I always tell people to own their reasons for wanting to lose weight. Whether it’s a quote-un-quote superficial reason like wanting to rub your sexy, slimmer body in your ex’s face− or it’s because you believe losing weight will help bring world peace, I want you to be honest and own your reason for losing weight. Because I know from experience that it’s being real with yourself, and your real desire to get fit, that’s going to give you the extra bit of motivation you’ll need to exercise and eat a healthy meal when you’d rather be on the couch watching Scandal and stuffing your face with potato chips.
Now that I’ve put that on the table, I want to add that while I don’t pass judgment on your particular motivations for wanting to lose “X” pounds, I do most certainly encourage all people to have the 3 fitness goals below because having these specific goals will make the road to body transformation a lot easier, and also ensure that you stay fit for the long haul.
Goal #1: Lower your body fat percentage
Specifically dropping body fat and not just “losing weight” in general, is the key to body transformation. For example, when the average person says they want to “lose weight,” what they really should be saying is, “I want to lower my body fat percentage.” When you drop body fat, while also maintaining or building lean muscle, your body will beautifully morph into one that’s slimmer, more toned and healthier. As far as measuring body fat, you can do this several ways. Mind you, none of the methods involve using a traditional bathroom scale because that simply measures weight, and does not differentiate between body fat and lean muscle mass.
When measuring body fat you can use skinfold calipers, which are cheap (about $10 on Amazon), and very easy to use, though not 100% accurate. You can use an electronic body-composition scale, which is a bit more expensive, but still not 100% accurate. Or you can go to your doctor and request very accurate and much pricier analysis like a DEXA scan.
All things considered, for the average person I highly recommend skinfold calipers because they’re quick, convenient, and despite not being 100% accurate, if used properly, skinfold calipers are still a pretty solid way to measure your progress in dropping body fat.
Goal #2: Get stronger
As I mentioned earlier, body recomposition is about losing body fat and maintaining or building muscle. And one other way to ensure that you’re changing your body composition is by increasing your strength through strength or resistance training. Now I know what some of you ladies are thinking: “But I don’t want to get bulky. I just want to get lean and toned.” And that’s totally fine− I get what you’re saying. But “getting toned” is a pretty subjective goal, and believe it or not, “toned” can look different to different people. But when it comes to improving strength, that’s a very objective and measurable goal.
You can measure your strength progression by the number of pushups or pull-ups you can do each week, or by the amount of weight you can squat, or by how well you can nail a yoga forearm stand. Furthermore, when your muscles get stronger, you will naturally get leaner and toned. That’s a win−win! So make “getting stronger” one of your fitness goals and don’t worry about getting bulky. Contrary to fitness urban legend, the average woman will not get bulky from merely working to improve strength.
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Goal #3: Make fitness a part of your life
While it’s quite common for people to want to get in shape for a specific, short term event− like summertime or a wedding− it’s always best to think long term in regards to fitness. At the end of the day, fitness should be for the long haul, or else you’ll just let things slide once swimsuit season or the wedding reception is over. So start thinking long term, and make fitness a solid part of your life. The easiest way to do this is to find an activity or class you love, and make sure to schedule it in every week. And once you’ve found your fitness muse, pair up with a workout buddy, or invite your loved ones. Also to really liven things up consider participating in fun group fitness challenges like Muddy Buddy, or you can train for solo events like a 5K. Bottom line: When you approach fitness this way, it will become so engrained into your lifestyle that you’ll no longer think of exercise as a “chore,” and instead you’ll think of it as something you love to do. Plus, by making exercise a natural part of your lifestyle, you’ll stay fit for life and always be ready for swimsuit season or the next wedding invite.
What are your fitness goals? – Doc
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