Follow the healthy habits all lean people have in common to lose belly fat fast and take back control of your health and fitness for good, says newbodyplan.co.uk editorial director Joe Warner
I was chatting to a friend recently and they mentioned they’d put on quite a bit of weight since lockdown began, specifically around his chest. He was particularly worried about the appearance of his “man boobs” and wanted to shrink them – fast. Another mate called me recently about how he could stop the spread of fat around his lower back, another common body area when excess fat gets deposited.
Now, I never talk to my mates about health and fitness – and they never really ask – but on this occasion these two mate were desperate for me to tell him the “one thing” they could do to halt their weight gain – and then start to reverse it.
It’s incredibly common when you’re desperate to lose fat to desire this imaginary one-stop solution to the problem – and I hate to disappoint you, but if only there was! We’d all be in the shapes of our lives, walking around dressed like underwear models (weather permitting). But my mate’s question got me thinking: what are the most common lifestyle habits shared between people who have always been in good shape, and those who have successfully lost weight and then, crucially, kept it off. Because if you can identify these common traits then deploy them yourself, you’re going to shift that spare tyre and feel fantastic to boot.
So, here they are: the three simple but smart lifestyle choices all lean and healthy people have in common. Pick one to adopt right away, making any necessary tweaks and adjustments to suit your circumstances right now. See how you get on, then add in another habit next week. Why? Because the only way you can make positive changes to your body is to take small, simple and sustainable steps in the right direction. Remember, when wanting a fitter, healthier and leaner body it pays to be the tortoise and not the hare!
1 THEY DO… see the big picture
The majority of us want to shift some weight, especially from our stomachs. I get it. But the tendency to be drawn into chasing that one goal, and focusing on it obsessively, won’t help you lose fat faster. Indeed, the one common trait amongst people who successfully shifted their spare type is that they could see the bigger picture.
Yes, losing weight quickly is a very attractive proposition, but what happens when you have a busy week and can’t exercise or eat well? Or when you jump on the scales after a solid few days of training and have actually gained weight? (This can happen, and is why I never recommended relying on the scales alone – there are far better methods to track your progress.)
A small set-back can be catastrophic when you’re focused on a short-term goal, and is why so many people throw in the towel after only a week or two. But when you see the big picture, you are far better equipped to deal with the challenges that will inevitably threaten to derail your journey. You also realise you’re not simply working towards a reduced waistline, but towards taking back complete control of your health, fitness and happiness.
The people who successfully lost weight realised that they wanted to do so for really important reasons, such as being fitter so they could play with their kids or grandkids more often or for longer. Or take part in a tough physical challenge to raise money for a favourite charity.
Once you determine what you really want from life it’s far easier to get (and stay) motivated to exercise and eat well, and you’ll soon start taking a huge pleasure in your improving performances. And then, as a lovely little bonus to the new and improved way you’re feeling, that excess weight will simply start to melt away!
2 THEY DON’T… chase fad diets
I’ve written extensively about the dangerous detox diet culture before and the top line is that detox diets, juice cleansers and all other quick-fix approaches that promise incredible fat-loss results in hours or days not only don’t work – they are incredibly bad for your physical and mental health. Depriving yourself of entire food groups means you’ll crave them more, leading to an unsustainable approach to eating and then weight gain once the diet fails (which it will). They also make you lethargic, miserable, obsessively hungry, and a nightmare to be around.
People who ignore these fad approaches and instead follow a smart and sustainable approach to eating, such as the New Body Plan 90% Nutrition guide, never have to deprive themselves of their favourite foods, and so have the healthy relationship with eating that allows them to eat for their physique or performance goals most of the time, and then eat for the pure pleasure the rest of the time. Remember, you don’t need to perfect all the time to lose weight; you just need to be consistent in eating well more often than not!
3 THEY DO… have a plan of action
I know that anyone – and yes, I’m talking to you – can lose fat, build muscle and transform their bodies (and lives) for the better. I’ve done it myself and I’ve seen thousands of people graduate the New Body Plan training system in the shape of their lives. If you don’t want to just take my word for it, here’s 39-year-old Andy’s story of how he turned his health and fitness around, and hasn’t looked back.
The one thing – probably the biggest factor – that separates the fat-loss success stories from the fat-loss failures is those people who had a training and nutrition plan to follow got the results they wanted, whilst those who tried to “wing it” struggled to ever get their challenge off the ground.
One of the most popular posts I’ve ever written was on how having a plan to follow takes all the guesswork out of what you need to do (and when, and how) to initiate the processes by which your body starts to torch body fat. When you have a plan to follow, you don’t waste any time or effort on thinking – you just get on with it! In many ways “action” is the easiest part: so many people struggle because they don’t know what they should be doing, so don’t do anything. But when you have a plan that requires no thinking you’re halfway towards getting the results you want!
Get in touch!
That’s more than enough for you to think about for now, but if you have any questions or comments then please share them with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If there’s enough interest I can expand on this post with another one, detailing some of the less well-known but equally influential habits that all lean people have in common. And don’t forget you can still access all the New Body Plan podcasts released to date on your favourite podcast provider, or directly from our website.