How to mentally prepare yourself to acquire a lean body

Many people stop trying to lose weight soon after they have started a new weight loss program. A common reason people stop trying is because they don’t see results as soon as they think they should and they think their diet programs and weight loss attempts are not working. It is important to know before you begin a diet and exercise routine how much effort you should expect to exert in order to achieve a lean body If you know ahead of time, how many calories different types of exercises burn and how many calories you are consuming daily you will be more mentally prepared to keep your weight loss efforts going. You will also be able to make better choices each day regarding which types of exercises you should do and which types of foods you should eat to obtain lean body mass. Doing what you are used to doing is easier than trying something new, for most people, but, keep in mind, the new thing becomes easier over time. If you keep doing the same things you will be likely to keep getting the same things. To transform your body; you’ll have to change some of your behaviors and it is wise for you to know ahead of time which new behaviors will help you reap the most benefits. It is important to acquire the proper mindset before you start a diet and exercise program You need to convince yourself you are going to keep overcoming every obstacle you encounter until you reach your goal. You need to be determined not to let injuries, sore muscles, colds, a hectic schedule or other obstacles not de-rail you before you have the lean body you are dreaming of.

Understand that the human body only needs about 2 calories per day to sustain 1 pound of fat and it needs about 35 calories per day to sustain 1 pound of muscle. Consequently, dramatically increasing the amount of muscle you have in your body will make your weight loss attempts enormously easier. You’ll need to set reasonable goals. Don’t expect yourself to look the way you looked when you were 16 years old. Your body kept growing after you were 16. If you expect your body to look the way it looked when you were 23 years old. That is a much more reasonable goal. Realize that if you only have a little bit of weight to lose before you have the lean body you are hoping to have. Those last pounds will be more difficult to lose than the pounds someone loses when they have significant weight to lose. Also, realize, it is easier for young people to lose weight, than middle-aged people who still have their full appetite. If you don’t have any physical conditions like Hypo-glycemia, Diabetes, Celiac Disease or Thyroid problems that would cause your rate of weight loss to be different than the average person’s; you will probably need to create a 3500 calorie deficit in order for you to lose 1 pound. In other words; if you create a 300 calorie per day deficit with diet and/or exercise; plan to lose 1 pound in 11 – 12 days. The average adult female needs 1800 to 2200 calories per day to maintain her weight. The average male needs 2200 to 3000 calories per day to maintain his weight.

Realize that weighing yourself regularly while you are trying to lose weight can disappoint and discourage you. Water retention alone can cause your weight to temporarily rise; and may make you think your weight loss endeavors are not working. If your weight loss plan includes exercise; your body will be increasing muscle mass. Muscle weighs more than fat. The muscle you are gaining while you are losing the fat may cause your weight to stay about the same or possibly even increase for awhile. It may be easier for you to tell whether or not your weight loss efforts are delivering results by having a picture taken of yourself wearing a bathing suit or shorts and a tank top before you start your diet and exercise plan; then, having a picture taken of yourself wearing a similar outfit every month as your diet progresses. Another way to determine whether or not your efforts are leading you to having a lean body is by how a certain pair of pants fit. You can also determine whether or not you are realizing success by comparing how much exercise you were capable of doing when you first started your program compared to how much exercise you can do 3 months later or 6 months later.

How much you weigh isn’t the only thing that changes when you successfully diet and exercise; your body becomes firmer, you become prouder, you become a good example for the people you encounter, your risk of developing major health problems like Diabetes, Stroke and Heart Disease decreases dramatically. Your likelihood of having back problems or knee problems decreases dramatically. Your skin will be much less likely to become loose and saggy as you age. Your flesh will be significantly less likely to become droopy. You will probably need to intake dramatically fewer medications as you age. There is a positive domino effect that takes place. If you have many health problems you need to focus on all at one time, (for example, you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, are overweight and just found out you have Diabetes). If you successfully lose weight. The other issues automatically improve and become less of a problem. If you have any health problems and are overweight; losing weight will be extremely likely to improve your existing health problems.

Realize, that as you start to look better and feel better; you may encounter people who try to bring you down and come up with all kinds of reasons why what you are doing is bad and you should stop immediately (this World is full of ‘Naysayers’). You should minimize your contact with these people if you can. The people who criticize people and things constantly and never look for solutions to problems aren’t fun to be around and they aren’t happy people. People who are able to overcome obstacles, find solutions to problems and not dwell on every negative thing that has ever happened to them are much more likely to realize their dreams. Spend as much time as you can with other people who are a positive influence, make you feel good about your accomplishments and who are trying to achieve the same things you are trying to achieve. Those people will help you stay motivated.

