Before you start your journey to lose fat and change your body shape, you may have some perceptions about how you think the journey will go. This may have come from previous experiences of trying to get in shape, or simply tactics and strategies that you see online.
However, when you enter your journey, and the more time passes by, there will be things that surprise you. There will be methods that are less extreme or regimented than you expected, and not only does this surprise you, it also helps calm any nerves you had and makes the process much more enjoyable.
So, what are they? What surprising truths go into changing your body shape that you did not anticipate?
Increasing Calories Is Beneficial
If you are struggling with energy, strength, progress, and not enjoying the process of getting in shape, there is a good chance that you are not eating enough. Increasing your calories, when necessary, is vital for boosting your metabolism, energy levels, adherence, overall health, and consistent satiety throughout your journey. As you put on more muscle and become more active, your energy requirements go up, which means that your calorie intake will need to also. A calorie deficit which is too aggressive will slow down your rate of progress.
You Don’t Have To Train Every Day
Many people fall into the trap of thinking that they need to train relentlessly to get great results. This partly comes from a lack of knowledge, but also from the pressure of social media posts from people further ahead than them. The reality, however, is that you don’t need to do this, and recovery can be just as vital as the training sessions themselves. Two to four training sessions per week is the sweet spot for most people, dependent on the individual, goal, experience, availability, and time frame. So, look at your schedule, spread your sessions throughout the week and ensure that the quality and productivity are high.
Endless Cardio Is Not Required
Another mistake people make is ramping up the cardio to unsustainable levels. Not only is this unenjoyable and unsustainable, it also has the opposite effect to what you want to achieve, as the risk of injury increases and your body does not receive the recovery it requires. So, while a form of cardio is beneficial, it should act as a support to your resistance training sessions, which are the priority from an exercise perspective. Choose a form of cardio that is sustainable, so that you can tick the boxes on a consistent basis.
Sleep Is More Important Than You Think
Many people underestimate the importance of sleep when it comes to weight loss or fat loss, but there are several reasons why it needs to be a priority. A high-quality night’s sleep of 7-9 hours gives your body much-needed rest and recovery from your daily exercise and tasks, which is also crucial to progression. Furthermore, you produce a large portion of your growth hormone when you sleep, particularly in the first two hours. In order to build lean muscle tissue and burn fat efficiently, we need growth hormones, and as your growth hormone levels decrease gradually in your late twenties, the importance of sleep then increases.
You Can Balance Social Life With Progress
There is a perception many people have that to get in shape, you have to cut off your social life completely. However, there are ways in which you can combat this and make progress. These include letting people know about your goals, surrounding yourself with the right people, not being afraid to say ‘no’, having an inspiring goal, and limiting the number of difficult situations you put yourself in. By doing this, you should be able to have a great balance between maintaining a fun social life and making positive progress with your body shape.
So, you may have certain thoughts about what it takes to lose body fat, but there are some surprising truths that you may have not expected. These include increasing your calories over time, not having to train every day, not needing to do lots of cardio, prioritising sleep, and being able to balance social life with progress. All these truths make the process more enjoyable and sustainable than you may have throught, and this will be crucial in ensuring that you make the best progress possible.