It’s been a month since I started this new fitness program and I haven’t lost any weight! What’s wrong?!

If this is you, then you’ve come to the right place! Often when we start a fitness program which involves avoiding our favourite foods and drinks and hitting the gym more often, a lot of us are fixated on the kilos that we should be shedding. This is because of years of programming – things we’ve heard people say, things that are said by the media that lead us to believe that it is that number on the scale that tells us whether we are slim or not. It is that number that has the power to decide how are going to feel about ourselves. And that’s why many of us dread it!

I’m here to tell you, that we give a lot of power to this number – which is actually just one of the ways to measure our progress and fitness levels. Your weight often fluctuates for a number of reasons – such as water retention caused by dehydration, your BM schedule or for no good reason at all. Therefore, if you just rely on your weight to track your progress, you’re in for a frustrating ride – especially if you are a sensitive person who gets demotivated easily.

Instead of being so fixated on weight, there are other metrics that are just as important and must be considered at the start and throughout your fitness program. These are:

Indicative body fat percentage chart
  1. Body Fat Percentage – your body fat percentage can be determined through different types of equipment such as body scanners (expensive) or through sending electric signals through your feet to measure the density of fat (cheaper but less accurate). Basically, when done correctly, it determines how much of your body is fat in percentage terms. This should give you a fair idea of how much fat you need to lose. For example, 35% body fat and above is considered overweight/obese while the fittest, leanest athletes are at 10-15% body fat.
  2. Inch Loss – a lot of people who usually complain of not seeing results on the weighing scale, do notice a positive difference in the way their clothes fit, but think nothing of it. This is actual fat loss. The way your clothes sit on you, is one of the most telling ways for fat loss. Therefore, a suggestion is to not brush it off as good luck, but to rather, acknowledge it and accept the compliments coming your way!
  3. Improved strength – fitness and getting healthy is not just about weight loss and fat loss. If you are into it for the long haul, then you must focus on other aspects of your fitness and work towards building them up further. Strength or weight training for example is a qualitative way to measure your progress. If your starting weight for a deadlift was 50 kgs in week 1 of your fitness routine, and now in week 6 you’ve reached 65 kilos, that’s a big achievement in a really short amount of time!
  4. The mirror – are you noticing more muscle tone in your body? Are you seeing small but significant changes in your posture? Are tiny little muscles popping up? Is your collarbone looking more pronounced? These are some wonderful initial changes that you will see at the start of your fitness program. If you stick to it for years – where you continue to challenge yourself, you will see even more significant changes in your body, such as your lower back and belly if they are heavy on fat.  

Sometimes your body will simply not show you the results in terms of the numbers you are looking for. It doesn’t mean that you need to quit. You simply need to keep at it, keep trying different things till you find the one sport/activity that suits your body the best and that you enjoy. After that, there will be no looking back!

How not to fail in achieving your fitness goals – Tips & Tricks

The first step to avoid failure in achieving your fitness goals is….drumroll please! These 5 tips that I’m about to share.

These 5 tips will simply help you sail through your fitness journey and will have you looking fit and gorgeous in no time at all!

Wait…

That’s a whole bunch on BS…

It doesn’t work that way.

And the reason why a bunch of tips can’t help you stay on track with your fitness goals, is because you need to define your own goals. Which means, you need to first sit down and think….what is success and what is ‘failure’ in that sense.

Here I’m going to tell you a little story about myself to help explain what I mean, 5 years ago, I weighed 82 kilos. Felt and looked my worst. I was eating clean and healthy food, but for some reason my body wasn’t showing any results. I got a personal trainer with whom I trained 3-4 days a week for 3 months. At the end of 3 months, I gained a kilo so I was 83 kilos.

Listening to this, many of you would right away jump to the conclusion that engaging this personal trainer was a ‘failure’ since I didn’t lose any weight. Yes, that’s one way of looking at it.

At my heaviest at 83-84 kgs while on personal training

However, here was my take on things that changed for me:

  • I started waking up early. Because I knew my trainer is waiting for me.
  • Whenever I was travelling during this period and carrying luggage, I felt better and less pain in my joints
  • My skin was starting to glow again
  • My blood circulation and sleep improved – I had sleep apnea and the poor breathing would cause cramps while sleeping at night
  • I felt I was doing something to regain control of my health. That is the most important feeling ever – to feel like you have control over your own body and health. It is a really powerful feeling.

So at the end of 3 months when I gained a kilo, sure I felt slightly disappointed. My trainer was disappointed too, but by then I had figured something out. That I won’t let a stupid kilo on the weighing scale decide my failure or success. Just as I’ve listed above, it can be decided by so many other things.

Still the same weight but in slightly better health

What you focus on, you can expand. So I decided that I will focus on that good feeling I get from exercise. I will listen to songs that motivate me and get me feeling happy and upbeat. I will wear bright colours to the gym that make me feel like I’m worth dressing up for.

So yes, if I had set a target of losing 20 kilos in 6 months, I would have been miserable because I would’ve had to starve myself, workout much harder to lose the weight – which would have strained my 83 kilo frame.

Which brings me to another point, if you are heavy, then you need to start slow and gentle. In the beginning we just need to get our body introduced to working out and sweating – which helps get rid of a lot of stored up toxins.

The only way you’re going to be gentle and patient with yourself is when you KNOW that you’re going to stick to this for life.

Me at present. Still have a long way to go but sticking to it.

Understand this, athletes who eat clean, who are shredded and have amazing flexibility and stamina built it over a period of time. Think of good habits in the same way, make one little change and stick to it diligently – till it becomes ingrained in your mind and till your body gets used to it. Then add another habit and so on.

This is how you will build long lasting results and will achieve your fitness goals.

By crash dieting and working out furiously, you are just doing enough to fit into that dress or look good for an occasion – and that is not fitness or health. It’s self-sabotage. The side effects of constant weight gain and loss include loose flabby skin caused by lack of muscle mass.

You have one life, make fitness the top priority and fit in everything else around that. Hope this helped someone who needed to read it and figure out their goals.

Cheers! Stay fit!