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Controlling the Controllables

Controlling the Controllables

I read a study conducted in over 100 gyms throughout the country. The study was interested in the reasons people use gyms. To cut a long story short, the figure that interested me was that 93% of the members surveyed where there to lose weight. The other interesting conclusion was that 87% of the people surveyed admitted to feelings of ‘what’s the point’ any time their weight fluctuated as they felt they weren’t making the progress they expected.

This is a dangerous attitude to have towards weight loss as it can lead to removing focus from the goal – the whole point of doing what you are doing. Women especially (in my experience!) are liable to question the reasons behind a weight loss approach in the event of even a small weight gain – even if the weight gain is insignificant or attributable to a particular event.

To achieve weight loss and consistent focus over the long term, we need to remember a couple of key points…

  1. Weight loss is never linear.
  2. Weight loss can be affected by biological process largely out of our control.

Weight Loss is Never Linear

A person starting out on their weight loss journey will often be excited by the seemingly quick and easy reduction in their weight. The combination of high motivation and enthusiasm, a much better eating approach and the positivity of a new start can see weight falling off the participants in the first 2-3 weeks. Unfortunately though, weight loss is never linear and a person cannot expect to lose weight every week. As the body recalibrates itself, there will be weeks when a small weight gain is experienced despite the effort of the participant. This is entirely normal and is not to be used as fuel to fire a ‘what’s the point?’ argument.

Weight Loss and Biology

Daily, there are a whole number of processes that affect our weight. It is no secret that our weight fluctuates throughout the day thanks to a number of different biological processes or dietary choices. Fluid retention, bodily cycles, evacuation of bodily waste, usage of foodstuffs, clothing, sleep and even the weather can affect our weight on any given day. They key is to accept these fluctuations and maintain the focus that has brought you so far.

There are certain things you can’t control, but accept these and work with them. Your genetics may play a part in the rate at which you metabolise fat. Steroidal medications may increase water retention, leading to slower weight loss and injury may prevent movement to the degree you would like. These factors though are to be treated as challenges, not excuses. By accepting these early on, you will prevent frustration over the long term, helping to keep you focussed on your goals.

Controlling the Controllables

There are certain things you can control throughout your weight loss journey…

  1. Your food intake – stick to the principles. They are designed to work with you to lose weight.
  2. Exercise – you can exercise anywhere, and even in a short period of time. Exercise 3 times per week or more.
  3. Stress – manage your stress as well as you can. Book massages, learn meditation, just keep control.
  4. Water – drink 1 litre of water per 50lbs of body weight daily.
  5. Sleep – set up your day so you achieve regular, good quality sleep.

By ensuring the things that are within your control are under control, you will ensure success in the long term. Do the simple things right, with lots of consistency and the results will follow. Don’t compare yourself to others, just monitor your progress, keeping an eye on the consistent improvement in your health and fitness and enjoy the improvement of your wellbeing!

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