• Joshua Li

5 tips to getting fit and staying fit

1. Be honest with yourself

Fat loss can only be achieved by creating a caloric deficit. Period. On the other hand, there are many ways to achieve it and that is exactly the beauty of planning. Be honest with yourself and ask yourself what you can do realistically day in and day out with utmost consistency. Be honest with how many changes at once you could take. It's easy to sell yourself a dream and create a vision of a legend smashing 100 new goals at once, but how often you can be persistent and turn all the good things you do into habits. Under doing things is admittedly detrimental, but so is overdoing. Be realistic yet challenging. As the famous saying goes: "When you feel like you can't do it anymore, do 2 more reps, you are entering the growth zone."

2. Foresee roadblocks

In the city that is averaging 10 working hours a day, it is rather easy for us to make an excuse and give ourselves a tap on the shoulder. Write down how your day is usually structured and pinpoint the time/event of the day that would be detrimental, then tackle it. Can't resist the devil whispering in your ears about how delicious that snack in arm's reach would taste it? Do not get it in the first place! Traveling to Bali for a week? Plan out the bare minimum tasks you should finish or avoid. For instance, at least 3 out of 6 days you will exercise, and at least 2 out of 3 meals a day will be nutritious and prioritizing good protein sources. In short: be proactive with recognizing potential hurdles, and be creative with strategies.

3. Start as you mean to get fit

Set the momentum for yourself as someone who is proactively improving their health. Get off a station or two away from your destination for a morning walk in the sun (or rain, if you fancy). Take the stairs and avoid the escalator crowd. Drink plenty of water. Eat your lunch in a quiet, calming location and, this may go without saying but, take time to enjoy your food. Maybe you'll feel a little tired after all that extra walking, but don't forget to stretch before sleep.

4. Sleep is for the strong

Whoever told us 'sleep is for the weak' was very clearly wrong. Studies have found sleeping just an hour less than usual could make you eat as much as 45% more food. Sleep deprivation has been shown to be a potent hormonal disruptor that could lead to weight gain due to the increase of inflammation. Chronic inflammation reduces insulin sensitivity and spikes cortisol, stress hormone. Your body will therefore have a hard time storing nutrients into your muscles and, so you can guess it, they will be stored as fat. The increase of cortisol levels will also destabilize blood sugar levels, hence why poor sleep could possibly lead to poor decisions when it comes to food.

5. Try accountability strategies

Without a doubt, motivation is crucial for anyone to start making changes, whether it comes from an external or internal drive. Motivation can also be very fleeting, and for moments when you are mentally weak, you need someone to keep you accountable, someone you have to report to that keeps you consistent. Another idea is to create a group or a challenge with people who share the same goal as you or are walking the same path, to make the journey enjoyable. Finally, if you are looking for extra motivation, find someone who has walked your path or acquires knowledge that could help you along the way.

Though it may seem like a long journey ahead, start with small changes and you're sure to nail it.

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