There are common pieces that show up in most weight loss discussions when it comes to figuring out how to lose weight, specifically the best way to lose belly fat.
While we can talk about stomach exercises and nutrition tips, one of the most common missing pieces, probably the building block to a healthy lifestyle, has to be goal setting.
Actions stem from words and those words stem from your thoughts. All success with fitness begins with what is going on in your mind. Not a pill promising it is the best way to lose belly fat fast.
Your mind is a muscle just like your arms, stomach, thighs, or anywhere else. It has to be exercised properly or else it will grow weak. Unfortunately just like a muscle, if you exercise it improperly you can also negatively damage it. You have 60,000 thoughts daily on average and chances are most of these are redundant and negative.
Conscious Vs. Subconscious
Without blowing your mind let’s talk a little about how your subconscious works relative to your conscious. If any of you are familiar with business the conscious is like the CEO and the subconscious is similar to the employees. The CEO is in charge of the vision and direction. He trains and directs the daily actions of the employees. The employees follow based on what the CEO is telling them to do and usually trusting in the CEO’s vision whether the boss has good or bad intentions.
The same thing happens with your conscious and subconscious. Your Conscious gathers all of the information and feeds it into your subconscious to believe and follow. Your conscious is the analytical part of the mind. The subconscious is the emotional or habitual side that takes care of the mindless work like blinking. Whether your conscious is feeding true or false information, your subconscious is following as if it is true.
So you have to feed your mind appropriate thoughts or else your subconscious will have a tendency to make habitual actions. Often because of the lack of physical movement in our society and bad foods easily distributed to us, we tend to make unhealthy decisions.
This is why goal setting and positive affirmations are as important as the calories you count or the crunches you do.
Let me ask, do you ever find yourself wolfing down bad food without thinking about it? Do you eat it and think after the fact, “Why did I do that?”
This is because you have spent years programming your mind to take in garbage. In order to combat this you have to invest the time to figure out what your goals are and how you are going to accomplish them short term and long term.
Long Term and Short Term Goals
Start at what your long term vision is. Ask yourself some questions: Why do you want to get in shape? Is it to impress someone of the opposite sex? Is it to help with health concerns? Is it to have a six pack on the beach? Is it figuring out the best way to lose belly fat quick to get into an old outfit you wore five years ago?
Whatever the goals are: write them all down.
You can start off with some very emotional goals that you have and even feel free to fantasize about it.
We all do this. This is why we get so wrapped up in models and movie stars.
It is ok if your goals scare you a little, because nothing worthwhile is easy. Sorry to those guys that are looking for me to suggest supplements as the best way to lose belly fat for men or starvation as the best way to lose belly fat for women. This has to be a way of life. In order to do that, begin by writing down your goals. (This will seem like a broken record)
After you have figured out these long term goals work backwards. You should have annual goals, quarterly goals (3 months), weekly and daily goals.
I would personally put more emphasis on the three month goal relative to the 12 month goal. It is more attainable which makes it more motivational. At the same time it still is enough time for the possibility of making drastic changes to your body composition.
These should be goals that you can act on today and win little battles daily or weekly to achieve your long term goals. For instance, I know that I need to eat around 2,400 calories daily in order to cut fat while maintaining my lean muscle mass. I don’t win every day.
I may make dumb decisions by eating refined sugars or eating 3,200 calories. This isn’t a bad thing and I won’t let it tear me down mentally. It is just a part of the battle. You may actually only get 22 days right in the first month by eating the right foods and the right amount of calories. But I know that is 22 more days of better eating than the last month. In month 2 I might eat better only 4 more days. It doesn’t matter. IT ALL ADS UP.
So as you can see with the calorie recommendation that I mentioned that your goals should be measurable and specific. Know the exact % body fat you want to get to and how you are going to do that with fitness and nutrition. As a side note, a healthy % body fat loss per week is .5% according to the ACSM and fitness expert Tom Venuto. So in 3 months my goal may be 6% body fat shaved off.
What Happens When I Hit My Goals?
Once you have achieved your goals, bask in the glory of success. It is so rare that people accomplish goals because only about 3% actually write them down according to Zig Ziglar. Keep track of these successes and continue to write more goals as you progress. As you mature in your health and other aspects of your life, so will your goals. They should be constantly evolving and re-evaluated. This will not only build a healthy physical lifestyle, but it will be a huge impact on your own overall self worth.
So again…write down your goals RIGHT NOW before you do anything else, or else your success will NEVER be fully realized.