You’ve heard many fitness experts say that you have to set goals if you want to lose fat and become successful in doing so. But, people who have not worked out consistently and really dialed in their nutrition may either overestimate or underestimate their goals. This was definitely the case for me when I just started out the fat loss process. I wanted to be at a certain body fat percentage that was just way too low for the amount of time that I gave myself to reach it. Also, I had an unrealistic view of how I was going to look like when I reach my deadline.
You’ve probably read my post that talks about finding a model, like Jessica Biel, to look up to. Maybe you want the “fitness model look” and that’s what inspires you. It’s a great strategy and one that I still use today. Is it a realistic goal? Maybe, maybe not. We have to keep in mind that there are a lot of factors that affect how we look and how quickly we can achieve our goals. I will discuss some of these factors but take note that there are many other ones that may affect your results.
One such factor is body type. Our body types will dictate where we lose our weight first. Using myself as an example, I have an apple shaped body which means that when I gain weight, I see it immediately in my midsection. On the other hand, when I lose weight, I lose inches on my hips, thighs, and my arms first. For people who are pear shaped, they are most likely to lose inches from their midsections first then on their hips and thighs.
The next factor is training experience. This pertains to how long you’ve been training and it’s quality. This will also include tinkering with your nutrition. Many people can see amazing results in 3 months if they consistently follow a workout program that is designed for their goals and they find a nutrition plan that works for their body type. Some people may be fortunate to find these on their first try but most people tend to be in an eternal roller coaster of trying new things. The good news is, if you give something a good try, consistently for a month, you would have a good idea of whether it works for you or not. No matter what, your results will depend on the quality of your effort. If you didn’t follow the programs with at least 90% compliance, don’t expect to see amazing results.
The last factor that I’m going to talk about are your genes. There’s no doubt that your genes can impact many areas of your fat loss. Whether it’s your metabolism, your body type, your muscle building potential, hormone interaction etc., your genetic make up has something to do with it. People who are naturally skinny will obviously not have the problem of gaining weight and there are quite a few people out there who are like this. My point is, it’s unrealistic to compare ourselves to people who have the advantage of “good” genes on their side. Does this mean that we just give up and decide that it’s going to be too difficult? Of course not. This just means that we have to work harder and stick to the workout and nutrition plans more consistently. We may take a longer time to achieve our goals but with the right attitude and tools, it is definitely possible.
I wrote this article because I see people who have unrealistic expectations once they have been doing something for a few months. This is where our culture of immediate gratification can hurt us. It takes a lot of time and effort to achieve an amazing physique. Just ask any fitness model you know and he/she will tell you how many hours of exercise they put in and how much less food they eat. Even the Biggest Loser contestants will tell you that they work out all day and probably starve themselves sometimes in order to see a mind-blowing transformation.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t aspire to have an amazing body if that is what we want. I’m just saying that our actions would have to match our goals. If you want remarkable results, put in remarkable effort.