Read the labels on all the foods you consume before you consume them and know how many calories you are consuming. There are books that list calorie and nutrition information for all foods. You should own one of these books and keep it handy because not all foods have a label. Keep a written journal of your calories consumed and exercise accomplished; every day. Be aware of how many calories different types of exercises burn Some exercises really cause your body to burn a significant amount of calories in a short period of time. Once you are knowledgeable about this and implement that knowledge into your daily life. That will be when you will be able to lose weight at a decent rate of speed.

Try to have an accountability partner. This person is someone you would communicate with every day or every other day. You would tell this person how many calories you consumed and how much exercise you did since you last spoke with them. People are much more likely to do what they are supposed to do if they have to report to someone. Realize you can be a better support for your family and friends if you are in better physical condition and feel better about yourself.

Although many people are very successful with losing weight while they are on a low carb diet. Their success is not due to emptying their glycogen storage; then burning the fat. Their success is not due to the claims that your body cannot convert the fat you eat into fat in your body. The success is not because it is easier for your body to convert carbohydrates into fat than proteins. It is because most people consume dramatically fewer calories; when they don’t eat many carbohydrates. Also, proteins have a tendency to make people feel full much longer than carbohydrates.

Realize that your body needs proteins, carboydrates and fats. If you try to eliminate one of these food types from your diet completely; you will have unfavorable side-effects eventually. Proteins build muscle. Carbohydrates give you energy. Fats help develop your brain. That’s a very general summary of what proteins, carbohydrates and fats do for you. Don’t try to consume only proteins for an extended period of time. If you do; you will eventually become very sluggish and lethargic, you may find blood in your urine and that type of diet would be bad for your kidneys. If you are in a big hurry to lose weight; consuming mostly lean proteins and a lot of vegetables will help you accomplish quick weight loss. Keep in mind, beans are lean proteins.

There is a humongous difference between complex carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates include vegetables, berries, fruits and grains. These foods are dense sources of nutrients, they also take much more time for your body to digest, than simple carbohydrates do. Complex carbohydrates have fiber and give your body lots of energy. Simple carbohydrates include candy, cookies, cakes, pies, chips, pretzels, white breads and any foods that are made with white flour. These foods have very little nutritional value and don’t have much if any fiber. These foods are likely to give you a quick boost of energy that will be short lived. These foods digest very quickly and won’t keep you feeling full very long. These foods, for many people, are difficult to eat small portions of. If you plan to lose weight with diet alone, realize, your body will have a tendency to adjust and need fewer calories after you’ve been consuming fewer calories for awhile.

Increasing muscle mass increases your metabolism. Getting enough sleep and drinking plenty of water helps your body burn calories efficiently. Most people are much more likely to keep the weight off; if they lose the weight with exercise; and increase their muscle mass. Have a plan in place for still having a calorie deficit on the days when you won’t be able to exercise because you are sick. Have a plan in place for still having a calorie deficit; on the days when you are injured or have sore muscles. For example, if you can’t walk or jog because your shins are sore; perhaps, you can bicycle or do an upper body workout. Have a plan in place for the days when you know your free time will be scarce. Do you realize; you can do a fantastic workout in 5 minutes; if the workout is intense enough. In fact if a workout is really intense; your body will continue to burn calories; long after you stop exercising. If your workout is not intense; your body will probably stop burning calories soon after you stop exercising. Don’t think; if you only have 5 or 10 minutes to spare today, you can’t do a great workout.

Have a plan in place for the days when you are feeling lazy and can’t seem to get motivated to exercise. For example, if you normally go to a gym and jog on a treadmill; you can tell yourself, today, instead of jogging, I am going to just go there and walk. Once you are there and you are walking; you may suddenly feel like doing more. Sometimes, getting started is the hardest part. Have a plan in place for how you will get back on track after your diet and exercise program; has suddenly become derailed. We all have set-backs, temptations, Holidays, times when we don’t keep our good momentum going. It is important to know how to get back on track after the set-back. Don’t give-up and think you can’t do this, it’s too hard. Realize tomorrow is a chance to start all over again. If you are too self-conscious to exercise in front of anyone; you need to figure out how you can exercise in private. If you don’t have a room to use that allows you to watch workout DVD’s or videos. There are lots of pictures of exercises in books and on the internet. There are many excellent exercises you can do in a very small space that burn a significant amount of calories. Jogging in place, jumping jacks, push-ups are great examples. If you can walk up and down a staircase continuously for 10 minutes every day. That would make a difference. Every time you think of an excuse why you can’t lose weight, exercise or keep your calorie intake low; try to come up with a solution. Finding and implementing solutions to problems is the pathway to success.

