For some unknown reason when it comes to health and wellbeing- in particular the weight loss aspect of it all we seem to only be interested in the extremes. How fast can I lose X kg’s, what is the fastest way to go from A to B? Is there a way that is faster to improve my mobility?
The attached element of “the look” bound to “the feel” means we will always want fast, it is just unfortunate that fast often is synonymous with unsustainable.
At a recent seminar with Muscle Nerds in Brisbane, Luke Leaman spoke about the idea of “minimum effective dose”. A very simple concept that is almost always, never even considered.
If you break weight loss down to it’s most simple form, calories in vs calories out- you could theoretically (I definitely don’t advise it) train for hours on end per day and eat minimal food and rest assured you will lose a lot of weight and lose it fast, but it just isn’t sustainable, nor is it healthy. A few days in and you start to feel rubbish. It’s far from sustainable and a few weeks time you’ve lost a decent amount of weight and then it is a rapid return back to the beginning with a swag of health and metabolic concerns with it.
The thing with drastic measures is that if you absolutely must reach for them, it should be as a last resort and definitely not the first port of call.
Alternatively you take the path of the minimum effective dose. Let’s be real- the majority of people joining gyms and training regularly aren’t looking for six packs and 300kg deadlifts- most of us just want to feel better, drop a little weight and improve our health all with an eye to the future for long lasting health and performance.
For best results going from a relatively sedentary lifestyle to one more pro-health is about building new habits and making small changes week by week, month by month and year by year until you get to a point where health based decisions you make aren’t even a difficult decision- you choose health because you’re a healthy person. Simple right?
In many instances, simply adding more vegetable and halving sweetened drinks with a little exercise in the first month will see steady weight loss. Then prioritising new habits or rituals each month and you may be losing 250g of body fat a week which to be fair doesn’t sound a huge amount but you aren’t doing a huge amount to achieve it, just making smarter decisions. Ten weeks and 2.5kg of body fat is gone.
Fat is melting away, lifestyles are changing and that 2.5kg is just the beginning. Save the complicated, unbelievably hard work for when it is the only option. For most of us, myself included I don’t anticipate ever getting to the point where I need to be drastically reducing calories and increasing workouts by two or three fold.
At 19 years old I got told by someone double my age I wouldn’t be young forever and at some point I would need to learn that smart work always beat hard work. Fat loss is very much the same- hard work will always be present, but making sure you front load with smart work and results won’t be a case of if, it will be when.