The sun is out and summer is in the air…. Glorious! Today I was discussing when your body is telling you to take a break. This is one concept that almost no one even talks about.
When it comes to losing fat / weight your body has a inbuilt mechanism to protect you against losing fat too quickly. This was helpful many generations ago when food was scarce but now it is just annoying.
As you lose fat either quickly and/or continually your body lowers metabolism, increases hunger, decreases energy and lowers motivation to resist foods. This is your protective mechanism in action and part of basic survival biology.
This would not be a problem except it runs into a belief most people have, which is; “When I focus and put my mind to it I can control my body”…. Good Luck with that!!! You may like to think of yourself as a captain of a boat sailing through the calm ocean of your body however this is a fantasy. Real life is more like you are surfer being hurried along by the power of the ocean delicately balancing on the wave of your body hoping to avoid being swallowed up by its force. Success comes from improving your skills when riding the wave and not hoping for a calm day.
A large part of this is knowing when to take a break, when to jump back on it and being able to transition between these states. A rotation of losing weight interspersed with break even is for most people the only way they will ever get results in a way they actually keep it off.
There are three elements you need in place to be really good at getting in shape:
-Being able to Lose Fat
-Being able to transition from fat loss to maintenance phase (or other phases)
-Being able to transition from maintenance phase to fat loss
The skills to follow the three elements are completely different. You may be great at losing fat but the moment your diet finishes you become a lunatic and begin to put fat back on fairly soon. For some people though they can get to maintenance but just do not have the skills (you will call it motivation) to recommence on a period of losing fat. Improving this area is a completely different approach compared to the other areas.
I have numerous clients at the moment in a very nice vain of fat loss but I can see their speed of progress is coming to an end and they will need to take some time off. How do I know this?? I look for the signs, these include –
– Lack of motivation in general
– Not enjoying the process (day after day)
– Low energy
– Frequently poor exercise sessions / low desire to train
– Increased hunger
– Increased frequency of bad eating / binge eating
– Low willpower to resist anything
– Slowed results.
When these show themselves after a period of progress it is not that you have “lost it”…. “are weak” …. “got the wrong genetics”. It is your body needs a break with a return to maintenance. Once recharged then come back and go again. This can be anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks+. For example, Last year I lost 5 kg in seven weeks, then I took a month off before I got back on it and lost another 5 kg in seven weeks
Behind this whole issue is one of body image vs patience. A hatred of your body will really stop you wanting to take a break while progressing which if not done means you will just never end up getting to your goals. With a little a patience and breaks inserted into your long term plan great things happen! 🙂 🙂
This topic may of course be totally irrelevant to you if you cannot find any motivation to make progress in the first place but fear not all can be turned around.
If your goals are not about losing fat you should be able to recognise the principle above that can still be used in your goals and approach.
How Do You Alternate On vs OFF periods when trying to get in shape?