Be prepared to re-align your goals as time passes. You may decide your body isn’t physically capable of reaching the goals you initially set for yourself and you may need to loosen your expectations for yourself. You may realize that the goals you initially set for yourself were not difficult enough and you have been surpassing those standards with ease. You may also find types of workouts you would rather do than the ones you originally planned for yourself. Be flexible and pay attention to what your body and mind wants and needs to achieve a lean body. Realize that persistance will pay off. Some people are able to lose weight quickly, but, most of us are not able to. For most people; the weight loss process is very slow and steady and requires effort over a long period of time. If you would like to lose 20 pounds and you think you will be creating a calorie deficit for yourself of about 300 calories per day. Estimate that you will lose about 1 pound every 12 days. Plan to be rid of that 20 pounds in about 240 days or 8 months. If you don’t want to wait that long to lose the 20 pounds, then create a larger calorie deficit; for yourself.

There is a time and a place for caution. If you are too cautious with your exercising routines; you, won’t lose weight; nearly as quickly. If you are doing a significant amount of exercise. You are going to have sore muscles. Don’t convince yourself that you can’t exercise because you have sore muscles. Most decent exercise routines consist of long-slow-distance type of workouts every other day (like Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). The opposite days (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) consist of weight training, strenuous workouts, interval training and/or high intensity workouts. If you are really working the muscles in one section of your body one day; it will be wise for you to use a different set of muscles the next day. Don’t be overly cautious about exercising, exercise wisely. If you have not exercised for a long time; or if you have been extremely inactive for awhile because you have been recovering from a surgery or have some other issue in you life that has caused you to be exremely inactive for an extended period of time. You will definitely need to start an exercise program very gradually. Depending on your situation; you may need to start by using only light hand weights. Or perhaps, slow walking will be your starting point. Wherever your starting point is; keep in mind, having a calorie deficit as often as you can should be your main goal. If you make your diet and exercise program a priority; you will be much more likely to be able to lose the weight quickly.

There will probably be many days when you are tempted to skip the diet and exercise stuff for a day and do other things. Your body should have some normal calorie days mixed in with the lower calorie days so your body doesn’t think you are going into starvation mode and crank-up your hunger. You should really try to avoid having binges, though. You might want to think about how much extra exercise you will need to do to make up for the binging you are wanting to do. Even though shedding the fat is a slow process; building muscle is a fairly quick process. After you have been diligently dieting and exercising for about 1 month. Your body should be dramatically stronger and firmer. That extra muscle you just acquired will help speed your metabolism and burn the fat. Concentrate on the long-term results your efforts will give you. If you only think about how you look and feel after only one month of attempting this; you may not have that much energy and pep-to-your-step yet. The longer you persist; the stronger and peppier you will feel. Eventually, you will discover that the exercises you were doing just a couple of months earlier are incredibly easy for you to do now. If you keep thinking about how much stronger and leaner; you will be 3 or 6 months from now if you continue this pursuit. That might help motivate you to keep striving to have a lean body.

Take ownership of your current physical fitness level. Once you realize you, for the most part, have gotten yourself to where you are now. That will be when you realize, you can improve your situation. Yes, genetics do play a role, however, there is only a very tiny portion of the World’s Population that has genetics that are so outrageously bad that these people don’t have a choice of having their weight within a normal or close to normal range. Most of the people who are severely overweight got themselves in that situation because of a dramatic over-consumption of calories and a lethargic lifestyle.

Don’t deceive yourself and think all of the Hollywood Actors and Actresses were just born with great bodies, they are lucky and they don’t have to work at staying in great shape. You might think they automatically stay lean. You are fooling yourself if you think that. Most of the Hollywood Actors and Actresses have Personal Trainers and they do a tremendous amount of exercising and dieting in order to look the way they do. Sometimes having a lean body; requires an enormous amount of effort; but, many people think the rewards are worth the effort.

Since there are so many different mindsets regarding how a person should go about losing weight these days; it is hard to know what to believe. Total calories in vs. total calories burned; is what the bottom line really is. Genetics do play a role when it comes to weight loss. It is much easier for some people to lose weight; than other people. It is much easier for some people to gain weight than other people. If your goal, however, is to have a lean body; or a leaner body, you really need to concentrate on how you can create a calorie deficit for yourself over a long period of time. Lean body mass is acquired quickly for some and not so quickly for others. If you have a tendency to lose weight slowly; you will need to expend a lot of effort over a long period of time; but, keep in mind, the people who lose weight slowly are much more likely to keep the weight off.

Written by: Dawn Perucca,


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