Going from 17% Body Fat to 7% body fat — in one year
Follow some of these habits to help you towards your health and fitness goals.
1. Start my morning with 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up.
Most people start their day with a banana or a light meal, and some don’t eat anything at all for breakfast. You’ve likely heard that the most important meal of the day is breakfast, and that statement isn’t going anywhere anytime fast. Breakfast is the key to getting your health in line and also making sure you take the proper steps towards a healthier you overall. Tim Ferriss referenced his dad’s experience in his book 4 Hour Body and he lost 28 lbs. in just over two months by simply eating 30 grams of protein in the morning. This practice will make you feel fuller, longer and also help you on your journey to maintaining a healthy habit of eating a wholesome breakfast first thing in the morning.
I do this or I do fasted cardio in the morning and go on a run right away. Fasted cardio helps you burn fat and is a great way to bring your body fat percentage down. I always have food right after fasted cardio though.
2. I have learned through my mistakes
When I started out lifting weights (a little over a year ago now), I was given a workout plan from my sister. The only other time I had lifted weights before this was in high school and a little bit in college. I hated leg days (I don’t know why, now I love them)! My sister gave me a good starter workout that consisted of a day that included arms, biceps, triceps, a day of legs, and a day of back and chest. I usually did legs twice a week and then worked on a part of my body that was less sore on the additional workout day. That is a total of six lifts.
Here’s the mistake I made though — when my sister sent me the workouts I thought that three sets were literally three full sets of each workout! This means I thought I had to do 12 repetitions of bicep curls three times and then cycle through that another three times! It is safe to say I was at the gym far too long (2–3 hours!!!). It was two months after this that I inquired from my sister about this intensive workout and she made it clear that three sets were just that — three sets! Since then, I have scaled back (of course) and now I do five lifts, one day of hot yoga a week, and include a rest day to give my body time to recover.
3. I’ve changed my mindset
Before I made this thing a lifestyle, I would always tell myself I’ll get in better shape and make a few changes to my diet, exercise, or routine, but I always found myself giving up so soon. Now I go through my goals each morning and make sure that I review my fitness goals. If you want a sample of the goals I go through, click this link. As I have continually told myself I have 8% body fat I have seen the results from having that mindset included in my daily choices. If I have that mindset, it’s easier to say no to that late night pizza or snack, and it is definitely easier to say yes to healthy eating and choices because I keep the end in mind. This is so important to anything in life, especially fitness.
4. I’ve blocked my time and set working out as a precedent
This is probably one of the most important elements of making sure you are consistent with fitness and health. Let me share an example: A week ago I received an invite from friends to go out to happy hour on a Thursday night. I hadn’t gone to the gym yet that day, so I wanted to make sure I went. I had to decline the invite and let them know we would have to do it another time. If people understand your commitment to your personal goals and how important your health is to you, they will understand your desire to stay consistent with the gym.
5. I’m creative!
Some days the motivation is just not there. I totally get it. In the New York Times Bestseller, The Power of Habit, the author says that sometimes finding out a reward and understanding the cue for that habit is the best way to motivate you to incorporate a habit. Maybe watching an episode of your favorite episode (mine is Parks and Rec) during your cardio may be the best reward. Maybe it’s treating your self to a delicious healthy version of a food you like (salted caramel protein pancakes omg omg omg), or maybe it’s just the feeling after a workout that you get. Be creative! Sit down and write down creative ways that could help you pursue your goals of being a healthier you!
6. I educate myself
People ask me now that I am in a bit better shape if I can help them get in better shape. I am more than happy to offer tips and insight on how to lead a healthier lifestyle, but in the end there is no secret. The wonder of the present day is that you have one of the most incredible resources right in front of you (you’re probably reading this from it right now). Your phone. Craft your Facebook to get updates from fitness mediums like bodybuilding.com, Okon Fitness (shameless plug!!), Women’s/Men’s Health, and others to help you gain insight on how to craft the best fitness for your lifestyle. One resource I really enjoy is the app Anabolic Minds, which has tons of articles on different strategies to help you towards your fitness goals.
7. I follow a plan
This is the likely the most important part of the whole fitness lifestyle. Could you imagine finding your way to California from New York without GPS (or a…roadmap — haha no way)? There is no way you would get there in an efficient and time-effective way. You need a game plan to get to where you want to go. Sometimes a coach or a trainer is needed to help guide you, and sometimes you just need to write yourself a plan or get help with it. Either way, you should normally have a 4 to 12 week workout plan that fits your goals and helps you toward a healthier you. If you follow this, then you will reach your goals. I always follow a workout plan and know what I will be doing when I get to the gym. I don’t leave things up to chance. Neither should you.
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