I’ve spent the last four years of my life learning all I can about health and fitness and tracking down photos of cats that look like Ron Swanson. If I had a time machine, these would be the things I would have told myself at the beginning of my journey:
1. Calorie counting promotes obsessive behavior.
Sure, calorie counting can help you get a better picture of how much you’re eating and if you’re snacking on junk food when you’re not hungry, but you shouldn’t do it regularly.
2. Weight loss isn’t necessarily the same thing as fat loss.
You may be thrilled when the numbers go down on the scale, but the scale is unreliable. What you weigh depends on a number of factors, including the breakfast that’s digesting in your stomach, the salt content in your body, the amount of water you’ve drank that day, among other things. When the scale decreases, it could be just a fluctuation in those variable. Or, if you’re not doing enough strength training, you could be losing valuable muscle mass, which leads to a slowdown of your metabolism and fat gain in the long run.
But when you get rid of fat and replace it with muscle, you may not gain or lose any weight, but you’ll be slimmer since a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. More on this subject here.
3. When in doubt, do more strength training.
Strength training is SO important. I created a beginner’s guide to strength training as well as a list of reasons why strength training is key for fat loss. It can be hard to get into strength training, but having more lean muscle mass speeds your metabolism and makes you stronger. And who doesn’t want to be able to move their own furniture and carry heavy groceries with ease!? Cardio can’t do that, yo.
4. You’ll get nowhere without a healthy diet.
The reason I created the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge was because I realized that eating tons of sugar and white flour was holding me back from reaching my goals. Eating clean has changed my body, my energy levels, and how I view food!
5. Eating healthy means gradually improving your habits over time.
It’s not about the big changes. It’s about pushing yourself to discover one new healthy recipe a week. It’s about slowly cutting back on unhealthy foods, but more importantly, slowly re-introducing healthy new foods. It’s about trying obscure veggies and learning to love spinach smoothies. Think small for big changes!
6. HIIT and Circuit Training are superior to steady state cardio.
I wrote my Ultimate Guide to HIIT after discovering the magical powers of interval training. HIIT, strength training, and clean eating are really the best ways to burn fat and get healthy and fit.
I hope these helped you guys as they’ve helped me! Now time to go find that time machine…