popping up and down and wonders why the heck they get up and down so much.)
- Your life expectancy isn’t great. You know this so we don’t even need to get into it.
- You are also at a high risk for metabolic syndrome, which has a whole bunch of nasty health implications attached to it; doctors and scientists have very good evidence connecting body fat percentage with many diseases.
- Finally, you find for yourself or have been told by your doctor that you will need some kind of medication to manage your body systems that are out of control.
All right, enough of the facts. But seriously think about this, and as you do I’m going to show you a much better method I learned to get out of this mess.
Progression versus Life Change
Okay, let’s assume you are starting from the beginning again. You are a female with over 30 percent body fat or a male with over 20 percent body fat. What now? Well, remember that I said processes are at the root of most consistent outcomes. This is what we are going to explore. We are about to split the different health and fitness lifestyles into categories. Each category has different required processes to be consistently applied in order to reach our body fat percentage outcome. So here we go.
As we explore three different levels of a health and fitness lifestyle, let’s look at our outcome goals.
Level 1: Males 15-20% body fat and Females 25-30% body fat
Level 2: Males 13-15% body fat and Females 23-25% body fat
Level 3: Males 10-12% body fat and Females 20-22% body fat
Consider where you are starting from. If I were starting from the beginning I would shoot for the level 1 category. Figure out where you currently are; then we will go on to the next step, the cornerstone strategies. You have now selected your outcome for the next 90 days.
When it comes to cornerstone strategies that make the most difference to your body fat goal, there are a few you can’t ignore. Initially they are simple but they are effective. Let’s explore the strategies of each of the three levels.
Level 1: This comes down to the speed at which you consume your meals, the number of meals you consume with protein and a veggie, and finally, exercise. Are you moving your body in some way?
Level 2: This involves slowing down the speed at which you eat most of your meals, making sure more of your meals have a protein source and a veggie source, daily exercise with one to two sessions where you are sweating, and finally, sleeping at least seven hours a night.
Level 3: Slow eating still remains but all meals are consumed slowly. You are consuming a protein at each meal, a veggie at each meal, a fat source at each meal, along with a quality carb source. You are exercising each day but increasing the time you spend working out; in three to four of your sessions you should be breaking a sweat. Finally, you are sleeping seven to eight hours a night.
There you have it. The strategies that you consistently practised make the most difference on your lifestyle. Which ones are you doing currently and which strategies need some work? Use those answers to figure out your next actions because next I’m going to show you how to implement the strategy.
Here is where consistency comes to your aid. When you practise these habits day in and day out, you will find that your body just naturally hits the targets you are aiming for. Let’s dive into each level.
Level 1: Eat until you are satisfied for 60 percent of your meals. So for just over half your meals you should be eating until you know you can push away from the plate. When it comes to protein, consume one to two palm-sized portions of it in one to two of your meals. For veggies, consume one to two fist-sized portions for one to two of your daily meals. Finally, whatever sort of activity you enjoy, do it three to five times per week at no particular intensity.
Level 2: Eat 80 percent of your meals until satisfied. Improve more of your meals by consuming two to three of them with one to two palm-sized portions of protein and one to two fist-sized portions of veggies. Exercise 30 to 45 minutes daily while ensuring that in one to two sessions you are sweating. Lastly, get seven hours of sleep each night using a bedtime routine of some sort.
Level 3: Eat until you are satisfied at 90 percent of your meals. Improve your meal to include one to two palm-sized portions of protein, one to two fist-sized portions of veggies, one to two thumb-sized portions of fat, and a cupped handful of whole carbs at most meals during the day. Exercise 45 to 60 minutes a day, breaking a sweat on three or four of those days and doing resistance training two days a week. Get seven to eight hours of sleep, looking into night routines and possibly sleep aids.
And there you have it. If you apply these steps as they have been laid out, you will be astounded by the amount of energy, vitality, mobility, and confidence that will flow back into your life. There is only one key to this: consistency. If you work the processes daily, you will surely obtain the outcomes you desire.
Matt Somerset is the founder of Snap Emersion, a global training knowledge base designed to take the mystery and confusion out of the gym. Whether you are looking to lose weight, body build, or perform at an optimal level, Matt has designed a database that will give you all the answers. From personalized meal plans to full training programs, Snap Emersion will provide you with the tools to not only reach your goals, but sustain them.
*Reprint from our Winter 2017 Issue