Five Strategies to Deal with the Long Road to
Your Fat-Loss Goal
Instant satisfaction is an awesome thing. However, as an adult, you know that it’s far from the norm. Often when we start a new fitness plan, we’re looking for instant results when they are more likely to take weeks and months to achieve. Running a marathon is not going to happen after just a single three-mile run. Getting fit is more than just doing a circuit of squats, pushups, and deadlifts for a couple of weeks. You get the idea.
Achieving an ambitious goal can be hard and often discouraging.
One goal that can be particularly disheartening involves fat loss. Even though you ramp up your exercise regimen and manage your calorie intake immediately, losing major weight, inches, or body fat percentage can take some long-term dedication.
Recently, several clients have mentioned to me their struggles with maintaining fat-loss momentum. One client who has lost an amazing amount of weight — 12 pounds — in just four weeks lamented that she “still has so far to go.” Another client, who has lost 20 pounds but wants to lose five to 10 more, is waiting to buy new clothes until she achieves her goal size but feels like her too-big clothes make her look horrible (her words).
So what do you do when that fat-loss goal seems so far away? Here are my five strategies for hanging in there when things get tough.
- Focus on your initial results. Rather than lamenting what you have left to achieve in your ultimate fat-loss goal, remind yourself that you’ve come so far already. Your weight has gone down, you’ve lost inches, and your body fat has decreased. Your dedication to exercise and diet begins as soon as you start — those first pounds, inches, and extra body fat don’t lose themselves!
- Think about your other accomplishments. Remember day one, when you headed to the gym with your fat-loss goal in mind and left exhausted and dripping in sweat? Well, you’ve gotten stronger since you’ve dedicated yourself to fitness and fat loss and it shows. There was a time when you couldn’t do one push-up, you felt as slow as a turtle, and you thought you’d lose your lunch at the end of a workout. Now your increased energy levels and strength are kicking butt and you know it — even if your bigger goals are still waiting to be achieved.
- Go on that shopping spree and buy new clothes. You deserve to feel good in your clothes no matter what your size. You should look forward to getting dressed in the morning. Just like you don’t feel good when putting on clothes that are too tight, you won’t feel good putting on clothes that are too big. Even if you aren’t at your fat-loss goal yet, treat yourself to something new. You can’t really see (and celebrate) your results when you’re still wearing baggy sweatpants and an XXL T-shirt on your new/leaned out L frame.Invest in some fun workout clothes, too. Upping your fitness wardrobe game might help you look forward to your time at the gym. Some favorite brands include Athleta, Hard Tail, Beyond, Lululemon, Daub + Design, and Fabletics. And no, you don’t have to break the bank to get cute workout clothes. Old Navy and Target are budget friendly. And for those of you who don’t mind a bit of a hunt, Marshalls and TJ Maxx have stylish clothes as well.
- Snap some selfies to track your progress. Taking a daily, weekly, or monthly photo will remind you how far you’ve already come in achieving your fat-loss goals. Enjoy reveling in your toned shape with a selfie now and again. Get in your bathroom or find a full-length mirror and snap a pic of your profile. You don’t have to post it to Instagram or anything, but it’s a great visual reminder for you!
- Be a role model. Even though you may be frustrated that your long-term fat-loss goal still remains, remember that you are a role model for those just getting started who have further than you to go. Maintaining a positive attitude and sharing your experience with someone just beginning the fat-loss journey may be a boost for both of you.